Badhaai Ho is a charming, emotional and lachrymose drama which makes us identify ourselves and realise the significance of family by breaking all barriers.
Jeetender Kaushik (Gajraj Rao) turns the key and starts the car, it moves forward a bit and then stops. We hear the whirring sound once again and this time it keeps moving forward. He is driving his wife Priyamvada Kaushik (Neena Gupta) home from the hospital after getting to know that she is pregnant. Good news, right? In this case, not exactly! Jeetender and Priyamvada are an older couple and have two grown-up sons. Nakul (Ayushmann Khurrana) is working in a company and Gullar (Shardul Rana) is studying in his 12th grade. Nakul and Gullar are feeling antsy while waiting at home and wanting to know if their mother is alright. So, as the car stops momentarily, it is symbolic of how a single event would bring things to a halt and change their lives.
Amit Ravindernath Sharma’s directorial venture Badhaai Ho is such a gladdening and soulful movie. It delineates how the news of Priyamvada’s pregnancy affects everyone else in the family, how their lives change after that, and the realisation of family value and love that it eventually leads to. Director Amit captures the different phases of life and different emotions attached to it.
We see that Nakul and his brother are bemused and mortified when they hear the news. They never stop criticising their father and we sense a feeling of detestation building up between the father and the sons. Well, it is Nakul and Gullar who are showing their hatred towards their father and not the other way round. And there is another strong character in Nakul’s grandmother Naani (Surekha Sikri) who explodes with rage on hearing the news. Nakul, who used to hang out with his friends, is now avoiding them and we sense a feeling of desolation.
There is a brief romantic angle that we see between Nakul and Renee (Sanya Malhotra). Nakul and Renee are co-workers and are in love. It is rejuvenating to see this pair on screen. But Nakul’s mother being pregnant poses problems to his relationship with Renee. While they are about to have sex, the thought of their parents having a child at this age bothers him. He even indulges in a serious exchange of words with Renee’s mother (Sheeba Chaddha). Probably, the only phase which I felt to be moving at a languid pace was where Nakul and Renee are not on talking terms for a while and are longing for each other.
Best phase of this film was the romantic scenes between Jeetender and Priyamvada. It was even more entrancing than that of Nakul and Renee but, of course, that was exactly what the film required. While it rains outside at night, it is so beautiful to watch Jeetender reading out a poetry to his wife. And when they go to the marriage ceremony, the look in his eyes while seeing her was as if he saw her for the very first time and just fell in love with her. Someone even requests Jeetender to talk to his son, who is married but devoid of a child, to give him sexual advice which actually makes Jeetender joyous as he exultantly looks at his wife. Well, Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta stole the show with their impressive performance and all their elderly romance portions.
But as the film culminates, even we, as an audience, realise the power of family and how supportive we should be in the times of distress. We see a change of heart in Nakul as he goes back to his friends and handles things perfectly. He even goes with his brother Gullar to his school to teach a lesson to a boy who has mocked Gullar and beaten him before. It is an emotional moment as he hugs his mother and says “sorry” to his father. Watch out for the sentimental and lachrymose scene where Naani jumps to Priyamvada’s defence when the relatives try to teach her family ethics and values. To say the least, Surekha Sikri (as Naani) nailed it and was like the shining sun in the wintry weather. And it is so moving when Jeetender holds the new-born baby in his hands in the presence of a teary-eyed family.
Ever since Shoojit Sircar’s Vicky Donor brought Ayushmaan Khurrana into the film spectrum as an actor, his subsequent movies have had such off-beat subjects and some of which have worked tremendously. While his previous film Andhadhun was a rip-roaring masterpiece, Badhaai Ho is a charming, emotional and tearful journey which makes us identify ourselves and realise the significance of family by breaking all barriers.