Written by Manisha Lakhe on October 5, 2018
First, Fab, Fun, Feral,
Then Ye Kahaan Aa Gaye Hum…
A blind piano player, his cat, an ageing has-been Bollywood star, his wife, her lover, and a dark, dark comedy about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This film by Sriram Raghavan has a fabulous first half which makes you want to rate it a notch higher. But in the second half you wonder why the movie gets too clever for its boots, preening about the fact that the director can add more twists at will. Watch because Tabu returns to the big screen once again and proves why she is fabulous. Watch because Ayushmann Khurrana and everyone else balance her talent on the opposite side.
This is not a story for those who want to be politically correct. They’d be horrified to see a visually challenged chap who’s not a nice guy. Remember how everybody rebuked you for sharing a joke about Stevie Wonder swaying his head so much because he cannot see where the mic is? Well, this film takes the political incorrectness to another level. Ayushmann Khurrana is Akash, the blind piano player who makes a living by teaching piano and wants to win a music contest and live in London.
Anil Dhawan, the star of 70s films like Piya Ka Ghar, Chetna, Annadata and cult horror films like Purani Haveli, Aakhri Cheekh plays an ageing star Pramod Sinha who watches his own films at home, promising his young wife a tv series or maybe a film even.
The wife, Simi, of course is the inimitable Tabu, who kills it with the very first dialog,’Crab meat is an aphrodisiac. Don’t ask me to spell aphrodisiac, I can show you what it means…’
Truffaut fans will remember a noir caper with a piano player (Shoot the Piano Player), but you soon forget that comparison when Akash shows up at the star’s home to play the piano on his wedding anniversary.
What follows is a series of marvelous unfortunate events which you watch with horror and a smile, like a complicated domino arrangement falling neatly. There is blood and death and manipulation and brilliant writing. Radhika Apte’s Sophie gets Akash a job at her dad Franco’s restaurant and his music wins him a lot of money. There’s Manav Vij (you saw him in Chauthi Koot), Zakir Hussain and two super talented women: Ashwini Kalsekar and Chhaya Kadam (of ‘Redu’ fame) in the film.
The second half alas goes from the original idea into other things which sort of is clever in itself, but you begin to wonder why have live organ donation as dark humor when Monty Python did the gory years and year ago in their film Meaning Of Life.
It’s fun. It’s different. It’s dark as dark can get. And the performances are all ace. But you begin to say, ‘Oh no, not another twist!’ in the meandering second half. The end? Worth waiting for.
(this review appears on www.nowrunning.com)