Genre: Comedy, Thriller
Directed by: Sriram Raghavan
Cast: Tabu, Ayushmann Khurrana, Radhika Apte
Sriram Raghavan’s ‘AndhaDhun’ (Blind Melody) is based a comedy-thriller based on the French short film titled L’Accordeur. The film, starring Ayushmann as Akash, a ‘blind’ pianist, Tabu, as Simi Sinha, the second wife of an actor well past his glory years and Radhika playing Sophie, the daughter of an established restaurateur who Akash falls for.
The movie begins with a text card that states – “What is life? It depends on the liver.”. The title card is very vague for the viewers at the beginning of the film, and the actual weight of this statement dawns upon the viewer towards the end of the film.
Based in Pune, a talented singer and pianist, Akash is a person who looks for inspiration in the world around him and accidentally meets Sophie on the streets of Pune, who after learning about his skills as a pianist, takes him to her father’s bar and he lands a job. After a while on this job, he meets yesteryear superstar, Pramod Sinha (Anil Dhawan), who applauds his talent and pays him a handsome sum for a private concert, with which he intends to surprise his wife (Tabu) the next day, on their anniversary. As Akash reaches Mr Sinha’s place, the film meets it’s first (of many, consecutive) twists.
Raghavan does a stellar job of keeping his audience captive and on the edge of their seats with seemingly ordinary characters and dialogue, but with a plot so well written, that it does not require anything but the skills of the actors to make it an engaging film.
There are plenty of jump scares, which aren’t made obvious but are visible enough for anybody to notice them and immediately worry for Akash’s life. Written excellently by Arijit Biswas, Pooja Ladha Surti, Yogesh Chandekar and Raghavan, the film is paced perfectly in the first half, delivered a lovely mix of comedy, thrill and drama. The build-up to the crescendo of the film is done in just the right way, with scenes from before the appearance of the title card tying into the climax and making complete sense of the text card that opens the film.
A movie which could be Bollywood’s new benchmark for dark humour, AndhaDhun is a film that has shown that cold, dark humour does not have to be tasteless or crude in any way to be enjoyable. A film whose plot is full of illegal actions (with a built, protein driven police officer played by Manav Vij, at the helm of half of those), highlights the grim realities that exist, from people taking advantage of a blind person to the illegal harvesting of organs.
The film is amazing in its first half and lags a little in the second, but does so without losing any audience engagement. Ayushmann Khurrana has played his best role yet, while Tabu does a sensational job as an antagonist. Radhika Apte is as graceful as ever with her role as a smart and cheery lady. The film, overall, is a breath of fresh air in an industry which is hero and machismo centric, with well-rounded characters with realistic motivations.
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