Review Nautanki Saala: Rohan Sippy has tried something different
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Cast: Ayushmann Khurranna, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Evelyn Sharma, Pooja Salvi, Gaelyn Mendonca
Director: Rohan Sippy
The Indian Express rating:**1/2
Anything can happen over a kiss. As the lips of a guy and girl meet, we are guided through a spectrum: initial reluctance sliding into a hmm-not-too-bad exploration steadying into a breathless lock-in. This is one of Nautanki Saala's highlights. Watching it you realise how new this coming together of consenting adults through the simple expedient of a kiss, well done, still feels in new age Bollywood. And that is the best part about this absurdist lad com by Rohan Sippy, that he is trying something different, and within that, some of it feels fresh and fizzy.
Hurrying home one night, theatre man RP aka Ram Parmar (Ayushmann Khurrana) saves a fellow from killing himself. Turns out that Mandar Lele (Kunaal Roy Kapur) really is the sort of a chap you feel death would have improved. He is a true loser, having lost his girl Nandini (Pooja Salvi), and all desire to live. Of course he has nowhere to go, and nothing to do. So of course 'nautanki' RP gets to cart Mandar around, despite earning the annoyance of girlfriend (Gaelyn Mendonca), and his theatre mates by insisting on getting him (Mandar) a part in the play: how else to keep suicide at bay ?
The 'naatak' RP and co are performing is a version of the 'Ramayan', and the antics on stage remind you of another film in another era which used another epic to create unforgettable laughter. But Nautanki Saala is not aiming for big picture black-edged absurd like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. Its theatre is more personal, more intimate. It's about two young men and their bumbling attempts at finding love, and its plot is based on a French comedy (Nautanki Saala is the official remake of Apres Vous), rejigged a bit for Bollywood.
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