Sriram Raghavan’s Andhadhun is a great mix of humor and thrill with a great level of unpredictability making it the perfect fun movie for us to watch. Actors who have worked with Mr. Raghavan have always mentioned that Sriram is always ahead of his audience and Andhadhun is a great example of that statement as we are frequently getting surprised. With him bringing out the best from his stellar cast, Andhadhun is a terrifically balanced black comedy thriller.
Akash is a blind man who is a pianist. He earns a living by giving music tuitions and also by doing performances at clubs. Bollywood actor Pramod Sinha happens to see his performance and books him for a private session for him and his wife Simi. But that private music session eventually ends up in a clumsy scenario. Akash wanted to make use of his blindness to evade all the troubles, but it wasn’t smooth and Andhadhun shows us the tough days through which Akash went through.
Now anyone who has seen the trailer would be curious to know whether Akash is blind or not. Well, Sriram Raghavan knows exactly how to manipulate you and the movie plays with that aspect of the character so smartly that even at the end of the movie, the question of whether he was or blind or not will sort of bother you. It is not like the movie couldn’t give a proper explanation. There is an ample scope for various interpretations and once the DVD gets released we might end up seeing people doing a detailed study on this topic. What I liked the most about Andhadhun is the way it breaks the expected trajectory at the beginning itself and then constructs a narrative that looks practical, grey and yet with scope for a black comedy level humor. The movie is consistently a mix of humor, suspense and thrill and that is one combination you won’t get in every film.
Ayushman Khurrana gets a character that gives him an opportunity to present himself as a better actor. There are shades in this movie that were perhaps not portrayed by him on screen before. Sriram Raghavan manages to utilize Ayushman’s safe zone and then he offers space for him to challenge himself as an actor. Tabu as the crooked yet peculiar Simi has played that role with conviction. The cunningness and the vulnerable side of the character were performed very smartly by the actress. Even though the screen time is relatively less, omnipresent Radhika Apte performs nicely as Sofie. Manav Vij was really impressive as the inspector. Sriram Raghavan’s favorite Zakir Hussain appears as Dr. Swami.
Sriram Raghavan manages to maintain the quirky vibe of the script during the entire movie. Even on certain areas where we would feel the movie might become a bit dark or dull, he places a sensible twist or a witty coincidence. Those twists aren’t the Abbas Mustan level ones which insult our intelligence. The detailing given in scenes is also pretty impressive. The interval confrontation scene was one gem where we get to see the way Simi tests Akash. By constantly throwing sensible detours from the expected path, Andhadhun never has a dull moment to its credit. The climax isn’t trying to convince us about how exactly it all happened. But the last minute whack of the walking stick explains a lot about the musician’s mystery. The cinematography was really good giving us the impact of the moments in a unique way. There is an entire murder cover-up happening while the piano is getting played and the camera wasn’t at all moving. The music was good and the cuts were precise.
Andhadhun is a unique mix of multiple genres. It is ultimately that hero-centric thriller. But to reach that point it has used the setup it created very effectively. This edgy black comedy thriller is definitely worth spending your time and money.
Andhadhun is ultimately that hero-centric thriller. But to reach that point it has used the setup it created very effectively.