Zara Hatke Zara Bachke

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)

quick review:

Loud treatment to a weird story that wants to be about supposed small-town issues, especially the lack of privacy for couples. But the lead actors are not able to look and feel their parts. Doesn’t help that the writing lacks spunk except for a couple lines here and there.

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Director: Laxman Utekar
Running time: 135 minutes
More Movie Info

Supposedly, Indore is a small town. Supposedly, small-town India hasn’t heard of spoons and eats cake by murdering it into their mouths with their fingers. It’s a shame that the writers thought this was the best way to set up the story’s context. It is difficult then to take it seriously when it comments on the sham that government schemes for the underprivileged have been turned into. Or when it talks about the privileged considering themselves unprivileged and trying to game the system. Or even when it revolves around what looks like its main theme, the lack of privacy for couples. Or the slight tapli* to patriarchy. Because, you know, patriarchal society or not, the liberal woman is largely unreasonable and self-centered.

It doesn’t help that the writing itself jumps from one sentiment to another rather jerkily and of course, predictably.

It does the film no favours that neither Vicky Kaushal nor Sarah Ali Khan are convincing as small towners. If only it were as easy as dressing up as small-towners supposedly do. It is not that their faces are not creating the right expressions. They are. Actually, maybe they are doing so too correctly. They don’t own their parts, the act seems fabricated and far away from the situation. All the side characters, except a few like Anubha Fatehpuria and Srishti Rindani, are different variations of loud with the highest being the actor who plays Kapil (Vicky Kaushal’s lawyer friend) to Meghana Agarwal to Sushmita Mukherjee and Rakesh Bedi. In addition, the performances seem to snip from one emotion to another.

It doesn’t help that the writing itself jumps from one sentiment to another rather jerkily and of course, predictably. Sure, a human heart does react impulsively as the situation changes. But here it all seems to orchestrated.

Then there are the little quibbles. Like it is with any profession shown on screen, the one who is engaged in the profession in real-life, cannot stop rolling their eyes. So what is even bhastrika asana or chi vibration in yoga? I have a slight feeling that this was done intentionally, in that case it is funny. However, knowing a little about yoga, it ended up being a distraction for me. So it might work to the film’s disadvantage because there are likely to be quite a few yoga practitioners in their audience. Also, was guilt-tripping the younger couple the only way out of the weird situation that the film revolves around? Unless, of course, that was the primary intention of the film. In that case, I would have very little to say about the film.

Unfortunately, owing to this, the decent digs on aadhar and security guards are wasted. Similarly, I found the cheesy things that Kapil and Soumya have between them adorable because that is how cute relationships are. But none of this covers for the things that don’t work. Despite the self-awareness shown through dialogue used to reprimand characters about the loudness and brashness. Oh yes, and you can see the ‘twist’ coming, even if you might not be able to guess why and how.

Zara Hatke Zara Bachke seems to have some end goals in mind. But, they are reached through either bizarre or perfunctory means.

~ ~ ~ *slight banter-type tap at the back of the head

- meeta, a part of the audience

26 reviewers(?) - 4 yays 18 so-so 4 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...Watch the film for its slice-of-life comic scenes and the chemistry displayed by the lead cast. It's a perfect one-time watch that'll surely put a smile on your face.... full review

Thumbs up, by Grace Cyril, india today : ...Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is definitely a must-watch for its funny punchlines and coming timings. It is a pure family entertainer that could act as a stress buster in the current hustle and bustle of life. But, it had the potential to do more.... full review

Thumbs up, by Aditi Giri, : ...All in all, Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is a clean entertainer and doesn’t come off as too preachy. It has family-friendly written all over it and has all the elements of a typical commercial Bollywood entertainer.... full review

Thumbs up, Outlook India : ...A magical family film such as this hasn't been seen in a long time. This has to be seen with your loved ones because apart from the fun and games this journey imparts a simple notion of love and family, the grounding foundation of our society.... full review

So-So, by L. RAVICHANDER, Deccan Chronicle : ...The film borrows Anand Bakshi’s ‘Phoolon ke shehr mein hai ghar apna, kya sama hai, tu kahan hai’ (Dekho maine dekha hai ek sapna from Love Story). It labours to establish that buying a house is not the same as making a home. ‘ZHZB’ could have been a far better fare. Kapil addresses Saumya: "Dektha hoon to jhatka lagta hain." The film sure falls short of the said standard.... full review

So-So, by Abhimannyu Mathur, DNA : ...Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is entertaining in parts and frustrating in others. It takes a strong premise and some strong performers but never fully utilises either. The film sags, drags, and crawls towards the end when the melodrama overpowers the narrative, stretching it longer than it should be. But it is watchable, even it largely for Vicky’s performance and the simpleness of the plot.... full review

So-So, by Aakash Kumar, Filmi Beat : ...The film seems a little dragged in the second half, however, overall, it is a decent watch. Zara Hatke Zara Bachke has its share of comedy, romance, drama, and emotions, and can be enjoyed with the family. Read more at: full review

So-So, by Rohit Bhatnagar, Free Press Journal : ...Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is laced with some great performances, but the core idea of the film seems illogical. The film is a forced adaptation of the current trend that sadly makes it a one-time watch.... full review

So-So, by Nitin Jain, : ...Overall, Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan try to fit in the non glamourous middle class zone and present a story told umpteen times.... full review

So-So, by Monika Rawal Kukreja, Hindustan Times : ...I never could wrap my head around movie trailers that give out the entire plot. Makers of Zara Hatke Zara Bachke made it worse with two trailers that revealed more than they should have and left very little for us to watch and find out on our own. Directed by Laxman Utekar, the romantic comedy has a lot going on at the same time and it does leave you with many questions at many places.... full review

