Andhadhun is inspired by a French short film called L’accordeur (The Piano Tuner). The film followed the adventures of Adrien (Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet), a piano tuner who pretends to be blind in order to get more work.
Though his only motive is to make more money, Adrien inadvertently ends up seeing a side of people no one else sees. This, more of less, is the premise of Andhadhun but Sriram Raghavan has turned it around into a delightfully dark comedy which kind of grabs you by the jugular in the first frame itself and refuses to let go.
The French film is peppered with numerous twists and turns which lent it a feverish intensity and such is the case with Andhadhun as well. Akash (Ayushmann Khurrana) is a talented pianist who pretends to be blind because he feels it’ll help enhance his craft. A faded yesteryears star Pramod Sinha (Anil Dhawan), is enamoured by his talent and invites him over for a private performance on the occasion of his anniversary, meaning it to be as a surprise for his much younger wife, Simi (Tabu).
Unfortunately for everyone involved, Pramod has been killed by Simi’s paramour, (played by Manav Vij) and the ‘blind’ piano player witnesses the duo disposing off the body. He soon finds that his handicap isn”t going to help him flee the clutches of the criminals after all. Andhadhun will remind viewers of American pulp movies, where every character is bent and serves his or her own agendas.
The film offers homage to the Hindi film music of the 70’s as well, what with Ayushmann playing many hit tunes of the era on his piano. Scenes from Anil Dhawan”s films are also shown in snatches, and the fiction of Promod Sinha is ably maintained. The film has been shot mostly in and around Pune and the bylanes of the city become a minor character in it. The production design and cinematography is to be lauded for this feat.
Tabu is the centre point of this meandering drama. She’s been described as Lady Macbeth by a character but that’s just one facet of her role. She plays a woman who isn’t completely all there. She starts off as a bored housewife looking for a bit of fun on the side and ends as an amoral, unhinged being who nevertheless retains our sympathy. We watch her antics with morbid fascination, knowing that we’re going to be surprised at every turn. Her quicksilver expressions and impeccable timing make Tabu a delight to watch.
Radhika Apte is a fine actor and one wonders why she said yes to her minor role in the film. She does her bits with finesse but it’s just not her film. After a while, she’s not required in the narrative at all. This easing off is a kind of disservice to an actor of her calibre. Ayushmann Khurrana too is a steal as the piano player with a kink. His switches from being blind to being normal are spot on and later, his helplessness and rage at being subjected to the world’s unfairness is consistent too.
He took lessons in piano playing for the role and that too looks genuine. He and Tabu share the ease of longtime collaborators in their scenes together and their histrionics is the glue holding up the film’s convoluted plot. Zakir Hussain’s character, that of a corrupt doctor plagued by demands of his family, adds an extra dose of spice to the proceedings. Watch Andhadhun for it’s zig zag storyline and spot on acting by the entire cast. It’ll one of those mysteries which you’ll like to go back to despite knowing the ending.
Movie review (Hindi)
Movie Name: Andhadhun
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Director: Sriram Raghavan
Writer: Sriram Raghavan, Hemanth M Rao, Pooja Ladha Surti, Arijit Biswas, Yogesh Chandekar
Release Date: October 5, 2018
IMDb rating: 8.2/10 Personal rating: 9/10
Written by: Ahnaf Al Nasif
Sylhet Cadet College