Badhaai Ho Full Movie Review
- Ayushmann Khurrana
- Sanya Malhotra
Badhaai Ho Review: Middle-class families are often riddled with their own set of values and social systems. While pregnancy and motherhood are celebrated, subjects like sex and romance are talked about with a degree of embarrassment and awkwardness. The concept of ‘Badhaai Ho’, where a quintessential Delhi couple; parents to two adult boys (one of them is of marriageable age), get pregnant out of the blue, is just the sort of subject that can ruffle-up feathers within the middle-class family system. Yet, this dramedy, based on children feeling terribly embarrassed by the outcome of their parents’ mid-age romance; with outsiders joining in the criticism, conveys some really progressive thoughts. The situational humour of ‘Badhaai Ho’ is complimented perfectly, by striking performances from Gajraj Rao, Neena Gupta and Ayushmann Khurrana. This film is as funny as it is liberal. The conversation around the fact that romance and passion have nothing to do with age, make this film a stand out for many reasons.
The Kaushiks live in Delhi’s Lodhi colony, a run-of-the-mill setting, where family affairs can tumble into the next home through adjoining balconies and windows. So, when Jeetender and his wife Priyamvada find out about their unexpected pregnancy, the news spreads like wildfire. Neighbors get curious, but the knee-jerk reactions come from members of the Kaushik household. The two sons are shocked by the fact that their parents still have an active love life (read: sex life), while the grandmom (Surekha Sikri) is appalled by the news, too. Steering clear of clichés and stereotypes, the writing of Shantanu Srivastava and Akshat Ghildial brings in some genuinely likable moments. The way the parents break the news to their family is hilarious. Priyamvada’s colony friends feel happy for her, while her own children are almost left red-faced by the news. The on-screen romance between the parents, replete with 80s and 90s romantic songs playing in the background, is absolutely endearing. The well-crafted dialogues add to the hilarity of the situations.
You don’t expect actors playing ‘mom and dad’ to have as much screen space as the young leads of the film, but director Amit Ravindernath Sharma actually puts the spotlight on senior actors Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta. Their romantic moments are the veritable highlight. Same goes for their performances, too. Neena Gupta is excellent in her portrayal of the unsettled mother. Gajraj Rao’s performance is the best thing about ‘Badhaai Ho’. In fact, he steals every scene that he’s a part of. Just his body language, mannerisms, and expressions are enough to make you laugh out loud. Not to be overshadowed, Ayushmann, too, is in top form, playing the son who feels the brunt of the social pressure. So much so, that his relationship with his girlfriend, Reene (Sanya Malhotra) gets affected, too. Surekha Sikri, who plays the dadi, deserves a special mention. She’s old-fashioned for various reasons, but when it comes to taking up for her bahu with a baby bump, she unabashedly tells the rest of the family that it’s admirable for couples to be in love and have “sexy” (meaning sex) at this age. Sanya Malhotra, who plays the girl with the modern outlook, breezes through her role.
‘Badhaai Ho’, much like its subject, puts a fantastic new spin on the usual. In a new-age rom-com, you’d expect Ayushmann and Sanya’s love story to take center stage, but when you see the middle-aged parents blush with romance, the entertainment really becomes novel. The music by Tanishk Bagchi, Rochak Kohli, and JAM8 is top-grade, too. Tracks like ‘Badhaiyaan Tenu’, ‘Naina Na Jodeen’ and ‘Sajan Bade Senti’ fit the mood perfectly. The film engages thoroughly, while still making a social statement. Even though the story has a limited scope, the detailed writing, the finesse of Sharma’s direction and some unforgettable performances, make this film an absolute winner.
Set in a modest neighbourhood in Delhi, this one takes us into the mundane lives of the Kaushiks. The patriarch (Gajraj Rao), a ticket checker with the railways, seems a cookie-cutter type — he dotes on his wife (Neena Gupta) and empathises with his perennially-grumbling amma (the inimitable Surekha Sikri) who lashes out at almost anyone in sight with her acid tongue. The Kaushik clan also includes his sons, Nakul (Ayushmann Khurrana) and his younger teenage brother Gullar. The film picks up pace when a certain development comes to light — apparently, a “chota mehmaan” is on its way and the 50-something is slated to become a daddy for the third time. His amma’s first reaction: “Time kahan se mil gaya tujh ko?” Struggling to process the news, Nakul and his brother are fraught by the impending humiliation that would follow. “Tujhe apna kamra chahiye tha! Kuch din aur mummy daddy ke beech mein nahin so sakta tha?” Nakul pins the blame on his sibling.
A film based on such a micro issue naturally has limited scope. One would imagine that once the initial shock and embarrassment from the unexpected event fades, there would be little to go by. But this one trudges along by leaning on a parallel track — Nakul’s relationship with his colleague Renee (Sanya Malhotra) and his attempts to impress her society doyenne mum (Sheeba Chaddha) which give legs to the story. Badhaai Ho also hits emotional peaks when the sons accept the situation at hand — and in time, even begin to acknowledge and appreciate their role in the whole business.
Khurrana has often landed parts where his characters have inevitably endured debilitating situations. From a man who makes a living donating his sperm (Vicky Donor) to one who suffers from erectile dysfunction (Shubh Mangal Saavdhan), Khurrana has played them all. His risky choices have helped him carve a distinct brand for himself — an adventurous actor willing to experiment and test his skills in projects most wouldn’t even consider. But this one delivers for Rao’s muddled expressions that straddle complex emotions such as fear, shame, lust, restrain and unbridled thrill. As his character’s gaze flickers and he’s unable to lock eyes with his wards during the big reveal, his unease translates across the screen. Even Gupta’s docile bahu packs a punch — managing to convert shame and self-loathing into comedy through her performance. Malhotra has been largely wasted here, even while she carves her Renee as a strong-willed and opinionated female and Sikri positions her amma as an unfiltered geriatric who speaks her mind and is an onscreen delight.
This one also features a doctor who ignores the confidentiality clause by sharing details of a patient’s struggle with piles with another. And this unassuming scene says more than it actually does about the repressed society the film is set it. It is one where one doesn’t blink before broadcasting highly personal details but perseveres to address one’s most basic urges.
Badhaai Ho Full movie Rating From IMBD – 8.4
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