Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Tabu, Radhika Apte, Anil Dhawan
Direction: Sriram Raghavan
Sriram Raghavan’s ‘Andhadhun’ is a delectable tale about deliciously evil characters. This story maintains its intrigue right to the end and spins edge-of-the-seat suspense as the plot unfolds.
The protagonist of this bizarre, dark comedy/suspense is a blind pianist Akash (played by Ayushmann Khurrana). Your heart goes out to this handsome young musician, who can create magic with his fingers and has a lovely voice, but his world is dark and he hopes that he will make it big in London someday.
Akash meets Sofie (Radhika Apte) and she requests him to start playing the piano at a little restaurant called ‘Franco’, which is owned by her father. It’s after these two meet that you suspect there’s more to Akash than what meets the eye. Is he blind? If not, why is he pretending to be? What’s his motive? Will we eventually discover his ‘truth’?
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Even as we grapple with these questions, we meet a yesteryear actor Pramod Sinha (Anil Dhawan) and his young wife Simmi (Tabu). There’s something about Simmi and the way she cooks her crab that makes her seem a little cold-hearted. A few days later, when we discover her husband has died under mysterious circumstances, there’s little doubt about who is responsible. How far can Simmi go to hide her crime? Is it really possible for her to be as evil as she is?
Akash and Simmi, two characters who seem apparently ‘normal’, also seem capable of insanity. And it baffles you as a member of the audience as you try to get into their head and figure out their next move. This is an intricately woven tale that you need to watch. Saying more will reveal too much and the fun lies in seeing the layers peel off and discovering what lies beneath.
Ayushmann Khurrana deserves a special mention for his choice of scripts. His films might not be blockbusters, but the characters he plays are worth remembering. From his debut film ‘Vickky Donor’ to his recent releases, ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ and ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’, his characters warrant a shout-out.
Tabu remains the most dependable and the most intriguing character in this production. A character in this film nicknames her ‘Lady Macbeth’ and she actually reminds us of what she is capable of. Her understated performance is commendable. She doesn’t flinch before playing it all evil, moments after she comes across convincingly as a maternal figure.
Before I say anything more, I suggest you watch ‘Andhadhun’ and then we can match our notes. If you watched Sriram Raghavan’s earlier works (‘Ek Hasina Thi’ (2004), ‘Badlapur’ (2015) among others), you know this one too isn’t going to be a predictable tale. Yet again, Raghavan has come up with something dark and delicious.