Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Tabu & Radhika Apte
Critics Rating: ***1/2
Director: Sriram Raghvan
What’s it about?
An ambitious piano player from Pune aspires to go to London to further his art. But his own antics as an artist and an unsuspecting twist throws his simple life out of gear. Will he ever see the light of the day?
There’s surely more than what meets the eye. That is the defining line of this neo-noir thriller by director Sriram Raghvan, who has earlier given us gems like Ek Hasina Thi (2004) and Johnny Gaddar (2007). He continues his winning streak with Andhadhun.
To deliver his deliciously crafted tale of lust, greed and deceit he chooses Ayushmann Khurrana and Tabu – two actors who revel in doing things differently.
Ayushmann clearly nails it as the blind pianist who ends up at the wrong place at the wrong time. He exudes the vulnerability of a small town artist with big dreams and a slightly twisted state of mind. And Tabu is excellent as the restrained wife of a yesteryear star (Anil Dhawan). Not only is she breathtakingly beautiful but her performance is marked by effortless natural flair that makes even the most bizarre plot twists believable. Radhika Apte is relegated to a supporting role that she plays dutifully.
Andhadhun shines in their collective performances with a narrative that stays ahead of the curve and keeps you guessing all throughout. The first half is essentially first rate with a breezy screenplay that flows seamlessly even into the most unexpected plot twists. Film’s background score adds to the thrill while the cinematography succinctly captures daily life in Pune. Raghvan’s narrative is rooted in the realism of his characters and locations that lend credence.
However, parts of the second half are a bit difficult to digest with a bizarre forced twist and a few unsavory characters who don’t seem convincing. Add to that, a couple of songs that further slacken the pace. However, Raghvan makes up for it somewhat with an open ended climax.
Overall, Andhadhun is a vision that not many directors can dare to live on screen. Raghvan does it with adequate conviction.
I am going with 3.5 stars out of 5.
- Ronak Kotecha