The film's title is an ode to its inspiration – the iconic movie Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. And as we move along, we see several nods to DDLJ, mostly in a tasteful, fun manner.
The love story itself is a loving tribute (and an upgraded, modern version). Ambala girl Kavya (Alia Bhatt), engaged to an NRI munda, goes to Delhi in search of her dream lehenga. There she meets Rakesh, better known as Humpty (a pet name he acquired as he was chubby growing up). Humpty (Varun Dhawan) is quite the campus Casanova.
He's also prone to threatening his professors by tying them up and offering bribes for "passing marks". That's where Humpty meets Kavya (Alia), where she accepts the bribe on behalf of her professor uncle, and adds it to her 'lehenga kitty'.
Both these grey characters get drawn towards each other and form a bond. Together, they help Kavya's friend out of a sticky problem. They get closer. They have cold coffee, gulp down beers, and dance foolishly at makeshift parties.
Both the characters are interestingly written. We love Kavya for her feistiness, the way she is unafraid of everything, even leering Delhi ruffians. She gulps down beer faster than anyone, and even lets out a burp. Completely unpretentious (you have to see her dance at their informal party to know), she's a real person, quirks and all. Humpty is the typical beating heart under the insensitive Delhi boy exterior. He cries often, and with such sincerity, you want to leave everything and cheer him.
It is to debut writer-director Shashank Khaitan's credit to showcase a relationship that’s young and instant, yes, but not devoid of tenderness and depth.
Of course, there are clumsy portions in the film as well. The part where a character gives a chunk of his money for Kavya's lehenga is absurd. And the finale, where a character has a change of heart, is also done without much thought. Other than that, the film has a very cool, forward-thinking vibe.
There's no TV serial perfect family here. The father is grumpy but reasonable, the mother and mother-in-law joke about how foreign men are better than pampered Indian men, the older daughter is divorced, and the younger one (Kavya) is a rebel. But it's family the viewer will relate to—the functional, dysfunctional family.
This is the small-town modern unit, where the mother nonchalantly asks her divorced daughter to stop blaming herself saying, "Kuch rishton ki umar hi choti hoti hai" (some relationships just have a short life). The father is angry, yes, because the daughter married out of love and against his wishes. But still, he has helped her set up an internet café that she runs.
And all these interestingly written characters come alive in the hands of fabulous actors. The lead cast is a delight— a crackling combo of talent, great looks, and screen presence. The supporting cast led by Ashutosh Rana is superb as well.
The film never lets go off its North Indian-ness. The conversations are littered with words like "sarci" (for sarcastic) and "J" (for jealous). This is a world where grown men have names like Humpty and Shonty; and where you get "original fake" Manish Malhotra lehengas in small market lanes.
This is a film that's very much like the cold coffee our protagonists enjoy. Enjoyable, cool and good while it lasts. Slurp on!
Rating: Three and a half stars