Definition of true cinema is when the moving images on the screen suck you into its world and keep you there until the end credits start rolling. When you’re finally thrown out into reality, being able to leave you with a void and make you feel incomplete without the characters you just witnessed. This is the phenomenon of brilliance in cinema. With this recent release, Andhadhun, I’ve been feeling as incomplete as ever after I witnessed the craziness of a film.
The first frame to establish the location of the film, Pune, is a rather odd one for a Hindi feature with a one eyed rabbit jumping across a cabbage patch onto the highway. From the rabbit being hunted to a car crash to hearing a piano being played. It’s Akash (Ayushmann Khurrana), black glasses on, playing it for his cat as his audience. We see his regular lifestyle in Pune and his love for music, we see his ambition to go to London and play for a competition out there when he bumps into Sophie (Radhika Apte), the meeting then turns into a coffee, with Sophie finding out he’s a piano player and instantly takes him to her dad, who owns a cozy bar called Franco’s, to appoint him as a pianist. He gets the job and of course, gets the girl. While he’s gaining popularity with the audience at Franco’s, there steps in Pramod Sinha, a 90s Bollywood actor married to Simi (Tabu), who have a wonderful life together. Pramod notices the brilliance with Akash’s piano skills and hires him for a personal concert for his wedding anniversary the next day itself.
Here begins the entire drama. Akash shows up to Simi’s house only to find Pramod not there. He begins playing the piano when he witnesses a broken bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers and a dead man on the floor. When he flees to the police station after playing for Simi, to report this, he realises, he has to report a crime without actually seeing the crime. This gets him into an entanglement of lies and escapes from the murderers, resulting into a road of even more crimes. The film is carried out wonderfully with twists and turns and a lot more crimes taking place with each scene. Akash’s eyesight becomes a prime source of the film’s entertainment, as expected. The climax somehow connects to the first scene and it truly is a rollercoaster from the beginning. A film that throws the seriousness out of the window yet keeps you latched onto it.
It had all the essential elements required for one to be a successful piece of long lasting cinema. Few aspects that absolutely stand out are:
- Performances: The actors in this film are honestly the puzzle pieces that come together to give you a marvelous final frame for a thriller. You have Ayushmann who is just so raw with his work, you almost believe that he is Akash himself. He plays a blind man as amazingly as he would play a man with perfect vision. The emotions and trauma that he goes through are portrayed so well. Tabu is great at what she does in the film. She’s your undefeatable mastermind who has not even planned to be it, but is and so effortlessly. Radhika performs as the girl next door but also fulfilling your strong and independent female lead. She is the most real character in the film, almost living the journey with you with all the confusion and not knowing anything about the chaos.
- Music: The music by Amit Trivedi is wonderful. The protagonist is a pianist and hence it is very important to provide justice to the character with the music. Beautiful tracks and score as the plot moves on. The theme, to the tracks that Akash is playing throughout at Franco’s. It’s all a wonderful melody, a blind melody of sorts.
- Dialogues: Since the plot is super complicated, the one thing that connects them all together are the dialogues. The film being a dark comedy, dialogues play a major role on the effect it has on you. The comc timing as well as the satirical hint provides absolute justice. It makes you wonder how brilliant the writers must be to create this and combine it into an effortless screenplay.
- Cinematography: Calling this film a fine piece of cinema and not praising it’s cinematography is impossible. The way the camera moves along, the continuous shots that provide the suspense to the film are all wonderful. They are beautifully executed. There are scenes which would have had zero impact on the audience if the cinematography hadn’t been done the way that it is. To say that is a huge compliment.
- Direction: Sriram Raghavan just outdoes himself with every other film. He gave us Badlapur in 2015 and Andhadhun in 2018 and you can see the sort of genre he follows in a pattern. But every single movie is unique and just pure amazing in it’s own way. Raghavan’s establishment into Bollywood with such films could just be the next big thing everyone counts on to take the industry forward for a mixture of such amazing directors and legendary actors.
Andhadhun brings to light many everyday issues with several dramatic turns. You get a peek into a blind man’s life, a high class’ life, a criminal’s life, a policeman’s life, a regular independent girl’s life, a rickshaw wala’s life and at a point even a cat’s life. Not focusing too much on each and stirring them all together with the perfect consistency is just so brilliant to witness on screen!
This film relieved me of quite a few mediocrefilms from this year and that is saying something I suppose.
I would, in all honesty, rate this film a 4.5 stars for everything. Not once did it get boring or dragged, everything felt meticulously planned for the audience to grab the edges of their seats.
The Red Sparrow is a huge fan of dark comedies, or at least I am, and we would love for you to watch this film and let us know how much you enjoyed this one!
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