Hum Do Hamare Do should have been a lot more fun. A movie about an orphan who pretends to have parents in order to marry his sweetheart could have been the stuff of rip-roaring farce.

Instead, director Abhishek Jain opts for the occasional laugh and the frequent lump in the throat.

Self-made entrepreneur Dhruv (Rajkummar Rao) has singlehandedly lifted himself out of poverty (it’s never explained how) and has reached the point in his life where he has everything and needs somebody to share it with. That somebody is Anya (Kriti Sanon), herself an orphan who has been brought up by her uncle Sanjeev (Manu Rishi Chadha).

Dhruv lies about having parents and then backs up the lie by persuading Purushottam (Paresh Rawal) and Deepti (Ratna Pathak Shah) to play dad and mom. Purushottam and Deepti have a shared history that adds welcome meat to a barely fleshed out plot. The 126-minute movie is being streamed on Disney+ Hotstar.

Kamli, Hum Do Hamare Do (2021).

The story, by Abhishek Jain and Deepa Venkateshan, and the screenplay, by Prashant Jha, tries in vain to balance out the increasingly dull romance between Dhruv and Anya and the more interesting track between Purushottam and Deepti. Unlike in the comedy 14 Phere, which was released on Zee5 in July, the deception is one-sided. Dhruv’s reluctance to reveal the truth to the woman with whom he wants to have the family he misses would have gone down better if the film wasn’t inexorably making its way to the big fat wedding that Hindi movies love to champion.

The oldies supply the better bits. The gaffe-prone Purushottam comes closes to wrecking the sham, while Deepti’s reluctance to be in the same room as her old associate lead to some of the movie’s most involving scenes.

Ratna Pathak Shah brings an emotional edge to the proceedings, while Paresh Rawal is in fine form as the gent whose foot is lodged in his mouth. Rajkummar Rao bravely navigates stretches of bad dialogue, while Kriti Sanon can be plucked out of this movie and set down in any of her previous releases and it wouldn’t make a difference.

Hum Do Hamare Do (2021).

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