There’s no denying that comedy is one of the hardest genres to get right, but when it does, it leaves a great impact. If not forever then definitely for a long time. Amit Sharma’s Badhaai Ho is definitely one such comedy. It may run its course from being seriously funny to gravely silly but it’s pretty incredible how it still manages to make you laugh consistently.
A middle-aged man Jeetender Kaushik (Gajraj Rao), who works as a TTE in Indian railways, freaks out when he learns that his wife Priyamvada (Neena Gupta) is expecting. Scared of being judged in his social circle, Jeetender suggests an abortion but his wife calls it a sin. The two eventually decide to have the baby. Soon enough, the entire family knows about this untimely pregnancy.
Their elder son Nakul (Ayushmann Khurrana) is embarrassed, so much so that he starts ignoring his girlfriend Renee (Sanya Malhotra) who also happens to work with him in the same office. He stops hanging out with his friends in fear of being insulted. In short, he doesn’t know how to deal with this.
Jeetender’s mother, played by Surekha Sikri, is equally embarrassed and puts all blame on Priyamvada. She thinks it’s a result of Priyamvada’s excessive interest in staying tip-top all the time. Things get even more absurd as the news spread among their relatives.
Director Amit Sharma astutely allows his cast to play fast and loose with Shanatanu Srivastava, Akshat Ghildial and Jyoti Kapoor’s script with much of the comedy coming from Surekha Sikri, who is truly phenomenal as Dadi. The scene in which she mumbles to herself, “government naukri kare hai, government ki hi baat na suni; Hum do humare do” is a pure brilliance and stands as one of the funniest sequences in the film.The whole movie is, of course, held together by Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta’s earnest performances, but many of the amusing scenes, without a doubt, come from Sikri. Having said that, Gupta definitely opts for a bold choice that pays off. She shows the vulnerabilities of her character with so much conviction that it’s hard to take your eyes off her. Rao only adds polish to their great act. The best part about Badhaai Ho is that not one person ever looks as though they are “trying” to be funny.
Ayushmann Khuranna yet again plays Ayushmann on screen, you know what I mean. Simple middle class guy with mild manners and a charming smile. He is the same young Delhi boy of Vicky Donor who is trying to impress his girlfriend’s mother in order to get married to her. He doesn’t disappoint but doesn’t stand out either. It is also because of the writing that wants everyone to take the spotlight and is definitely not a hero-driven concept.
Sanya Malhotra, on the other hand, does justice to her role of Renee, a modern woman contemplating her feelings for her boyfriend when he abruptly disappears from her life. Her breezy presence adds a distinct flavour to the film.
Badhaai Ho is a smart and well thought-out movie which slightly suffers from unrequired melodrama in the second half, but overall it’s as entertaining as you wanted it to be. Not a film to miss.