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Blog posts : "ayushmann khurrana"

Badhaai Ho - Honest Movie Review

[This Movie Review was first posted on Anurag's The Filmy Basti]

You know you are in for a good ride when a movie opens in a middle-class household, with a bickering mother-in-law and subtle humor over daily household chores. In ‘Badhaai Ho’, debutante director Amit Ravindernath Sharma and his writers Shantanu Srivastava, Akshat Ghildial and Jyoti Kapoor create a funny and believable canvas filled with real characters that are stuck in a supposedly embarrassing, yet hilarious situation – when the middle-aged couple of the family get pregnant!

Verdict - "A Delectable Fare!"

A young boy from a middle-class family, Nakul Kaushik (played by Ayushmann Khurrana), has a perfect life. A doting family, an understanding girlfriend and a high-flying career. His life seemingly crumbles down when he discovers his middle-aged parents (played by Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta) are expecting a child, 25 years after he was born! What ensues is hilarious ride of children feeling contempt for their parents and the society adding insult to injury. Adding to their woes is the matriarch of the family, Dadi (played by Surekha Sikri), whose taunts leave you in splits. His colleague and girlfriend, Renee (played by Sanya Malhotra) bears the brunt of this commotion and so does her elite IAS mother (played by Sheeba Chaddha).

Firstly, full points to the art director and costume designers for authentically setting up a typical middle-class household, replete with women of the neighborhood bonding over Tambola after a Satsang, crockery neatly stacked in a glass cupboard and the drawing room doubling up as the room for the granny in the house. The makers do not take time in setting up the theme and quickly get to the point, which reflects in the crisp runtime of the movie as well. Director Amit Sharma beautifully exploits his cinematographer, Sanu Varghese, to create frames that come alive on screen. The congested and tiny house becomes the vibrant epicenter of this hysterical entertainer, only because of the brilliant shots. These frames are further lifted by the witty writing by Akshat Ghildial, where humour is mostly understated. Some of the best examples of the brilliant writing are the hilarious scenes where an awkward Gajraj Rao breaks the news at home and the one where Dadi, played stupendously by Surekha Sikri, rebukes her daughter and elder daughter-in-law at a wedding. Also, it was good to see an organic progression of the story, sans major melodrama. The taboo surrounding an elderly couple conceiving a child, despite having a son of marriageable age, is normalized delicately without being over the top.

As is the case with any such content-driven movies, it is the actors who bring these character to life! Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta are perfectly cast as the embarrassed couple, never letting their characters slip into farcical shame. Ayushmann Khurrana, who has become a flagbearer of sorts for this kind of cinema, is in top form and uses his charm and comic timing in equal measures. Supporting him well in a relatively smaller part is Sanya Malhotra and her mother, Sheeba Chaddha, who provide ample support to the narrative. Surekha Sikri as Dadi, is hilarious and one of the most endearing characters for a granny written in Hindi cinema in recent times. Also, it was fun to watch all the characters speak in chaste western UP dialect, adding another dimension to their characters.

Over the last few years, content-driven stories from the small towns or inspired by the middle-class folks have fancied filmmakers in Bollywood. Badhaai Ho takes a similar route as ‘Shubh Mangal Saavdhan’ and picks a taboo topic. With a similar plot as Steve Martin’s 1995 comedy, ‘Father of the Bride 2’, Badhaai Ho uses a topic perceived as embarrassing and injects comedy in right measures, to create a delectable fare.

My Rating – 3.5/5 | Grade - B+ (A Perefect Weekend Pick!)
-An Honest Movie Review by Anurag Rao (@The Filmy Basti!)

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Andhadhun - Honest Movie Review

[This review was first posted on Anurag's 'The Filmy Basti' Blog]

One of the least touched genres in Indian cinema has been dark comedy. With the evolving tastes of the audience, over the last few years there have been some experiments in this genre, starting with 'Delhi Belly' in 2011. Seven years later, there seems to be a worthy successor in Sriram Raghavan’s dark comedy, Andhadhun.