So-So, by Ridhi Suri, India TV : ...The film doesn’t try to be out of the box or preachy but comes from the most hustling corners of the streets. Perfect songs and ample comic scenes make the film an enjoyable one-time-watch.... full review

So-So, by Shubham Kulkarni, koimoi : ...Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is Laxman Utekar building his universe by a step more with two good actors and a relatable tale. But maybe it is reaching its saturation and you can see it.... full review

So-So, by Hiren Kotwani, MiD DAY : ...Along with production designers Subrata Chakraborty and Amit Ray, cinematographer Raghav Ramadoss has beautifully captured the essence of Indore, where the story is set, and also taps into the scenic beauty of nearby places, including Maheshwar, a riverfront that locals visit during the weekend.... full review

So-So, by Sameer Ahire, Movie Talkies : ...For now, all I can say about Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is that there is nothing hatke, but there’s a fair value to entertainment. Thumbs up for comedy; thumbs down for drama.... full review

So-So, by Avinash Lohana, Pinkvilla : ...Despite receiving credible support from the technical team, it is the overall story of Zara Hatke Zara Bachke that disappoints. For me, the film deserves two stars, but I would add an extra half for the music and Vicky Kaushal’s performance.... full review

So-So, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...When Zara Hatke Zara Bachke does slow down for some sombre introspection, it lacks the persistence to pursue the problems it gently points out on the matters of provisions and privilege.... full review

So-So, by Nandini Ramnath, : ...But it’s back to buffoonery soon after. Laxman Utekar’s previous credits include Luka Chuppi, about a live-in couple who pretends to be married after their respective families keel over in shock. That film handled wild tonal shifts much better than Zara Hatke Zara Bachke, which ducks and dives once too often.... full review

So-So, by Anuj Kumar, The Hindu : ...Yes, there are passages where the lead players overdo their organic and inorganic chemistry. Sara is improving with each outing but she needs to channelise her nervous energy in a way that doesn’t feel theatrical, particularly when you have a natural performer like Vicky or Dhanush (Atrangi Re) in the same frame. After a point situations and props start becoming repetitive, but like Kapil would tell his yoga students, the film rediscovers its “Chi” before it’s too late.... full review

So-So, The Quint : ...At the end of the day, the comedy in the film has a lot to match up to. Is it funny that Kapil’s family is so comfortable chastising their daughter-in-law and then gets to have a redemption arc without having changed anything about themselves? Not really. I was also left wondering if Kapil’s flippant usage of a casteist slur was an indictment of his upbringing and circumstances.... full review

So-So, by Pooja Birala Jaiswal, The Week : ...Although ZHZB feels like so many films one may have watched in the past, especially in the 90s, this one offers some soft moments one can take back and also a light-hearted take on love marriages and familial equations. For these reasons alone, the film is watchable. But not a second time.... full review

So-So, by Nairita Mukherjee, Times Now : ...We wish Laxman uttekar had taken dash of that spice and given us same lip smocking moments. For in its current state, Zara Hatke Zara Bhachke is bland.... full review

So-So, by Dhaval Roy, Times of India : ...Overall, Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is an enjoyable one-time-watch for the funny punchlines, far-out characters and performances. But the unconvincing story and the temperate screenplay prevent it from reaching its full potential.... full review

Thumbs down, by Rahul Desai, Film Companion : ...I am still wondering how the makers messed up a harmless reverse Marrage story. In a parallel world, I'd have opened this review with "at last" and not "at first" but now more like "Alas" as in :Alas, the wait for a sweet and entertaining romcom.- one that does not overreach for cheap giggles; one that does not use Hrishikesh Mukherjee as a front to appropriate middle cinema; one that treats audiences as humans and not market demographic - will continue. Until then, I'll pretend to hope.... full review

Thumbs down, by Lachmi Deb Roy, FirstPost : ...The only good thing about Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is the performance of Vicky Kaushal. He has done a good job. His performance and the way he looks is something that is relatable. And the best part about him is that there is machoism in his mannerism and his looks unlike the other heroes of Bollywood. He gives life to the movie, but some how I felt that the script failed him. And as for Sara Ali Khan, the poor actress just tried too hard, but failed miserably. Better luck next time Sara!... full review

Thumbs down, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...The performances from Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan as the happily married couple whose desire for each other peaks in the face of the challenges that they encounter and then teeters on the edge of collapse are as wildly uneven as the film itself. When they are good, their chemistry is impressive. When they are not, they pull in different directions.... full review

Thumbs down, by Divya Bhonsale, NewsBytes : ...Zara Hatke Zara Bachke has its moments that are too good. More than the lead actors, it's the supporting cast that I loved watching. Sharib Hashmi as the Daroga and Kanupriya Pandit as the nagging Mami are my favorite characters from the film.... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

1 readers - 0 yays 1 so-so 0 nays

So-So, by Raj : A little more care in every department would have made movie better

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None
  • Concept: A couple doesn’t have privacy and wants to buy a house.
  • General Look and Feel: Crisp

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Zara Hatke Zara Bachke - Cast, crew, links

Official Sites:
Background Score:
Costume Designer:
Running time:
135 minutes

Comments (1)

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Dear Meetu, Every weekend, I come and check wogma. Nice to see you back. Very apt review. That's what happens when metro-urbanites write small-town stories with lots of cliches to lure family audiences. It seems clean but as you say - leaves a lot to our satisfaction...

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