I never took the entire “Artist pretends to be disabled to experiment and perfect their art” shtick seriously. How is simulate disability going to help you hone your focus? It doesn’t make any logical sense. But maybe some art isn’t meant to be logical. Maybe the creators of art are just mildly insane. Take Ayushman Khurrana’s character in Andhadhun as an example. In a crucial scene, he himself confesses that maybe he’s a bit mad to do the same, that it’s all just an experiment. However, that exercise forms the bedrock of the entire script. While I may have trouble buying this small niggle, the rest of the plot is as tightly scripted as it can be.
Andhadhun is a masterclass in storytelling. Director Sriram Raghavan manages to create a film that balances edge-of-the-seat thriller with heartfelt drama effortlessly. He’s isn’t bothered about setting up explanatory sequences. He doesn’t want to waste time explaining the ABC’s of character motivations. Picture this – you’re watching a series of correlating events, you don’t know where it’s going, you’re surprised and delighted with the progress at every turn, and it all makes sense. The plot moves along, and the audience connects with the bizarre character choices effortlessly – that alone is what makes Andhadhun miles above the rest.
The movie has a stack of colourful characters. It’s impossible to think that anyone can upstage the disabled titular character in their own movie, but Tabu rises above all. Ayushman deserves the applause, but the ultimate accolade goes to the veteran. The rest of the supporting cast have their purposes, which are fulfilled. Manav Vij is brilliant as the brawny, bumbling cop but needlessly conspicuous at times. Don’t guilt-cough twice during the same conversation because it plays out like an ill-fitted caricature.
Andhadhun is all about hitting the right notes at the right time, and just like the titular pianist protegee, it succeeds.
Rating – 4/5