Badhaai Ho Review: Emotional, Engaging and Endearing

Starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao and Sanya Malhotra in lead roles, Badhaai Ho is a film with a strong subject and message wonderfully wrapped with comedy.

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

Rating: 4.5/5

Societal pressure and influence is something India lives with. Mostly common in a middle-class setup, ‘Log Kya Kahenge’ is religiously followed in the country, and despite the disliking, one participates in this formula which is used everywhere in India. Most of our decisions today are taken keeping ‘people’ in mind, and interference is expected even if one doesn’t know this group of ‘people.’ Topics such as pregnancy, affairs, sex, romance etc. are hardly discussed with an open mind. Revolving around the same concept is Badhaai Ho, starring Ayushmaan Khurana, Sanya Malhotra, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao and others.

Priyamvada Kaushik (Neena Gupta) and Jeetender Kaushik (Gajraj Rao) are parents of two adult boys Nakul (Ayushmann Khurrana) and Gullar (Shardul Rana). The middle-aged couple gets pregnant unexpectedly and this news makes the middle-class family conscious especially leading to embarrassment when this news becomes a topic of discussion in their social circle. The family, especially the children feel awkwardness as they get to know about their parents’ mid-age romance, and this only gets worse for Priyamvada and Jeetender as the face regressive thoughts amid the family and friends. How does the family deal these scenarios and how they overcome everything for happiness is Badhaai Ho!

Set against the backdrop of Delhi’s Lodhi colony, the makers take us through the lanes where houses have adjoining balconies and windows, where family affairs and conversations are easily shared through common walls and this makes the film look even more real. Music by Tanishk Bagchi, Rochak Kohli and JAM8 is seamlessly integrated into the film and complements the visuals well.

Written by Shantanu Srivastava and Akshat Ghildial, this situational comedy just perfect for a film to be loved by a family. Impressive performances by Gajraj Rao, Neena Gupta and Ayushmann Khurrana makes this film loveable. Their comic timing and the strengths to portray emotions on screen is simply superb. Dialogues and scenes which address the taboo of romance and passion related to age is highlighted very well and makes this film stand out. All the characters developed for the story add value. Every actor has a distinctive personality and offers something wonderful onscreen. Not every Bollywood film has parents as the central theme of the story and there have been few family drama films which revolve around the values and emotions. But this film is different, as director Amit Ravindernath Sharma ensures that the spotlight is shared by renowned established veterans, who do complete justice the roles they play.

Neena Gupta’s affection towards her boys makes one emotional. She wants to make sure her sons understand her interest in giving birth to the child. Gajraj Rao is a father every household should have, as all the families will adore such characters the most. His manners, body language, expressions are just perfect. Despite being torn between his mom and wife, he pleases both. Gajraj and Neena are very typical parents one will come across in almost every middle-class home. Their romance picturized with the tunes of the 80s and 90s in the background brings a smile to one’s face.

I can never be tired praising Ayushmann, as he is one of the most versatile actors today and I love him for what he does onscreen. He is a skilled actor who is affected the most due to the pregnancy, as he faces the social pressure to a large extent, where even his relationship with Reene (Sanya Malhotra), his girlfriend also comes to a question. Sanya Malhotra does not have a prominent role in the film but is likeable.

'Badhaai Ho' is a film with a strong subject and message. The attempt to break the taboo is commendable, as this new-age rom-com is an unconventional story focusing on middle-aged parents’ love. To sum it up, the film’s detailed writing, nuances and an equal dose of comedy and emotions make it engaging and endearing.

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