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An absolutely absorbing first half written, performed and executed so well that the slightly convoluted and stretched second half cannot mar the experience.Read more
Of course, Ayushman Khurana, Tabu, Radhika Apte make you want to watch their films for themselves. Together they ought to make a compelling watch, at least for the performances. The premise that a blind person might be a murder suspect leaves you asking for more. In a very good way.
Andhadhun releases on 5 October, 2018.
- meeta, a part of the audience
You know who committed the murder. You know why they did it. And it is still a thriller you enjoy. This is over and above the fun you are having a the smartly written lines and plot.
The seemingly casually laid out props however, make you want to see the film again, just in case you missed something.
A bullet ricochets unexpectedly, so does life. How else would you find a pesky, intrusive child as the protagonist’s, Akash (Ayushman Khurana) neighbour? The same protagonist walks on a zebra crossing that a two-wheeler blindly turns into. Now, the rider of this two-wheeler, Sophie (Radhika Apte) is not connected to the rest of the story except that she, introduces Akash to her father who hires Akash in his restaurant as a pianist where a patron calls him for a private show – when the actual story really starts! So what if meanwhile, both the writers and the audience has forgotten about the pesky child and the two-wheeler lady?
Dark humour mixes so well with the thriller in Andhadhun - not as an external gimmick, but as an integral part of the story. And this effect wouldn’t have been possible were both the elements not written well. It is a bit of a let down then, that this is restricted to the first half. The humor dries up and the thrill takes a turn that doesn’t come back to the original story except as a forced effort to have a tidy knot as a climax.
It is only after you have walked out of the theater, still smiling from what transpired in the first half, when you realise that the two sort-of important characters had been short-changed in the second half. Meanwhile, though Andhadhun engages both heart and head.
The brain is ‘in’ because it is a thriller of course, a well-written one at that. And also because the humor is smart even when it is silly. It is dark, very dark. Quick quips on a person without eyesight are just a warm-up for the dark humour that the film carries. There couldn’t be anything be more insensitive than the jokes getting wilder in a thriller where a blind person is being taken advantage of, right? Well, as it turns out, there could be.
And what when ‘karma’ turns its b!^¢%$ self on? Our hearts are still with a guy who took advantage of a situation. We don’t say, “he deserved it!” We are, in fact, rooting for him. Now, if only the situation didn’t take an absurd turn never to return. The weird diversion makes Andhadhun a film that might as well have been two films, one about a blind guy and another about another blind guy. The first film would be a pulp thriller, the second one more like a headless chicken. Even though your heart reaches out for the chicken, you can’t shirk of the fact that the story is getting more and more convoluted by the minute and it has overstayed its welcome.
The film suffers in more ways than one because the writing between the two halves is so disjointed. For instance, the performances seem uneven – not because of the actors. The second half works only because Tabu does a wonderful job of convincing us that she is performing. Very few performances can convince you that the character is acting. Without her carrying the show post-interval though, Andhadhun might have not been half as engaging. It is not that Ayushman Khurana slacks off in the second half, he just has a meatier act to play out in the first half. And unfortunately, for Radhika Apte and for the film, she has little to do in the second half. You almost miss her.
The humor dries up and the thrill takes a turn that doesn’t come back to the original story except as a forced effort to have a tidy knot as a climax.
Despite the jerky writing Andhadhun works because of its quirks, some of which we have come to expect from director, Sriram Raghavan. The smartly sewn in background music that doesn’t bother you even though it is clearly demanding center stage. In fact, it adds to the quirkiness, especially during the pivotal plot point. The sly and not-so-sly film references bring a smile too. The seemingly casually laid out props however, make you want to see the film again, just in case you missed something.
That says it all doesn’t it? If you want to watch a film again to observe what’s going on in the background it has absorbed you in its first telling. Makes you wonder what would have been if the second half were more compelling.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Anna MM Vertticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...If you plan to watch Andhadhun, make sure you arrive early so that you do not miss the prologue or the old-fashioned credits, along with the bizarre statement accompanying them on screen, plus the tribute to Vividh Bharti’s Chhaya Geet and Doordarshan’s Chitrahaar. It all counts, as does every minute, second and milli-second of the unpredictable, crazy ride that follows.... full review
Thumbs up, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, ANDHADHUN is a thriller par excellence. Very rarely does Bollywood deliver a thriller that shocks and stuns you so well. Although the second half does drop, the impact is made and this would surely result in a good word of mouth. Recommended!... full review
Thumbs up, by Tushar P. Joshi, Bollywood Life : ...Andhadhun is right on the top of my list of favourite films of 2018. Sriram Raghavan’s madness and his vision is worth encouraging and his ensemble of actors deserve every possible applaud for their performances.... full review
Thumbs up, by SUPARNA SHARMA, Deccan Chronicle : ...Raghavan lets us know a bit, but then changes the story. Just as we are figuring that one out, he adds a bit of whimsy and then twists it all.... full review
Thumbs up, by Shaheen Irani, Deccan Chronicle : ...The movie is a tribute to many other iconic films and scenes, which Sriram has beautifully placed in the film. The background score of the film, including the piano tunes, keep you gripped to your seats. Just the thrill you experience with the character is enough to know that the movie is truly worth it.... full review
