A hearty entertainer that is hilarious and occasionally tear-jerking
October 2018 clearly belongs to Ayushmann Khurrana. Close on the heels of the mammoth success of ‘Andha Dhun’, comes yet another unconventional story from the actor, that is high on chuckles and a few tears. ‘Badhaai Ho’ is the truest and most relatable family film, since ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’.
Nakul Kaushik (Ayushmann Khurrana) is a simple, middle-class guy, who resides in Lodhi Colony, Delhi with his station master father Jeetendra (Gajraj Rao), mother Priyamvada (Neena Gupta), grandmother (Surekha Sikri) and brother Gullar (Shardul Rana). He is also seeing his colleague Renee (Sanya Malhotra) who resides in South Delhi with her single mother (Sheeba Chadda). One night, his parents get passionate over poetry and the penalty follows. Nakul and Gullar have to come to terms with the untimely, unplanned arrival of the newest member in the family.
When the trailer of the film broke out last month, expectations shot up sky-high. More than thankfully, ‘Badhaai Ho’ delivers beyond its potential. Brought to life by an excellent story penned by Akshat Ghildial and Shantanu Srivastava, the dialogues by the former are literally Delhi to the ears, from the dialect to the delivery. The screenplay weaves excellent scenes together that deserve a mention. A showdown scene in Meerut, a moment of apology before the climax and the eventual delivery of the new-born are outstanding. The writers also use the opportunity to comment on the hypocrisies of the rich and the utter selfishness of children, in general. Dev Rao Jadhav is excellent with his editing. Hence, the film despite being too subtle for a family entertainer doesn’t bore you at all. The production design by Ratheesh UK and visuals by cinematographer Sanu John Varghese are spot-on as well. So much about lifestyles and thought-processes are conveyed through the set-ups in Nakul and Renee’s households. Not much can be said about the music though ‘Sajan Bade Senti’ and ‘Morni Banke’ shall be belted enough, this wedding season. Amit Ravindernath Sharma’s able direction should make you erase all the nightmares that followed post his last film, the dismal ‘Tevar’.
As far as the performances go, Ayushmann and Sanya are earnest and quite courteously take the backfoot, for the senior citizens to shine. Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao are excellent as the expectant parents. But it is grandmom Surekha Sikri who walks away with the best scenes and lines. She is outstanding whenever the camera shifts focus to her. Good luck holding back your laughs and the lumps in your throat, whenever she turns up. Shardul is impressive as Gullar. Sheeba Chadda communicates beautifully despite a smaller role with minimum dialogues.
This long weekend, flood the ticket windows and welcome ‘Badhaai Ho’ with your entire family.