Director: Sriram Raghavan
Starring: Ayushmann Khurrana, Tabu, Radhika Apte, Manav Vij, & Anil Dhawan
Written by: Arijit Biswas, Yogesh Chandekar, Pooja Ladha Surti & Sriram Raghavan
ANDHADHUN is a story of a blind pianist who becomes a witness to a murder. Akash is a blind pianist who lives in Pune. One day he accidentally bumps into Sophie (Radhika Apte) who runs a restaurant with her father. Sophie, who gets impressed with his piano skills hires him to play at her Restaurant; and that marks the beginning of their romantic relationship. There is also a regular customer of the restaurant in the yesteryear actor Pramod Sinha (Anil Dhawan) who is married to Simi (Tabu), his second wife. He is so impressed with Akash that he invites Akash to sing at her wife’s surprise party. Fast forward to the party and we see that Pramod has been murdered and Akash arrives for his performance. What happens ahead forms the rest of the film.
Inspired by a French short film L’Accordeur/The Piano Tuner (2010) by Olivier Treiner, AndhaDhun is a nerve-racking tale of fear, deceit and crime, that keeps you on the edge of your seat as it teases your mind. A murder is committed. Raghavan doesn’t hide the killer from the us; nor the motive. What he does, most ingeniously, is to insert an unexpected character into the situation, and have things unravel from there on. The film is an absolute treat for thriller aficionados who like the genre seasoned with wry wit. The major issue with the film is a lack of a cohesive second hour. The movie is almost perfect to the t in the first hour and somehow post the interval nothing the writers and the director try, sticks to its fullest potential. The movie changes gears completely post interval and is almost like a totally different movie. But even with the change, the movie still holds perfectly in some key sequences in the second half. The climax of the movie is also very well executed and the vagueness in which the filmmaker wanted it to have remains intact.
Technically the film is top notch. Cinematography by K.U. Mohanan and Rajeev Ravi is a visual treat. Their cinematography adds to the thrill of the film. The editing by Pooja Ladha Surti is crisp and constantly keeps you on the edge of your seats. The screenplay is crafted to perfection and it shows on the screen. Music by Amit Trivedi was good and helped to build the tension.
Performance wise all the actors have been impressive. Ayushmann has been a revelation. One of, if not his best performances to date. Tabu has been outstanding as always in this. Radhika in her brief role makes the right impact. Anil Dhawan was brilliant in his portrayal of Pramod. Manav has also given a great performance in the film. Ashwini Kalsekar and Zakir Hussain and others provide exceptional support.
Director Sriram Raghavan shows his seasoned hand in executing a stellar seat of the edge thriller with such finesse.