The problem with Laxman Utekar's third romcom is that it is not funny at all. The gags and jokes about a young excitable couple living in a crowded joint family trying to get their own home , has already been done to great effect in Basu Chatterjee’s Piya Ka Ghar forty years ago. Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is all about labored lines delivered by actors who seem to have been told to make it large.So large, it shrieks They all ham…except maybe Sharib Hashmi who makes an appearance midway as a watchman in a housing calling in Indore.
You could say Hashmi is outdoor in Indore,and that would be a funnier line than any in this jugaadu comedy about a husband who keeps scrounging (even when buying softs drinks he buys just one for two, but there is a deep raaz for that which comes bubbling to the surface at the end) , a wife who keeps screaming, a family that keeps hamming till it hurts, and a script that seems to have a poor idea of how the audience responds to lowbrow humour.
Speaking of screaming, there is a divorce lawyer with paan-stained teeth who shouts down the Judge every time Vicky Kaushal and Sarah Ali Khan appear in court for a divorce.Every time the lawyer screams , the audience is supposed to laugh.Amidst the torrential download of screams and shouts, the lead pair must pretend they are a divorced couple to get a government home.
So essentially the lead pair must first ham while pretending to be in love . Then they must ham while feigning mutual animosity. How does all this pan out? Do you really want to know? Does it make any difference?
In the director’s far more enjoyable Lukka Chuppi, Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Sanon had to pretend they were not a live-in couple .This time it’s not just Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan pretending to be out of love. The audience too must pretend that they are amused by a script that thinks it is funny for a father-in-law (Rakesh Bedi in a turban, ha ha) to ask , “Why are you divorcing my daughter? Is it another woman… or maybe a man.”
It also thinks it’s funny to make fun of buck teeth. And of smalltown accents. But the biggest joke is,the chocolate bar that keeps recurring as a symbol of love. The 5 star,on a subliminal level, is wishful thinking.