Nautanki Saala

Nautanki-Saala-Poster
Nautanki Saala
Release date: April 12, 2013
Directed by: Rohan Sippy
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Pooja Dalvi, Gaelyn Mendonca, Evelyn Sharma, Sulbha Arya, Sanjeev Bhatt

Rohan Sippy’s official adaptation of Danièle Dubroux and Pierre Salvadori’s Après Vous (A 2003 French film) has a cool urban premise and some spirited writing and performances. It borrows only the basic plot and makes a lot of changes to the characters and the narrative.

Ram Parmar shortened to RP (Ayushmann Khurrana) prevents an unknown stranger from committing suicide. He doesn’t even ask for his name and tries to help him out. Ram’s live-in girlfriend Chitra (Gaelyn Mendonca) is shocked and perturbed in equal measures by his this endeavor. On their trip to the stranger’s house in Pune, Ram gets to know his name, i.e. Mandar Lele (Kunaal Roy Kapur)

Out of sympathy or what his girlfriend Chitra later labels as a God complex, Ram lobbies for Mandar to get a part in a play that he’s directing. Meanwhile he also traces down Nandini (Pooja Dalvi) – Mandar’s ex-girlfriend whom he can’t let go. Hustling between his own girlfriend, Mandar and his ex-girlfriend, Ram is now stuck in a major predicament.

The first half of the film is very entertaining and you keep asking for more. The pace is encouraging and you are thrust into a second half that suffers through quite a few problems. A major issue is the prolonged hinting at the eventual climax, it’s as much as hamster running on a wheel with the carrot just dangling away every time the creature came close to it. The stretched out build to the end is grimacing.

The men in the lead pull out a good job at letting their roles grow with you. Pooja Dalvi hams it up a little and Gaelyn falls into her character just finely. The attractive Evelyn Sharma has little to do, while Sanjeev Bhatt shines as the mumbling producer. The music is a treat, though they go a tad overboard with it. I’ll be lying if I didn’t think that this film is an out an out winner at the halfway mark.

But that was not to be. After all the issues that exist, Nautanki Saala is still funny, light and also a dash of narcissism (in the form of the said God complex) always amuses me.

My rating: **1/2 (2.5 out of 5)

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