- 24 Jul - 30 Jul, 2021
- 13 Oct - 19 Oct, 2018
What would you get if you put Jamie Foxx’s Ray in a box with Daredevil, Usual Suspects and a couple of Coen Brothers and Quentin Tarantino films? The result would be Sriram Raghavan’s AndhaDhun where the mystery takes too much time to get solved, hence testing the audience’s patience for most of the film, especially in the era of Netflix when you can fast forward anytime. Yes, the movie has its moments but one doesn’t live on moments; you have to go home satisfied which is hardly the case in Raghavan’s films!
The film’s inspired by Olivier Treiner's L'accordeur (The Piano Tuner, 2010) and while the original was 13 minutes long, the Indian film tried to stretch the story and in an attempt to make it look grand, failed. The black comedy revolves around Akash (Ayushmann Khurrana) who is a blind pianist but can ‘see’ things like no one else. He finds himself in a fix when he enters the house of a famous yesteryear movie star Pramod Sinha (Anil Dhawan) who has just been murdered by his wife Simi (Tabu) and her lover Mahendra (Manav Vij) who is revealed to be a police officer. Then there is Sophie (Radhika Apte) who falls in love with Akash after an accident and at whose restaurant he plays the piano to earn money. There is another twist in the story but for that, you will have to watch the film! Does Akash solve the mystery on his own or do the murderers run scot free as if nothing had happened, AndhaDhun will tell you that there is always more to this than meets the eye!
If one calls the movie a Tabu special, one wouldn’t be doing injustice because that’s what it is; as a middle-aged wife of a former film star who is much older to her, she nails the act. Everything about her is perfect and if there is one reason to watch this film, she is it. Ayushmann Khurrana is amazing as the blind pianist but he reminds you of the many blind heroes in Indian films like Shah Rukh Khan’s act in Baadshah, Govinda’s in Haseena Maan Jayegi and others. Radhika Apte is wasted in the role of his muse as any actress could have done that; why waste the rising Netflix star of India in a character that had no presence post interval.
Contrary to popular belief, the 138-minute film is not a classic, especially in the first week of release. It is a wannabe Hollywood thriller that is vague on many occasions, with the director not properly executing what could have been the film’s best scenes. The interval comes at an inappropriate time just like Badlapur while those who had seen his earlier works would have known what was to happen next, if not how. When Johnny Gaddar came out in 2007, it was something not seen before but since then, the audience has matured and the James Headley Chase’s dressing will not save a film that is too long, too boring and has so many twists that you will feel like a twisted madman yourself. As for the songs, you leave out the cinema without remembering any one of them; in fact, the old ones featuring Anil Dhawan are better and when they are played on piano, you feel nostalgic and wonder where those tunes have gone.•