To sum it up without any spoilers, Andhadhun captures the intertwined lives of a struggling blind pianist, Akash (played by Ayushmann khurrana) and the wife of an aging superstar, Simi Sinha (played by Tabu). A series of unforeseen events unfold, comprising of a couple of murders, deceit and hilarious double-crossing of each other! The narrative is further enhanced by the vibrant supporting cast -  highlighted by a super-cop, Inspector Mahendra (played by Manav Vij), investigating the murders with his own ulterior motives. A bright and young restauranteur, Sofie (played by Radhika Apte), who not only hosts Akash’s gigs at her restaurant but also develops a liking for him. Then there are other quirky members of the cast who stand out in their small roles – a self-obsessed aging superstar, Pramod Sinha (played by Anil Dhawan), the super-cop’s wife who takes pride in her husband eating ’16 ande’, an over-smart kid who keeps a suspicious eye on Akash, a lottery-ticket seller Maushi and her auto-rickshaw driver brother, Murali. Giving away any other link would mean – SPOILERS!

Director Sriram Raghavan, along with his bunch of writers, creates a music filled narrative, that is not dark and gloomy – a trope used frequently in stereotypical dark comedies. I was reminded of last month’s Tamil comic thriller, Kolamavu Kokila (KoKo), which had a similar layering of comedy with the right amounts of thrills. Much like Koko, Andhadhun works for its brilliant dialogues by Sriram Raghavan, Arijit Biswas, Pooja Ladha Surti and Yogesh Chanderkar. The characters get real lines, filled with wry and subtle humor. Unquestionably, Tabu gets some of the best dialogues and scenes, as the multi-layered star-wife Simi, who is trying to find her own way to stardom. In a recent interview, Tabu spoke about her 10 best-performances till date and this one is easily the eleventh one on the list. She gets to display a variety of emotions from a manipulative wife to a heart-broken victim of her circumstances. The writers do not let her layers come off easily, making her the fire-cracking mystery throughout the movie. Every time you think you have figured her out, she does something whacky in the next scene. Oh boy, only an actor of Tabu’s caliber can pull this role off. She is brilliant!

Matching her strong performance is Ayushmann Khurrana, as a blind pianist present at the wrong place at the wrong time. He keeps his ‘blind-act’ understated and displays the vulnerabilities of a visually challenged man with aplomb. His scenes with Simi are pure fun, especially the one where Simi visits him at his home. Also, whether he is blind or not (which is evidently questioned in the trailer as well), is a device the writers cleverly use multiple times to take the story forward and add humor to it. Manav Vij as Inspector Mahendra is funny as the super cop scared of his overbearing wife, played by Ashwini Kalshekar in a small, yet hilarious role. Radhika Apte gets a less meaty role, but thankfully gets rid of her meme-worthy worried and forlorn look. She is chirpy and adds to the chaos. The casting director deserves due credits for picking up the rest of the actors who fit the bill perfectly in their respective characters. Also, Amit Trivedi’s music is praiseworthy for adding to the drama and thrills. He extensively uses chords and piano, sometimes become a bit too long, but delivers musical pieces according to the mood of the scene. After Manmarziyaan, another well composed soundtrack by him.

The movie is not completely without flaws. While it keeps you invested, the pace could have been a bit faster. The choice of using long shots and a few long-drawn sequences could have resulted in the movie seem a little taxing, especially in the first half. Thankfully, the second half sees a much faster and twists-filled narrative, that pulls you back into the game.

Like most movies of its genre, Andhadhun may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But the dry humor, engaging screenplay, superlative performances and a delightful Tabu deserve your two hours this weekend!

My Rating – 3.5/5 | Grade - B+ (A Perefect Weekend Pick!)
-An Honest Movie Review by Anurag Rao (@The Filmy Basti!)

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Ayushmann Khurrana's Upcoming Thriller Film Gets an Official Title!

From 'Vicky Donor' to 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha' and 'Shubh Mangal Saavdhaan', Ayushmann Khurrana is on a roll doing unorthodox films and scoring box-office hits. After experimenting with family subjects, Ayushmann will now be seen in a thriller film directed by the prolific Sriram Raghavan ('Badlapur' fame) as the actor will essay the role of a blind piano player.

Till now, the film had a working title but now we hear that the filmmaker has opted for 'Let’s Shoot The Piano Way' as the official title. Also starring Tabu as the female lead, the film is being produced by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Matchbox Pictures collectively.

Earlier, Ayushmann Khurrana had talked about the film and said the following: “This is the first film in which I’m doing some very realistic action and it has been a great experience for me. I’m loving the rush of doing these sequences. They are extremely real. The highlight has to be me jumping off from the first floor of the building without a harness or any protection on the ground. I did the shot in just one take and thankfully I didn’t get hurt! I’m looking forward to pulling off the other action sequences in the film. It’s going to be a good high,” he said.

