By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | October 05, 2018
Rating: 4.5 / 5
The essence: There are times when the director transfers what is going on the screen on to you. The scene at the run-down clinic of Dr. Swami (Zakir Hussain) where Akash is in the operation theatre will have you on the edge of your seat!
Only a genius could have sewed a plot beginning with a one-eyed rabbit creating havoc in a cabbage field (somewhere in Pune), that drives the farmer nuts. The gunshot which culminates from the frustrated farmer’s hand-gun, explodes into a beautiful symphony towards the end. In the last scene, you don’t even know if what you see is what you saw!
Welcome to Sriram Raghavan’s Andhadhun that is both, subtly comic as well as engagingly tense. It’s full of suspense right till the very end, with twists and turns that are never predictable. And this is what makes it stand out as a black comedy—the genre in which it snugly fits.
At times, you find yourself at the edge of your seat as much for the twist in the plot as for the slick performances and crisp dialogues. Zakir Hussain and Ayushmann Khurana are known to wander into known territory [doing the same thing in different films, including acting style]. Here, Sriram has every actor fine-tuned for his part which is what makes the film stand out, apart from his from grip on the plot that never wavers. You know that the director is in complete control of this film!
Akash (Ayushmann Khurana) is a blind pianist who weaves his magic on the piano. One day, ‘accidently’, he collides with Sophie (Radhika Apte) whose father runs a restaurant. Akash finds a job here as a pianist where he runs into yesteryear star Pramod Sinha (Anil Dhawan) who invites him to surprise his wife Simi (Tabu) on their wedding anniversary. On the appointed day, at the appointed time, Akash rings his doorbell. From here, everything goes topsy-turvy in Akash’s world. He now has to run in the dark to ensure his safety.
There are times when the director transfers what is going on the screen on to you. The scene at the run-down clinic of Dr. Swami (Zakir Hussain) where Akash is in the operation theatre will have you on the edge of your seat! Zakir is at his Johnny Gaddar best, reminding one of his act as Shardul.
Ayushmann Khuranna is effortless as he essays the role of a blind man with a twist in between. He can see, but then, can he? He could have changed the script of his life, but does he? This has to be his best act, after Vicky Donor.
Tabu moves about her life creating this serene chaos. She is the queen of what she surveys. Her dark character is essayed effortlessly and will be a delight to her fans. Without flinching, she moves gears. Radhika Apte has broken clear of her last character in Padman as this docile, shy wife to be this sexy, young, wild Sophie who has a soft-corner for Akash. A complete new Apte in a completely new Radhika!
All the fringe characters, too throw in their might with performances that merge with the plot—Ashwini Kalsekar, Manav Vij, Chhaya Kadam and the young boy Kabir Sajid.
The only drawback for me was Ayushmann playing the piano like it is a tabla! He plays it more from his shoulders than his wrists (which it actually should be), banging his fingers on the keys. Also, the end could have been more open-ended had Sriram called “Cut” at the meeting point of the first scene.
Nevertheless, Andhadhun is an entertainer all the way, never once letting you down as a paying public. The dark scenes are not too grotesque too, which makes it an out-and-out entertainer.
Producer: Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Matchbox Pictures
Director: Sriram Raghavan
Star Cast: Ayushmann Khurana, Radhika Apte, Tabu, Anil Dhawan, Manav Vij, Zakir Hussain