By: Ankur Karan Singh
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Pooja Salvi, Gaelyn Mendonca, Evelyn Sharma, Sanjeev Bhatt, Sulbha Arya.
Directed By: Rohan Sippy
Run-Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Music: Falak Shabbir, Mikey McCleary
Rating : * * *
In the era, when Bollywood seems to be literally running behind either the remakes of of yesteryear Bollywood cine delights, southern blockbusters or is serving some larger than life cine delights in entertainment salver, in order to make cash registers ringing, there is another class of movie making which seems to be evolving at a very rapid pace. And that is of “content driven” cine delights but with a low budget.
In the recent past various movies belonging to this league have not only succeeded in making it to the good books of critics, but at the same time have also fetched the ovation of the masses. Now the newest entrant of this league is Rohan Sippy’s Indian version of decade old French film “Apres Vous.”
Starring Ayushmann Khuranna, Kunaal Roy Kapoor, Pooja Salvi and Evelyn Sharma, “Nautanki Saala!” opened with an occupancy of 25 % at the multiplexes.
With a colorful and impressive backdrop of theater life, showcasing humorous Gen-X version of Ramleela (or rather Raavan Leela to be more precise), premise of “Nautanki Saala!” narrates the tale of a pro-social theatre guy Ram Parmar (Ayushmann Khuraana) popularly known as RP, who due to his over indulgence with his work finds it difficult to juggle work and his live-in girlfriend Chitra (Gaelyn Mendonca).
Amidst this entire juggling game of life, one night on his way back to home from his work RP rescues a luckless, somewhat good for nothing guy Mandar Lele (Kunaal Roy Kapoor) from his suicide bid, and unaccountably takes the responsibility of helping this failed in life, lovelorn guy.
Soon after perceiving the plight of Mandar, RP decides to reunite him with his lady love Nandini ( Pooja Salvi). But RP’s life takes somersault when, while being on his noble stint of uniting the Mandar and Nandini he himself fall in love with Nandini.
Although “Nautanki Saala!” is a sort of official remake of decade old french cine saga “Apres Vous”, but in-spite of that it carries a soothing fragrance of freshness, which keeps you mesmerized throughout the run time of the movie. The best feature of “Nautanki Saala’s” script for which its conceptualiers deserve a huge bunch of praise is that contrary to the dittoing habit of many cine think-tanks, they kept away from that habit of copy-pasting and deployed a sound amount of innovation and novelty in order to craft a cine delight to suit the taste of the spectators residing in this part of the world.
Be it the intensity of humor sequences or the emotional pit-stops everything is so well placed and toned to perfection that, throughout the run-time of the movie you feel assimilated with this smoothly flowing cine delight.
Although in the post interval part you feel the presence of that dragging coefficient, but in-spite of that entire premise of Nautanki Saala! remains unfussy and simple.
As far as screenplay of Nautanki Saala! is concerned then it’s again perfect visual delight to watch for. Ever since the first frame the onscreen proceeding starts enveloping you and keeps you pampering with a constant dose of entertainment.
Be it humor, onscreen camaraderie of the protagonists or the mild dose of emotions, everything pertaining to Nautanki Saala! is so balanced and captivating that you can’t resist plunging into the depth of onscreen substance. At the very onset Nautanki Saala! eloquently demarcates a norm that comedy is a serious business and as the frames roll ahead it starts tickling your funny bones but without being gawky.
Although in the second half, pace of the narration looks somewhat deteriorating but inspite of that it never allows melodrama to poke in and by the time it reaches climax it regains it’s optimum pace. So kudos for Rohan and his team of screenplay writers comprising of Nipun Dharmadhikari and Charu Acharaya.
Direction and Technical Aspects
After some of his forgettable cine stints like “Kuch Naa Kaho, Bluffmaster!” and “Dum Maaro Dum”, this time Rohan Sippy has firmly succeeded in dishing out a memorable cine delight.
Contrary to his previous cine sagas, Nautanki Saala! had a constrained budgetary limit, and believe me with Nautanki Saala! Rohan has firmly succeeded in doing a thorough justice to every penny.
With a captivating premise at its core and that too well complemented by other cinematographic apparatuses, Rohan kept everything under tab and never allowed anything to get out of proportion.
Besides this, cinematography of Manoj Lobo under which he captured everything pertaining to onscreen proceedings, sharp editing of Aarif Sheikh ( especially in the first part) and creative art of Saini S. Johray, further adds on to the ambiance of the movie.
In the music department, “Nautanki Saala!” is a soothing bunch of goodies, with its songs having a high recall and addicting value. In fact, be it “Mera Mann, Saadi Gali” or the re-tailored version of yesteryear hit “Dhak Dhak Karne Lagaa” every song of the movie is a perfect aural delight.
Well it won’t be wrong to say that, Nautanki Saala! is Ayushmann’s show from the very onset. As soon as the movie starts, one gets bitten by Ayushmann’s acting indulgence with in no time. In fact after proving the mettle of his acting prowess in Vicky Donor, this time Ayushmann has comfortably succeeded in taking his performance benchmark to another level.
Kunaal Roy Kapoor after his “Delhi Belly” stint has once again showcased his potential with utmost brilliance and has firmly succeeded in leaving his impact.
But as far as performances of the three sizzling dames i.e. Gaelyn Mendonca, Pooja Salvi and Evelyn Sharma are concerned then it’s only Gaelyn who qualifies to be in the better league. Although Pooja well carried her character of Nandini but she looked somewhat delineated from what she is expected to do. Evelyn Sharma with limited performance scope is just OK.
Besides this the man who deserves accolades for his outstanding performance is, Sanjeev Bhatt as Ayushmann’s theater accomplice, Chandra, throughout the run-time of the movie, and it’s spell of Sanjeev’s performance that his mere presence on the celluloid has constantly succeeded in bringing house down.
To sum up, with borrowed yet fresh premise “Nautanki Saala!” is a well crafted cine delight with ample amount of “hatke” entertainment and will surely quench your longing for a quality entertainment.