For long, Bollywood has been guilty of not giving the deserved acclaim to character artists, often referring to them as ‘supporting actors’. Amit Sharma’s ‘Badhaai Ho’ breaks this trend as Gajraj Rao, Neena Gupta and Surekha Sikri deliver award-worthy performances while Ayushmann Khurran and Sanya Malhotra act as supporting wheels. The film deals with a sensitive issue of an old-age couple realise that they are about to become parents, again. Yet, the director presents it beautifully on the screen, creating a laugh riot which is likely to leave a lot of people in tears with an emotional climax.
The story of the film revolves around the Kaushik family (or, ‘Kaushiks’ as they like to call themselves). Jeetender aka Jeetu (Gajraj Rao) and Priyamvada (Neena Gupta) are a typical middle-class Indian family living in Delhi with Jeetu’s old mother played by Surekha Sikri who spends most of her time mocking her daughter-in-law, elder son Nakul Kaushik (Ayushmann Khurrana) who is trying to find a balance between work, family and love, and younger son Gullar (Shardul Rana).
Nakul is in a relationship with his colleague, Reene (Sanya Malhotra).
Their lives turn upside down when Priyamvada falls ill and the doctors inform that she is pregnant. The news spreads like wildfire and all eyes in the neighbourhood are fixed at the couple, most of the times with amusement. Nakul and Gullar find it difficult to digest the fact that their parents still have an active love life while their grandmother’s list of barbs extends.
The couple is given a time of three to four days to decide if they want to abort the child. But, they decide to go ahead with the pregnancy, leading to differences within the family. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
Story and Direction
Director Amit Sharma does a fantastic job with Akshat Ghildial and Shantanu Srivastava’s simple yet, relatable story. There were a lot of instances where the director could have gone over the top but he manages to a commendable job and maintains the subtlety of the film. He deserves a pat on the back for presenting the romantic scenes between the old couple gracefully. Having said that, he could have done a better job with the scenes featuring Ayushmann Khurrana and Sanya Malhotra.
WATCH | Badhaai Ho trailer
Even though the trailer suggested that Badhaai Ho would be an out and out comedy, the writers have smartly slipped in some emotional moments. The story has many subplots like Nakul going to Gullar’s school to teach a bully and the old couple going to attend a wedding at their relatives which help us understand how different people react to such developments in life.
Ayushmann Khurrana delivers yet another brilliant performance, two weeks after he had thrilled in Sriram Raghavan’s ‘Andhadhun’. His best moment in the movie came when Jeetu and Priyamvada announce the pregnancy. Ayushmann doesn’t have any dialogues in the scene but owns it with his exceptional expressions. He also delivers a great monologue later in the movie.
Sanya Malhotra has limited screen time but does justice to her role. Shardul Rana has been given some good dialogues and he delivers them with great efficiency. Gajraj Rao is in top form and actually is the main hero of the film. Neena Gupta does a convincing and adorable job.
But, it is 73-year-old Surekha Sikri who gets the most claps and whistles. She delivers one of the best monologues in recent times in the second half of the film and steals the show.
There are no stand out tracks in the film but the album as a whole does its job effectively. ‘Nain Na Jodeen’ is touching, ‘Sajan Bade Senti’ is average and ‘Morni Banke’ will make you wait for the end credits to finish before leaving the theatre. ‘Badhaaiyan Tenu’ is the best of the lot and has been used well in the film.
Overall, Badhaai Ho is a complete package you can watch this weekend and enjoy with your family. The film leaves you with a smile when you come out of the theatre. Since it releases on an extended weekend, the film should well on the box-office as well.
Rating – 3.5/5 stars