Crime thrillers always fascinate the audience, if it’s being handled well. Now, Sriram Raghavan, who is known for to make one of the best thrillers in Hindi cinema, comes up with ANDHADHUN that stars talented actors like Ayushmann Khurrana, Tabu, Radhika Apte and others. Let us see how well this film is being handled well in terms of its script and direction.
Aakash (Ayushmann Khurrana), a blind pianist desperately in search of the ‘dhun’ that will be his ticket to London, meets Sophie (Radhika Apte) by accident. She lands him a gig at her father’s upscale restaurant, Franco’s, where he meets yesteryear actor Pramod Sinha (Anil Dhawan). Now Pramod invites Aakash to their residence for a surprise performance for his wife, the sensuous and much younger Simi (Tabu), on their anniversary. But when he shows up, everything is thrown out of gear where somebody gets murdered now.
The thrust of the story, however, is what happens if the only witness to a crime happens to be visually impaired?
Screenplay and Direction:
The story of ‘Andhadhun’ is inspired from the French short film L’ACCORDEUR [writer and director: Olivier Treiner]. However, a lot of changes have been done and it’s praiseworthy. The audacity of director Sriram Raghavan’s vision and the intricacies of the screenplay would come back to you in their complete glory only when you acknowledge his understanding of the story thread.
As crisp, cunning and wicked as the first half is, in the second half, as new characters are introduced, the twists go from clever and unexpected to gratuitous and expendable. Thankfully, it finds its metre again. However, the only problem with AndhaDhun is that in the second half it stretches itself a bit much. It suddenly decides to give its characters a lasting journey, hampering the story’s elasticity and adding repetition to a film that is already 139-minute long. In fact, the first and second halves seem like two different films. The climax is interesting, watch out for the final scene!
Sriram Raghavan always remains a step ahead, packing in one twist after the other and keeping you on the edge of your seat. No one is innocent. Even the little boy (Kabir Sajid) is wickedly immoral. The suspense is nail-biting, but Andhadhun makes you laugh even during its most tense moments with its dark humour. However, the dark humour element here comes out beautifully and that helps the film from becoming too gory or disturbing.
Everything in Raghavan’s story (written with a team of writers) is there for a reason, even the opening scene of a rabbit being chased through cabbage fields by a hunter.
Ayushmann Khurrana delivers a taut performance that balances vulnerability with craftiness. He sinks his teeth into the part and does not hit a single false note. Performances by Manav Vij, Ashwini Kalsekar, and others are neatly in tune. Anil Dhawan is delightfully whimsical, while Radhika Apte is undeniably charming. However, it’s Tabu who runs away with the show. The manner in which she plays the mind games and tries to manipulate the situations at various points is quite fun.
Music and Other Technicalities:
Music and background score amplifies the mood of the film. Considering Vividh Bharti’s Chhaya Geet and Doordarshan’s Chitrahaar in the film, the delightful mix of murder, music, and nostalgia lifts this fast-paced thriller above the pack. Dialogues here make a lot of sense, and that is where AndhaDhun becomes a terrifically taut thriller, with regular people giving the most obvious reactions in the most unexpected ways. Pune’s lush green roads and slightly cold environment also successfully add edginess to this crime thriller. The film does not lose momentum for even a second, thanks to the crisp editing of Pooja Ladha Surti (who is also one of the co-writers).
So is it a Paisa-Vasool film?
Totally! It’s a complete Paisa-Vasool thriller film. For those who love to watch suspense kind of films, do not miss this one! Watch it with Blind Faith, and the result would be just lovable!
Rating: 3.5 Stars