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Badhaai Ho (Hindi Movie)
Film: Badhaai Ho (Comedy-Drama)
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Gajraj Rao, Neena Gupta, Surekha Sikri and Sanya Malhotra
Direction: Amit Ravindernath Sharma
Written by: Shantanu Srivastava and Akshat Ghidial
Duration: 2 hours, 05 minutes
Language: Hindi (U/A)
Critic’s Rating: 3.5/5

Nakul (Ayushmann Khurrana) is embarrassed and even a little annoyed with his parents because they are about to have a baby in their late 50s. In other words, just when he is thinking of settling down with Reene (Sanya Malhotra), his parents — Jitendra (Gajraj Rao) and Priyamvadha (Neena Gupta) throw a bomb at him. They tell him that he should get ready to welcome a sibling.

Nakul stops himself from getting intimate with his girlfriend Reene, almost “just when it is about to happen” because he suddenly remembers that his 50-plus mother is pregnant. “Yeh bhi koi mummy-daddy ki karne ki cheez hai?” he asks indignantly. In other words, the accepted norm for all of us with middle-class values, in middle-class homes is that parents don’t have sex after their children are grown. At least this is the thought we draw comfort from.

Built on this premise, Badhaai Ho, gives us a simple, funny and emotional account of all the things that one uncalled for pregnancy brings into the lives of the Kaushiks – a Delhi-based close-knit family of five; a mother, father, two sons and a dadi (Surekha Sikri) – who can weather most storms together despite having to fight the usual everyday mundane battles.

The awkward moments that follow after Priyamvada tells her sons Nakul and Gullar (Shardul Rana) that she is about to have a baby, is given such a hilarious take by writers Shantanu Srivastava and Akshat Ghidial that you are left in splits through the first half. Nakul and Gullar's annoyance with their parents for being “so irresponsible” and putting the whole family through a socially-embarrassing time because they couldn’t keep their hands to themselves is treated beautifully. Simultaneously, the script shows you the other interpersonal equations between grandmom and grandsons, saas and bahu, pesky schoolmates and curious neighbours, so on and so forth.

The second half leans on a bit of melodrama and since the pregnancy track is not enough to cover the length of the film, it detours to focus on other aspects of a typical Indian-family drama, with the focus on us neglecting our duties towards our elders and other societal hypocrisies. This half brings a lot of tears to your eyes but it is correctly balanced with the right emotional spiel and the occasional lighted-hearted spin.

Unlike most movies, wherein actors essaying parents have a limited screentime, Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao are in focus in this novel and progressive story. Moreover, their romantic moments have been captured interestingly too. The performances are first-rate. Gajraj leads, followed by a superlative Ayushmann. You wonder why Neena Gupta kept herself hidden for so long because she is a delight to watch. As for Surekha Sekhri, well, she is feisty and first-rate. Even Shardul as Gullar complements.

As for Sanya, her Reene shows spunk and restraint in equal measure. Also, she looks so pretty unlike in Pataakha, where she was covered in mud and grime. Sheeba Chaddha as Reene’s wealthy, high-society queen mum is also impressive.

Amit Ravinderanath Sharma, who shot to fame with his Google ad a few moons ago and sank with his first Hindi film, Tevar (2015) is totally in command here. Aided by good writing and great performances, he clearly indicates that he can masterfully fix a human drama in a tight, two-hour frame and give the audience a film to remember.

Just go for it!

Source: dnaindia.com

Badhaai Ho Official Trailer | Ayushmann Khurrana- Sanya Malhotra | Director Amit Sharma | 19th Oct