'Badhaai Ho' movie review: Family flick that entertains

The makers of the film deserve many 'Badhaai-s' for zero platitudes, exceptions in spite of predictability and creating a joyful watch.

Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Sanya Malhotra, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao, Surekha Sikri

Director: Amit Ravindernath Sharma

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

The last few weeks have been great for Bollywood movie buffs with fine films like Andhadhun, Sui-Dhaaga and horror flick Tumbbad. Now, the latest release, Badhaai Ho, is the centre of the audience's curiosity thanks to its humour, simplicity and an eccentric brave theme.

From the trailer of Badhaai Ho, you will know that it is a story of a couple - Jitender Kaushik (Gajraj Rao), a travelling ticket examiner and his wife Priyamvada (Neena Gupta)- who are expecting a baby late into their 50s. Good news, you say? Nope. Bad news, proclaim their two elder sons- Nakul (Ayushmann Khurrana) and Gullar (Shardul Rana) and along with them mutters the entire society. Jitender's mother (Surekha Sikri) is furious, while their tight-knit neighbourhood in a railway colony is buzzing with the 'unusual' news.

The family fears embarrassment following the pregnancy and the fear materialises almost at every step. While friends and neighbours jeer at the couple, Nakul's friends begin hunting him to pull his leg. It strains Nakul's relationship with his parents and the distance only widens when he refuses to accompany them to a family wedding.

Nakul's girlfriend, Renee (Sanya Malhotra), is the only sane person who looks at his mother's pregnancy as a natural and normal phenomenon during the mayhem. People around the family, including Renee's mother (Sheeba Chadda) repeatedly calls it an embarrassment.

How this embarrassment turns to elation is a journey that Badhaai Ho takes you on. The development of the characters, the rollercoaster of emotions and perceptions will leave you with a fuzzy feeling by the end of the movie. The background score by Abhishek Arora keeps up with the movie's mood and the audience engrossed.

Badhaai Ho handles the theme of elderly-romance gracefully. Amit Ravindernath Sharma steers clear of cliches exceptionally. Not once will a sermon or a speech about how 'love has no age' push itself into the narration. It is simply shown through cute circumstances. The chemistry between Priya and Jitender will leave you with a smile on your face. Though Jitender leaves the decision of continuing with pregnancy to Priya with "Kasht tera, final decision tera,"(This is your trouble, so yours will be the final decision), we see him by her side sharing every bit of her trials. The glances they exchange and the warmth in spite of the confusing situations convince you that age is just a number and that love is beyond it.

Surekha Sikri (Daadi-sa of teleserial 'Balika Vadhu'), is another reason for us to conclude that age is inconsequential. She plays Nakul's grandmom and if there is one showstopper in the movie, it is, without a doubt, Sikri. Her character stands for Priya when she needs it the most and that particular scene ends with happy tears. In fact, it is in that frame where the grandmother speaks gyaan about how natural both love and sex (which she adorably calls 'sexy') are. She leaves the interfering relatives with "Is it not important that a husband and wife love each other?"

Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta are naturals on screen. Gupta's screen presence will move you everytime that she curls into a tear-ball when hurled with ridicule for her pregnancy. Her expressions speak louder than any other character's dialogue throughout the movie. For instance, a scene where Khurrana's Nakul walks into the kitchen to reconcile with his mother, after months of aloofness proves why Neena Gupta is an actor like none other. Her line "Khaana kha liya, beta?" after months of cold conversations with her son could have easily been a cliche, but ends up being stellar.

Ayushmann Khurrana complements his co-stars perfectly. Continuing with the 'Bareilly ki Barfi' charm, Khurrana manages to portray the conflicts that his character faces with ease. Sanya Malhotra is back with a stylish makeover after Pataakha and the debut in Dangal - in both of which she played de-glam roles. 

Badhaai Ho is thoroughly enjoyable thanks to the situational comedy and relatable instances. It subtly highlights the prejudices that are deeply-rooted within people and makes one evaluate their own mentality. The makers of the film deserve many 'Badhaai-s' for zero platitudes, exceptions in spite of predictability and creating a joyful watch. 

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'Badhaai Ho' movie review: Family flick that entertains

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