Apart from this, Ayushmann Khurrana recently wrapped up 'Badhaai Ho' starring Sanya Malhotra as the female lead and the film will release later this year.

A Movie News Report by Team JFMF | Website's Twitter Handle - @JustMovieFreaks

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Bareilly Ki Barfi & Shubh Mangal Savdhan - Movie Reviews

Ayushmann Khurrana has been the success story of Bollywood for the past one month, his latest two films Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Savdhan were surprisingly commercially successful at the box-office and this proves and restores the faith that smaller films with low-budget can and will be successful at the box-office when delivered with an entertaining premise and enjoyable acting performances. 

Now, I know that it's been a while since the movies were released. So I'm gonna go ahead do a doubleheader, give my overall thoughts on both the films and see how this format pans out!

Bareilly Ki Barfi Overall Thoughts: 

Directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, I was quite frankly skeptical going into this movie, I heard mixed reactions about it, few people liked it and few didn't. So, my expectations were pretty low when I walked into the movie theatre. And to my surprise, I found myself enjoying the film from the get-go. Although, the film did not have the finest written screenplays that had few pacing issues here and there. The storyline was compelling/entertaining enough to keep me interested. The comedic sequences were on point, the relationship between the characters was well-developed and the overall performances were fun to watch. But, the highlight of the film has to be Rajkummar Rao and his performance as an innocent and dapper looking dude who kept stealing the show every time he's on-screen especially during the second half. Overall, Bareilly Ki Barfi often had few hiccups but it's delightful enough for you to give it a shot!

My Rating - 3.25/5 | Featured In Our "Top 5 Best Bollywood Movies of 2017" List - Click Here

Shubh Mangal Savdhan Overall Thoughts:

Directed by R.S. Prasanna, Shubh Mangal Savdhan is the most trending movie of 2017 and the box office results ultimately tell the story, cause they're enormous. Set in New Delhi, the film is an official remake of a Tamil film 'Kalyana Samayal Saadham' and the storyline is about a soon-to-be-married couple Mudit and Sugandha and their attempt to overcome many disputes especially Mudit's sex-related issue. Now, the comedic elements in this film were amazing, the jokes were on-point and the film was a laugh riot throughout its runtime. But, the storyline of the film quickly faded out and became lackluster, at that point although it's entertaining, it reached an alarming level and felt that it's stretched-out too far. The performances were great, the chemistry between Ayushmann and Bhumi Pednekar worked really well and they're both entertaining to watch. Overall, SMS is a feel-good film with a lot of laughs that will keep you entertained and is also worth a shot!

My Rating - 3/5 | -By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Dum Lage Ke Haisha - Movie Review

Reviving the glorious days from the 90's, remember the troublesome two tape cassette recorders and the mighty VHS tapes we used? No matter how funny those things look when you compare them to the contemporary improved gadgets, we can't really regret the fact, that we still love our early days.  

Subsequent to that, Director Sharath Katariya, takes you back to the memory lane to those early days and narrates you a sublime love story with an authentic vibe which is very relatable to every person in some aspect.

With an ingenuous and a half-witted attitude, Prem (Ayushmann) marries Sandhya (Bhumi), a bold and a conceited character in an unpleasant and a timid situation where Prem is really unsure about him marrying Sandhya who was slightly unattractive with her looks. Will their married life prevail?

It's the little things that matter! Katariya's screenplay is the main aspect of the movie, all the petite laughs that he tried to deliver from the cast was amusing to watch. Keeping up with his notable work, he also made every character in the movie relatable as an real person in our daily lives and at the same time it keeps you engaged with a tender feeling and makes the movie a pleasant watch.

But the movie falls flat when it comes to the second half of the movie, things get a little grim and in the process of progressing the storyline leisurely, it felt a little convoluted with its approach and definitely missed a slightly better finale.

Following a disastrous movie (Hawaizaada) from this year, Ayushmann Khuranna's performance felt a little refreshing, he always attempts to do distinctive characters with a distant subject and I always do respect him for a choosing an alternative path. In this movie, he carried his character amazingly making him believable as a legit naïve person.

Bhumi Pednekar completely gave a staggering performance and her bold character felt appropriate to her, and I never really felt that I'm watching a newcomer in the movie.

