Andhadhun Movie Review
A perfect screenplay and story-telling with a mix of music & dark humor, this movie is a great example of how to tell a suspenseful thriller humorously. The plot initially seems straightforward, but as the film goes on, you'll realize that it's more than just a typical thriller. Hold your horses before you're shocked. Cast by Ayushmann Khurrana and Radhika Appte, and Tabu. Directed by Sriram Rhagvan.
The musical instrument of all seasons receives a brand-new foreboding ring in Sriram Raghavan's sneaky, clever thriller AndhaDhun, which pays homage to Vividh Bharti's Chhaya Geet & Doordarshan's Chitrahaar.
The action of AndhaDhun largely takes place in three different locations in Pune: a middle-class bachelor's pad on Prabhat Road, a fancy flat belonging to a former movie star in Magarpatta City, and a well-known bar frequented by the wealthy. A grand piano may be found in each of these places.
The instrument does provide a sumptuous soundtrack for the movie, but the emotions it evokes, emphasizes, or accompanies are purposefully off-kilter to fit the tone of the twisting story.
The story is based on a 2010 French short film by Olivier Treiner called L'accordeur (The Piano Tuner), about a young musician who, after losing the Bernstein Prize, decides to act blind on a whim. The plot hinges on several acts that are either difficult to understand, if not outright impossible, or startlingly abrupt, including the simulated blindness, a cold-blooded murder, cover-ups, and conspiracies gone
The Hindi word andhadhund, which means "indiscriminate," is also punned as "andhaDhun," which translates to "blind melody." But there is no chance in this well-paced and organized criminal drama, which unfolds against an engaging combination of sounds and images. The movie, a real delight for thriller fans who enjoy the genre with a dash of dry humor, is a testament to the director's exceptional narrative abilities and enduring love of Hindi cinema music from the 1970s.
The former quality is demonstrated by the rapid-fire swings Raghavan's story takes. At the same time, the latter is reflected in the wise choice to portray former star Anil Dhawan as a matinee idol whose acting career has since ended.
The songs picturized on the affable man?the orchestral and vocal interludes are snippets from films featuring Dhawan from the early 1970s (Honeymoon, Piya Ka Ghar, Hawas, Annadata)?play an important part in this sharply crafted, wonderfully performed movie. To lessen the shocks caused by the behavior of a group of cold, clinical, ethically dubious people dealing with life-threatening situations, it offers a combination of dark humor, deft wordplay, and an upbeat background soundtrack (composer Amit Trivedi also provides several original songs). The main turning moment of the movie, a murder, encapsulates the delightful dichotomy of the AndhaDhun tone. A red wine bottle falls when a man gets shot as he approaches his own home; the wine is spilled; the liquid combines with the blood and the vivid crimson complex that results in drips across the floor. You have AndhaDhun, a mixture of blood & wine.
At this point, Pooja Ladha Surti's arresting editing style?which she also used when writing the screenplay with Raghavan, Arijit Biswas, and Yogesh Chandekar?is fully in action, as is the style of the filmmaker who keeps his tongue firmly in cheek while giving the deeply flawed and dangerous characters who make up the plot full rein.
AndhaDhun is rife with irony from the onset. What is life? It is the first text card that appears in the movie. The liver determines it. Organs don't enter the picture until late in the drama, giving that first statement new significance. Aside from that, a "blind" guy also performs the song Naina da kya masoor (Why Blame the Eyes?) and has a picture of his idol Kishore Kumar framed and hanging above his piano. Nothing in this world, including living, dying, murdering, seeing, believing, imagining, pretending, or playacting, can be taken for granted. For every stab in the dark, there is a cost.
Even a youngster, who at first seems like a harmless joker, isn't against a little greed and deceit. Such is the mysterious world of Raghavan. Lyricist Jaideep Sahni sums up the struggles of the characters in a single line: "O bhai re dil hain ya gehri khai re..."
The narrative may be summarized as follows: Radhika Apte, the daughter of a bar owner, and Ayushmann Khurrana, a pianist who is "blind," literally "meet by accident." The latter's two-wheeled vehicle topples the former. The woman apologizes excessively before finding out the job of the victim who wasn't hurt. She ends up becoming his girlfriend and inspiration. But their friendship doesn't last long.
The actor, who is beyond his prime, notices the pianist's talent to whip up emotional songs and invites him to come to his house for a private concert. The musician takes the offer since the money is good. The events that take place in the flat where the actor and his second spouse (Tabu) reside put the musician into a spiral.
This is precisely the type of landscape that Raghavan, the creator of Ek Hasina Thi, Johnny Gaddar, and Badlapur, thrives in. All kind of deceit is possible for characters who have no qualms about using deception to further their own agendas and in a setting where morality is a highly malleable concept.
On & off the piano, the blind guy engages in games with both himself and other people. The cunning wife of the actor would do anything to obtain her heart's desire. A corrupt police officer is an expert at breaking the law & getting away with it because they are frequently in the wrong place and the wrong time. Raghavan has a good sense of proportion while managing his pawns. He extracts every last drop of their capacity to shock the audience from them.
As the game becomes more complicated, other players enter, including the vehicle's driver, a lottery ticket vendor (Chhaya Kadam), and an unethical doctor (Zakir Hussain). Trickery & treachery are rampant as projection, posturing, and perception build a web of deception that can go only one place: into a moral void from which there is no way out. The filmmaker uses this method to keep the viewer guessing by leaving numerous crucial elements of the action, particularly the bloodier ones.
Ayushmann Khurana, the lead actor, is at his very best; he knocks everything out of the park and then some. Tabu is equally as impressive as she has ever proven as a lady who emanates both charm and lethal intent. In a role that is noticeably less torturous than most of her previous cinematic appearances, Radhika Apte is flawlessly pitch-perfect. Chhaya Kadam, Zakir Hussain, Manav Vij, and Ashwini Kalsekar are among the supporting actors that contribute to the movie.
Keep your ears, eyes, and wits alert as you watch Andhadhun. Your senses will be sharper when you go.