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Review Hindi

Badhaai Ho review: Hilarious, earnest and a complete joy

Release Date: 18 Oct 2018 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 04min

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Suparna Thombare

Director Amit Ravindernath Sharma's film is consistently hilarious because of its heartwarming storytelling and brilliant performances.

In the moment when Neena Gupta is lying in a doctor's clinic, having just discovered that she is pregnant, and her husband enters the room and scans the expressions of his wife, a male physician and a female gynaecologist (one at a time), you know Badhaai Ho is a well-written and hilarious comedy that will warm your heart.

The premise of an older woman from a middle-class family getting pregnant at a time when her eldest son is of marriageable age quite naturally lends itself to both situational comedy and dramatic narrative.

But director Amit Ravindernath Sharma takes a one-line plot and turns it into a full-fledged light-hearted fare, sprinkling it with just the right amount of laughs and emotions to make Badhaai Ho a celebration of the typical Indian middle-class family while mirroring society's double standards.

Modernization of society has made pregnancy in middle age almost taboo: Director Amit Sharma on Badhaai Ho

Nakul (Ayushmann Khurrana) and his brother Gullar are embarrassed by the news of their parents (Gupta and Gajraj Rao) expecting their third child. Nakul runs away from the impending humiliation and judgement of his girlfriend Renee (Sanya Malhotra), neighbours, friends and relatives instead of coming to terms with the situation. How this affects his relationship with Renee makes for a parallel storyline. 

Nakul's grandmother (Surekha Sikri), who doesn't lose any opportunity to taunt her daughter-in-law, is also aghast by this piece of news. 

Sharma's characters navigate their changing relationships, thanks to the new development, and the outlook of various members of society to rediscover their family's bond.

The old-school background score, clever reaction shots, hilarious scene construction and heartwarming characters and their interactions make Badhaai Ho a complete joy.

Writers Akshat Ghildial, Jyoti Kapoor and Shantanu Shrivastava create a film that is in equal parts a laugh riot and a heartwarmer. Credit also goes to the writers for touching upon how we view our parents and people in their forties and beyond as sexless individuals. 

The director fumbles just a little bit with the pace when he is wrapping up Nakul and Renee's love story at the climax, and the laughs are replaced by drama in back-to-back scenes in the end. Yet, the film never loses its joyful spirit.

To top it all, the primary cast and the entourage of supporting characters lift the experience further. It is a joy to watch Gupta front and centre portraying comically a woman dealing with shame and also judgement from her own sons, not to mention society.

Gajraj Rao, playing a ticket-checker in the Northern Railway, is exceptional as the soft-hearted father and a romantic husband. He breaks into broken English on meeting his son's girlfriend and walks around with a proud expression when a relative asks him to offer sex tips to his son, who is having trouble in bed.

And Surekha Sikri's performance as the matriarch who loses her cool at the drop of a hat, going into hilarious rants, is easily among her more memorable ones.

Ayushmann Khurrana, who has often played the flawed good guy caught in quirky situations, is in good form once again. Malhotra portrays an independent and opinionated girl realistically, even when the part didn't have much to offer.

Badhaai Ho is a consistently hilarious film that brings tremendous joy to your heart with its earnest storytelling and brilliant performances.


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