Monday, March 2, 2015

Dum Laga Ke Haisha - Review

'Dum Laga Ke Haisha' is a good movie -- in a charming sort of way. It has a simple, honest and important theme -- personal insecurity and inferiority complexes affect your relationship not just with yourself but also with everyone else around you. Usually in a negative way. And it explores this theme in an authentic, short, and crisp style. (The movie is just around 100 mins and set in the small town of Haridwar.) And it's this very honesty and authenticity that makes it possible to like this movie even if one does not entirely agree with its conclusions. Though a certain wisdom is apparent in the point that the movie finally makes.

Personally, it's always a delight to watch a well made Hindi movie with an authentic regional dialect. In that sense, it joins the likes of Paan Singh Tomar (Central Indian dialect), Haasil (Eastern UP), and Khosla ka Ghosla (Delhi and NCR). It is delightful in its use of spoken Hindi dialect from the Saharanpur-Haridwar region.

[*Spoiler Alert*]

However, let me go on a bit of a tangent and talk about the theme of the movie a little more.

Consider an alternative ending where the protagonist is not able to make amends with his estranged wife. Unable to get his domestic life going and fueled by an intense sense of insecurity, he devotes an increasingly large amount of time to the RSS shakhas and becomes a Hindutva 'Pracharak'. He works hard and dedicatedly to overcome his inferiority complex and to prove himself. And remains a bachelor for his whole life.

In the context of the movie, that would probably be not such a happy ending. But as the quote goes - "If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story." So let's stretch this alternative story a bit further and see if it does in fact have an happy ending after all. And sure enough, if we allow the story a few more decades we get a totally different sort of happy ending for the protagonist -- which we know from another popular story -- he ends up becoming the PM of the country.

Given that the alternative story is not all that far fetched, the point here, I guess is this -- insecurity can lead to troubled relationships but it can also act as a fuel to push people towards greater creativity and greater "will to power". It then stops being an entirely negative and destructive emotion. 

Of course as with pretty much most other things, there are no absolutely right answers here. The best we can do, perhaps then, is just be aware of different possibilities and make autonomous choices to deal with our insecurities.
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