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Movie Reviews

Posted at: Oct 5, 2018, 5:50 PM; last updated: Oct 5, 2018, 10:41 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW: ANDHADHUN

More than meets the eye


Film: Andhadhun

  • Director: Sriram Raghavan
  • Cast: Tabu, Ayushmann Khurrana, Radhika Apte, Anil Dhawan, Manav Vij and Zakir Hussain
More than meets the eye
A still from Andhadhun

Nonika Singh

When a thriller bares its two most important cards early on in the film, you can’t help but wonder how is the director going to sustain the momentum from here on. Surprise, surprise, the director has you on tenterhooks all the way. Even though we know the lead protagonist Akash (Ayushmann Khurrana) is only pretending to be blind and that he has unwittingly become a witness to a murder... Witness, but how can a blind man be an eyewitness? Thus begins the engaging cat and mouse game in which director Sriram Raghvan is invariably one step ahead of us.

Will Akash get away; more importantly will the murderers get away… till the intermission we are suspended in disbelief, an atmosphere of suspense, intrigue and more. Thereafter the doctor angle and organ racket seem to have been superimposed. But didn’t he offer a clue at the very onset? Raghvan never loses us and sets his bait just right for us to swallow, if not digest. The narrative moves with twists and turns,  remains suspenseful and we on the edge are all ears and eyes.

Infidelity has spawned many a murder and here too the thesis is the same. What makes the crime intriguing is how we are hoodwinked. There is no whodunit; we already know the prime suspects who are usual as well as unusual. With Tabu as Simmi in the saddle, wickedness acquires a new hue and it’s called delectableness. Several shades of her character make her as well as the plot deliciously riveting. When she tells her lover she is no serial killer you laugh out loud. Few minutes into the film and her comments on crab as an aphrodisiac and her unhinged playful act is a dead giveaway of how something sinister is on its way. Akash’s character as a pianist, who can see but whom the world sees as blind, is equally interesting. Caught in the crossfire, not of his making though, Ayushman Khurrana is perfect as the pianist. His fingers move as deftly on the piano as his blind man’s act. Anil Dhawan as a loving husband playing a ‘has been’ star of yesteryear with clips from his own films playing out is charming in a short key part. Radhika Apte and Manav Vij fit the bill and there is no exaggerated demonising of Vij’s cop part.

No doubt it’s a bunch of mean men and scheming women out there. Yet, there is much that makes you smirk and even smile. Of course, like all of Raghvan’s films it’s the end that gets you the biggest chuckle really. Only unlike his previous outing Badlapur, which was dark and brooding, Andhadhun is more grey than black with swathes of darker tones of grey.

As Raghvan reserves the best for the climax, he offers closure yet keeps your mind ticking. Juxtaposing poetic justice with man delivered justice; it makes you think as much as it keeps you enticed. Is justice blind or playacting to be… Akash’s eyesight, which he gains and loses in alternate if not quick succession, holds the key. Certainly what happens next keeps the tempo and interest going. But there is more to this thriller than meets the eye.

At one level eyesight is a metaphor and you can see what you choose to. Raghvan takes you through the web of his making with masterful play as he plays you at several levels. To be or not to be, ah the ultimate Shakespearean dilemma, makes this thriller both unique and a cut above the rest. To see or not to see isn’t a dilemma however. Go for it. It’s not just the title Andhadhun derived from Hindi word andhadhund that is tantalising; the film is a tease. Get tickled by this blind man’s game.


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