Director: Sriram Raghavan
Cast: Tabu, Ayushmann Khurrana, Radhika Apte, Zakhir Hussain, Ashwini Kalsekar, Manav Vij,
Chaya Kadam, Anil Dhawan, and Gopal K. Singh
Director Sriram Raghavan’s Andhadhun is a taut, skilful, and surgically effective murder mystery. It is the story of a man who finds himself trapped in a surrealistic nightmare.
Paying tribute to yesteryear’s musical programmes Chitrahaar and Chayageet, the story’s setup is more entertaining than the payoff; as Alfred Hitchcock observed, suspense plays better than action and the film delivers, right up till the final moment.
For most of its length, Andhadhun functions so efficiently, that we put the cause and its effects on hold and go with the action. Set in Pune, the plot, despite being predictable at times, unravels like a page-turning novel with twists at every junction as the thrill is in its suspense.
The characters are interesting and astutely crafted. As a victim of circumstances, Ayushmann Khurrana and Tabu, are both convincing. Tabu, as the dogged and ruthless Simi, in a noire avatar is a delight to watch. Hers is a character that has never been witnessed on the Indian screen before.
Ayushmann hits the bulls-eye as Akash, the blind music enthusiast trying to concentrate and be focused in order to get some inspiration to create good music. You don’t empathise with him when he gets roped into the murder of Pramod Sinha, an acquaintance who he meets at Franco’s, an upscale restaurant, where he plays the piano. Instead, you gape at the screen with your jaws wide apart, keen to know what’s next.
Anil Dhawan as the faded star Pramod Sinha, who is married to a much younger Simi, is a bit pigeon-holed and their “third wedding anniversary surprise” is a bit predictable.
Radhika Apte as Akash’s love interest Sophie delivers efficiently with a very obligatory performance.
With ace production qualities, the film is astutely mounted. Music is an integral part of the narrative and old songs mesh seamlessly with it. However, of the original track, the song, ‘Oh Bhai re’, sounds abrupt, forced, and an aberration in the narrative. – Troy Ribeiro for IANS