A young couple, happily married for two years, yearns for a house of their own. The ancestral house in which they currently live along with their extended family is too small for privacy and romance. Desperation is high but funds are low and the possibility of owning a flat of their own is nil.
However, Kapil Dubey and Saumya Chawla Dubey won't give up. What happens next is the germination of an idea that forms the central narrative of the film—they decide to apply for the Central government's Jan Awaas Yojana, which promises a house through its lottery system. So what if it is meant for the needy and the Dubeys, a middle-class family from Indore doesn't qualify, there is always a way to circumvent the system and that is exactly what the duo does.
College sweethearts yoga teacher Kapil and chemistry professor Saumya lie through their teeth, take huge loans, use all their savings in bribes and even get a divorce, all to become eligible for the scheme that will provide them with their dream home.
Saumya, sick and tired of the nosy Dubey uncle and aunty, who shift to their house for an indefinite period, starts looking for a space outside their mohalla. She comes across the PMJAY and meets with a corrupt official, aptly named Bhagwan Das (Inaamulhaq) who advises them to get a divorce to qualify for the scheme.
As the scheme gives preference to women, if she can divorce her husband, she could qualify for a house. This leads to a comedy of errors, which is layered with multiple narratives to keep the flow and momentum going.
However, Zara Hatke Zara Bachke (ZHZB) is far from being a family entertainer that leaves us with bouts of laughter. In fact, the dialogues are so bland that they fail to evoke any reaction from the viewers. Which is sad because had the punchlines been spunky enough, the film could have been a huge entertainer especially because the chemistry between Sara Ali Khan and Vicky Kaushal is electrifying. And that is the only good part about the film.
Yet there are heartening moments when you just want to go 'Awww!' Like those that bring out the day-to-day battles of a middle-class existence - he is conservative when leaving tips, will never leave the cold drink bottle half full, will buy just one Thumbs Up for him and Saumya to share to save some money, bargains with vendors and treats his wife to a chocolate every single night. 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.
Director: Laxman Utekar
Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Sara Ali Khan, Inaamulhaq
Duration: 132 minutes
Rating: 2.5 stars