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Badhaai Ho! to this feel-good family entertainer!

Filmfare Middle East rating: 

Sanju  (3.5)

Directed by Amit Sharma

Screenplay by Akshat Ghildial

Produced by Chrome Pictures
Starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao, Surekha Sikri, Sanya Malhotra, Sheeba Chaddha 

What happens when a middle-income group Indian woman gets pregnant in her twilight years when she already is mother to a two sons – one a teenager and the other in his 20s? The contempt she and her husband face within the home and outside world is nothing short of a nightmare. Badhai Ho! walks this premise in an  emotional yet laughter filled roller-coaster ride.

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 by 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 so embarrassed, that he starts ignoring his girlfriend Renee (Sanya Malhotra) who is his office colleague too.He stops hanging out with his friends in fear of being insulted or ridiculed. In short, he doesn’t know how to deal with this strange situation..

Jeetender’s mother, played beautifully by Surekha Sikri, is equally embarrassed and puts all the blame on Priyamvada. She thinks it’s a result of Priyamvada’s excessive interest in staying up-to date all the time. Things get even more absurd as the news spread among their relatives.

Ayushman Khurana can simply be called the Amol Palekar of his generation. He is capable of top-lining conventional Bollywood Cinema, but chooses to work in small films where the story is the real star. He is convincing in this film as a conflicted son who means well. The love of his life played by Sanya Malhotra has managed to display amazing versatility playing a sensible, urban woman of today. Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao have nailed their performances to the core. But the character with the maximum punches is the Dadi, played by Surekha Sikri. Her comic timing, her dialogue delivery, everything is just perfect. Sheeba Chadda is another gem in the film.

Director Amit Ravindernath Sharma brings the whole story together into a succinct and engaging film. It will appeal to people pan-strata because it is so relatable.

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