Thumbs up, by Anupama Chopra, Film Companion : ...A rabbit plays a key role. And the soundtrack is superb, including piano riffs of Anil Dhawan’s greatest hits like Yeh Jeevan Hai and Teri Galiyon Mein Na Rakhenge. In fact, Andhadun begins with a dedication to Chhaya Geet and Chitrahaar– film music shows on Doordarshan from the 70s and 80s. You have to be of a certain vintage to appreciate what those shows meant – basically you had me at hello. I’m going with three and a half stars.... full review
Thumbs up, by Devansh Sharma, Filmfare : ...Watch Andhadhun for it’s zig zag storyline and spot on acting by the entire cast. It's one of those mysteries which you'll like to go back to despite knowing the ending...... full review
Thumbs up, Free Press Journal : ...Ace performances from the entire cast – including Ayushmann Khurrana, Tabu, Radhika Apte, Anil Dhawan, Manav Vij, Ashwini Kalsekar, Chaya Kadam, Zakir Hussain etc. make this derivative thriller a must watch!... full review
Thumbs up, by Manjusha Radhakrishnan, Gulf News : ...But for those who love crime novelists James Hardley Chase or David Fincher’s films, then you are likely to savour Andhadhun, a perfect crime story with a killer plot.... full review
Thumbs up, by Raja Sen, Hindustan Times : ...Andhadhun is a raucously good time at the movies — I can’t wait to watch it again tonight — but the highest notes Raghavan hits are the human ones.... full review
Thumbs up, by Samrudhi Ghosh, india today : ...Amit Trivedi's music and Daniel B George's background score amplifies the mood of the film. Andhadhun doffs its hat to Vividh Bharti's Chhaya Geet and Doordarshan's Chitrahaar, and the delightful mix of murder, music, and nostalgia lifts this fast-paced thriller above the pack.... full review
Thumbs up, by Sushant Mehta, india today : ...Finally its Sriram Raghavan's crazy obsession with spooky suspense stories that makes this film a winner. Raghavan's ability to shock an entire cinema hall including the most immovable, emotionless fan coupled with his ability to make the audience laugh during these moments where your heart is in your mouth defines his unique brand of cinema. I'm going with 3 and a half out of 5 for Sriram Raghavan's 'Andhadhun' , a heady cocktail of humour & horror served with top class performances and a great background score. A must watch.... full review
Thumbs up, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...It’s been a while since I’ve had so much twisty fun at the movies. Pro-tip: do not step out, do not look away, and stay right till the end.... full review
Thumbs up, by UDITA JHUNJHUNWALA, Live Mint : ...The black comedy with a macabre veneer is encapsulated in this line of dialogue (and prologue), which makes sense once you watch Andhadhun: “What is life? It all depends on the liver”. The double meaning is deliberate, like everything else in Raghavan’s unmissable movie.... full review
Thumbs up, by Umesh Punwani, MiD DAY : ...All said and done, AndhaDhun is one of the best thrillers to come out of Bollywood. It has been over 12 hours since I’ve watched the film and there still are some scenes which I’m unable to forget. Along with entertaining you, it’ll keep you guessing till the end. Don’t miss this at any cost!... full review
Thumbs up, by Rohit Vats, News18.com : ...AndhaDhun is a slow burner, the more you invest yourself in it, the more you enjoy it. Also, never treat a piano just as another instrument. You never know, it might be plotting against you.... full review
Thumbs up, Outlook India : ...The camera work and editing are flawless. The first scene where the hunter is chasing the hare in a cabbage field is intelligently integrated into the narrative and that is when the brilliance of the Director and his team, hits you.... full review
Thumbs up, by Sreehari Nair, Rediff : ...When he is racing, what Sriram Raghavan masterfully finds are those sub-textual linkages that connect our massy forms of entertainment to life itself. And in doing this, he advances our popular cinema better than anybody around.... full review
Thumbs up, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Andhadhun is completely aware of its intelligence and quick wits mercilessly testing our gullibility while Raghavan leads us to its staggering finish with the finesse of a Mikado champion.... full review
Thumbs up, by SHILPA JAMKHANDIKAR, Reuters : ...Bollywood doesn’t make too many thrillers and when it does, they don’t always measure up. “Andhadhun” ticks all the right boxes. This one should be savoured.... full review
Thumbs up, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...Raghavan’s talent for imagining ordinary people as proficient criminals in the right conditions and his use of locations and sharply etched characters to advance his plot is put to great use in Andhadhun. With a trimmer running length, the movie would have been perfect. Even at its current run-time of 139 minutes, Andhadhun slides into place as smoothly as one of Akash’s piano pieces.... full review
Thumbs up, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...All the darkness comes laced with humour. Raghavan takes you to the edge of the seat with the pulse racing, makes you keep guessing even as you are chuckling. Getting outwitted and taken by surprise was never more entertaining.... full review
Thumbs up, by Renuka Vyavahare, Times of India : ...Open to various interpretations and unpredictable from beginning to end, AndhaDhun is an engaging thriller that keeps you on your toes and leaves you guessing all the way.... full review
Thumbs up, by Rummana, yahoo! India : ...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.... full review
So-So, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...AndhaDhun is subtle in its treatment and the sudden jolts are often, not amplified. And yet, when something as innocuous as a Scream mask sneaks into the frame, it leaves you momentarily paralysed. The jarring use of classical symphonies to magnify the action scenes which transpire in quick succession may be a bit trite though.... full review
So-So, by Manisha Lakhe, Now Running.com : ...A blind piano player, his cat, an ageing has-been Bollywood star, his wife, her lover, and a dark, dark comedy about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This film by Sriram Raghavan has a fabulous first half which makes you want to rate it a notch higher. But in the second half you wonder why the movie gets too clever for its boots, preening about the fact that the director can add more twists at will. Watch because Tabu returns to the big screen once again and proves why she is fabulous... full review
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