Director: Amit Ravindernath Sharma
Duration: 120 minutes
Just when an easygoing Nakul Kaushik is about to propose marriage to his rich and ambitious girlfriend Renee, he discovers his middle-aged parents are expecting a baby. All hell breaks loose for the youngster and his younger brother, when his snoopy neighbours start gossiping about his mother’s pregnancy and his family, which was once a favourite at social gatherings, is suddenly looked down upon.
Of late, Ayushmann Khurrana has become a director’s actor. Give him any role and the former Roadie can effortlessly slip into the character, adding a different kind of feel and freshness to the film. From ‘Vicky Donor’ to the recent ‘Andhadhun’, Khurrana has managed to impress the viewers with a wide variety of roles and the just released ‘Badhaai Ho’, only adds to his list of best performances. But apart from a strong and liberal issue of geriatric pregnancy, given away in a hilarious manner, a little bit more was expected from this dramedy.
The Kaushiks – Papa Jitendra (Gajraj Rao), Mommy Priyamvada (Neena Gupta), Daadimaa (Surekha Sikri), Nakul (Ayushmann Khurrana) and Gullar (Shardul Rana) – live in Delhi’s nosy Lodhi neighbourhood, where one can easily whiff off news from adjoining balconies and terraces. Nakul has a corporate job, while his father is a travel ticket examiner in the Northern Railways. Nakul dotes on his mother, who is not only an aadarsh patni, but is also a good daughter-in-law to his cranky grandmother. Nakul, in his mid-twenties is seeing a colleague Renee (Sanya Malhotra), who lives in an upscale Delhi society with a snooty mom (Sheeba Chaddha). Everything goes normal for the Kaushiks, until thrilling news breaks out in the family.
A night of passion gives rise to an unwanted pregnancy between the senior couple and that leaves Nakul horribly red-faced. Priyamvada’s ‘good news’ spreads like wild fire in the society and tongues begin wagging in the middle-class Delhi colony, which puts off Nakul. The closely-knit Kaushiks slowly start to drift apart due to the arrival of a nanha mehmaan in the family. But that is not what bothers Nakul more. The news of his mother’s pregnancy comes up just when he is about to pop the question to his ladylove Renee.
While Renee has no qualms getting married into a family like the Kaushiks, her snobbish mother does not want the daughter to wed in a family that is nothing short of a circus. It is now time for Nakul to decide a way out, before the new member arrives and wreaks havoc in everyone’s lives.
Director Amit Sharma had given us an all-actioner like ‘Tevar’ before and that did not help the director leave a mark on his audiences. Thankfully, with ‘Badhaai Ho’, he has managed to turn quite a lot of heads. With a touchy subject like geriatric pregnancy and the way the taboo topic is handled not just by the family members but by the society at large, Sharma does a fine job of blending the two together. The dramedy, deftly written by Shantanu Shrivastav, has its own plus points and it goes without saying that the actors have done their best to make the movie more appealing.
Ayushmann Khurrana is excellent. His character’s disdain when he comes to terms with his parents having sex or his gradual acceptance of his middle-aged mother’s pregnancy, Khurrana plays it well. Check out the scene when he confronts Renee’s mom about the news. The scene is very well written. Sanya Malhotra’s sassy girl avatar is fresh and the actor impresses with her act. Out of the senior actors, Surekha Sikri is in her element. The only minus point is her act of a grumpy saas that tends to get over your nerves after a certain point of time. Nonetheless, her dialogues bring on quite the laughs. Gajraj Rao proves his worth, while it is Neena Gupta, who proves that she still has it in her to portray roles that are out of the ordinary. A doting mother to two grown-up boys, a daughter-in-law, who obeys her MIL even in these times, a wife who does not shy away from sharing intimate moments with her husband despite her middle age and a woman who stands her ground when she finds out she is pregnant; Neena Gupta has portrayed all shades with great aplomb.
When a film offers a subject that is not just progressive but also quirky, with a touch of humour, where all the actors shine in their respective roles, there is hardly scope to go into the technicalities. Apart from the situational songs, a watertight editing, a crisp screenplay and an enjoyable story, laced with some saucy dialogues, ‘Badhaai Ho’ is a visual treat.
To put it together, ‘Badhaai Ho’ is an enjoyable ‘family film’, which will keep you entertained with its odd yet sensitive plot.
Eventznu Rating: * * *