Nautanki Saala, coming from the house of Sippy’s was expected to be a good light-hearted entertainer. And why not, their last comedy- Bluffmaster was indeed one. This movie had the latest comic hero Ayushmaan ‘Vicky Donor’ Khurana in the lead. He even sang two songs hoping to replicate his debut success. However let’s not get into the comparisons and stay focused on the movie. Went for it this weekend and rest assured its Nautanki delivered!
The story revolves around its main protagonist RP (Ayushmaan Khurana) who comes upon this eternal loser of a character , Mandar Lele (Kunaal Roy Kapur) one night, as Mandar is about to commit suicide. What starts from that point is a complete comedy of errors. Inspired by a French movie ‘Après Vous’ meaning ‘After You’ , the humour here is situational and not over the top. There is no attempt made at to make the dialogues crass, which is the usual trend these days. Simple lines are delivered with such comic timing and punch that it generates the desired guffaws. This was a genre which many directors in the 70’s and 80’s dabbled with. Films like Golmaal, Angoor, Do aur Do paanch etc had such unadulterated humour. Wish to see more of such clean comedies. These kind of films have a class of their own and even though are less massy, tend to catch up well slowly. While Nautanki Saala is nowhere near the above films mentioned, it definitely showcases a genre of comedy that’s getting lost today and that’s what probably gives it a novelty value.
Ayushman as RP is the main protagonist of the movie and the Nautanki. He is the Raavan who calls the shots, motivates Ram (Kunal - on stage) to discover himself and ultimately falls for the real Sita (Nandini played by Pooja Salvi) while trying to woo her back into Ram’s life. The film completely revolves around him and yes Mandar’s unforgettable antics. From being unselfish and helping Mandar get a grip of his life, he loses grip on his when he falls head over heals in love with Nandini who is Mandar’s ex. The songs are decent but go many notches up in the movie with good picturisation. All of them carry the plot ahead nicely. A special mention here for ‘Dil ki to lag gayee’, the song that nicely depicts the turmoil that’s playing on RP’s mind as he goes through his routine rehearsals, unable to concentrate. The fact that it has the sexy Evelyn Sharma grooving in it, easily makes this song the most watchable of the lot. It’s sung well too.
Kunal Roy Kapoor as Mandar is the surprise package in this movie and walks away with the bigger honours. An actor who showed his craft in
Delhi belly where also as
Nautanki Saala, the film’s main hero was someone else. Looks like he revels in
playing the underdog. This guy simply looks in prime form in this Nautanki as
well. Fits the character to the T, may it be the loser in the first part or the
improved version in the second. His scenes are the most hilarious! His entry
from the bathroom door when RP imagines him as Ram, to his first audition on
stage where he forgets his lines and then manages them with some prompting, or
the killer scene when he comes home with the chicken biryani, thrown away from
the window in disgust, on his head and says, “bahut acha hai yar!” From playing
a pathetic loser and an equally pathetic actor in the first half to being the confident
lead actor in the second, he carries his meaty role amazingly well on his
shoulders from Ram to Hanuman. His goofy expressions add that extra comic
punch. No wonder he gets the reel Sita in the end and of course Hanuman’s mace,
which he makes good use of!
raavan -RP’s Love interest is played by janakumari- ‘Nandini’ sita. She is a girl whose only reason to be in love is that, she can never be lonely. Wow girl, get a better excuse! And yes like in many many movies we have seen earlier . you do have a musibbat guy chasing her. Aakhir hero musibbat suljhayega nahi, toh maza kaise aayega! RP and Nandini do manage to light up the screen a couple of times, thanks to their passionate kissing scenes.
However the final clincher for these two characters is the well shot climax, where unlike Ramayan, Sita reciprocates her love for Raavan and maybe that’s why after all…
… it’s a Nautanki Saala!