Twist it-Fry it Raghavan way!
Not one film this year had full-bodied characters and the twist in the tale style as Sriram Raghavan's deep thriller Andhadhun. The crafty and effectively staged film is germinated on the basis of the French short film The Piano Tuner. This film about a pretending-to-be-blind pianist Aakash and the whirlpool of changes which come to his life when he goes to tune the piano in the home of a bygone big star's home is fabulously, deliciously, delicately twisted. The thrills come naturally in this genuinely upscale mystery, and the layers of narrative for the price of one is what I totally applauded. Ayushmann Khurrana, Radhika Apte and Tabu are amazing in playing their characters. The film carries with it meaning, symbolism, excitement and compelling drama. I'm going with 4 out of 5 for Andhadhun. The best film this year, the best Hindi thriller.
With Team India having demolished the Windies inside three days in the first Test at Rajkot, it pretty much meant that there was hardly anything else to watch over the weekend. That's when I happened to come across a couple of articles that spoke highly of "Andhadhun". Since it was directed by the brilliant Sriram Raghavan & had Tabu as one of the protagonists. I was more than eager to watch it.
Akash (Ayushmann Khurrana) is a talented 'blind' pianist who aspired to make it big in the music world. Despite numerous efforts, he wasn't able to earn a break & it was at this juncture that he meets Sophie (Radhika Apte) who offers him a job at her father's club. His performance at the club earns him numerous fans one of them happens to be yesteryear Bollywood star, Pramod Sinha (Anil Dhawan), who invites him over to his apartment for a private concert as an anniversary gift for his wife, Simi (Tabu). But little did Akash realise that this honour would turn out to be a nightmare & change his life forever.
Based on the French short film "L'Accordeur" (The Piano Tuner) in 2010 by Oliver Treiner, this flick belongs to the black comedy thriller genre that keeps us hooked until the very last scene. Sriram's credentials as a film-maker needs no introduction with movies like "Ek Hasina Thi", "Johnny Gaddaar" etc to his credit. He has also penned this engaging script in the company of Arijit Biswas, Pooja Surti & Yogesh Chandekar and it has got the various elements like murder, betrayal, double crossing, sex etc with a liberal sprinkling of wry humour. Just as in his previous movies, all characters have shades of grey & they are morally flawed. The unusual sequences which is a signature of Sriram can be observed right from the first shot (& be sure to watch it keenly) while his love for the past like Chitrahaar, Sholay, Scream etc., is all showcased here. Though the tempo slacks off towards the early part of the second half, it slowly regains its punch later on & finishes with a bang.
Apart from the script, the technical aspects have also contributed significantly in enhancing the viewer's experience. Key among them was Amit Trivedi's music & BGM which was impressive with 'Wo Ladki' rendered by Arijit Singh being my personal favourite. Equally praise worthy work was observed from K U Mohanan's smartly lighted frames & Pooja Surti's well thought out editing. In the performance part, Ayushmann was fantastic & continues to improve with each movie. It was imperative that he was in form as he was up against Tabu who always gives a thumping performance & this was a meaty role that gave her more adequate scope to rock. As for the rest of the cast, Radhika Apte didnt have much screen space while Zakir Hussain , Anil Dhawan, Manav Vij did their parts aptly.
Verdict: With a cracking script, skillful direction & excellent performances; it should be a winner at the boxoffice, However, more often than not intelligent movies like these fail to garner the adequate number of footfalls. Anywaz it deserves to be watched & if you are a fan of thrillers, then dont think twice. In short, dont miss it!!!
Andhadhun briefly reminded me of the good old days of silent comedies where everything on the screen was extraordinarily entertaining majorly supported by the score. There's a scene at the start where Akash is playing the piano and two people in front of him are foolishly resorting to their basic instincts. Not a word is spoken in those 10 minutes and yet it is the perhaps the most memorable scene in the film. It's pure cinematic brilliance, which unfortunately fades away in the second half as you complete watching the film in labored breathing. TN.