Counting out the best aspects of the movie, Dum Lage Ke Haisha is an easy, delightful experience where you can just have a break in your busy life and watch a well-made movie and you'll end up with no regrets but with a refreshing feeling that you can take in.

My Rating - 3.25/5
Grade - B (Entertaining! With noticeable flaws)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Hawaizaada - Movie Review

Verdict - "A failed experiment both critically and commercially."

More often than not, what do you usually envision from a biopic? Inspiration? Courage? or Creativity? A life story discloses numerous things that we're not aware of a noble personality and motivates us in several ways, but in the case of Hawaizaada which spotlights the story of Shivkar Bapuji Talpade who constructed the first aircraft, things are different. In conclusion, did it egress as a movie that the nation is proud about? I would say no!

After being abandoned by his family members, Shiv (Ayushmann), a gifted and an intellectual teenager reaps the attention of Shastri (Mithun Chakraborty), an inexplicable researcher who fantasizes about building an aircraft, as they both pair up and continue to formulate creative things like never before.

Perplexity is the main drawback of this movie and we don't really comprehend to what it's aimed for. And at long last, due to the busy screenplay, we'll not be concerned about anything happening on-screen as the main perspectives are an absolute fiasco including love, inspiration and hard work.

But on a brighter note, few technical aspects of the movie were quite remarkable. Every frame in the movie was crafted beautifully with a very precise detail when it comes to the shade and luminosity of every object. And I really do appreciate Vibhur Puri's intent to make an engaging movie with few incredible camera shots and well-written dialogues, but the story and screenplay completely ruined the movie.

Ayushmann Khurrana delivers it every time he's on-screen and his diversified personality helps him a lot. He was phenomenal in the movie, but I didn't really pay any attention to his character and that's due to the substandard writing which also messed up the other characters in the movie counting Pallavi Shrada and Mithun Chakraborty.

In conclusion, Hawaizaada is an experiment that didn't succeed in any terms and will inevitably fail both critically and commercially. This is a type of movie that you want to love and share it with your friends but ultimately, you'll end up with anger and hatred. As I stated earlier, they're few appreciative aspects which are worth mentioning, but I don't really recommend watching this movie especially in a theater.

My Rating - 2/5
Grade - C (Meh! Probably a rental)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Bewakoofiyaan - Movie Review

Verdict - “A pointless entertainer which was unremarkable.”

Mohit Chadhdha (Ayushmann Khurrana) and Mayera (Sonam Kapoor) are a jovial yet sympathetic pair with an ongoing relationship for two years. With an upgrade in his occupation, Mohit proposes Mayera for marriage and she cheerfully accepts.

Knowing that Mayera's father VK Sehgal (Rishi Kapoor) is a giant obstacle in their relationship, Mohit tries to persuade and impress him in the best way possible and often diminishes himself in every attempt. Eventually Mohit gets dismissed from his job and things get complicated even more with an inaccurate destination.

I'm a bit cynical after watching the initial promos of the film, the story looked a bit generic and dull for the most part and sadly the movie also doesn't concede anything novel other than that.

Above all, I can state it as a two faced movie. It dispenses pointless entertainment and compacts with both reality and unreality factors.

The uncertainity of the writer Habib Faisal is an upsetting factor of the film, trying to add diverting fillers in an insipid story ruined the movie predominantly. The climax is forseeable and we've been put into a perplexing ride to reach the main target.

Director, Nupur Asthana must adhere to the given script and she does an okay job with it. The production value of the movie was quite appealing and well utilized. Neha Parti Martiyani's cinematograpy and Raghu Dixit's music assisted the movie on a satisfactory note.

Ayushmann Khuranna somehow plays his character well but it's completely unmemorable. Sonam Kapoor's character as a supportive caring girlfriend was likable but as I previously stated, they are generic.

Rishi Kapoor is absolutely delightful to watch and his character was the imposing aspect of the whole movie. His dominating persona and the amusing humour was completely believable and engaging.

Overall, Bewakoofiyaan is not a storyteller, it holds with a stale storyline and tries to spread out into few confusing ways which are forgettable after fifteen minutes. It tries to deliver the amusement which may sporadically appeal you. Not a definite watch, but if you're enthusiastic, go for it.

My Rating - 2.5/5
Grade - C+ (It deserves your attention for a while!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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