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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Badhaai Ho Movie Review: ‘Preggers’ with Laughs, Social Acceptance & Entertainment

Badhaai Ho seems to be a refreshing comedy, going by the trailers.

We have seen films revolving pregnancy before marriage before – i.e. Kya Kehna and Tere Sang.

But this film revolves around how a man (Ayushmann Khurrana) faces embarrassment in the society when he finds out his mother (Neena Gupta) is pregnant.

The movie touches on a subject which has not been seen before in Bollywood.

But besides the uniqueness, this Amit Sharma directorial hopes to entertain as well as educate us about the social taboo/embarrassment that pregnancy at an elder age carries.

Filme Shilmy reviews.

A Novel Concept for Bollywood

The beauty of Badhaai Ho is its simplicity in the narrative style.

From the Milieu it is set in, to the character development, everything is underplayed well.

But what deserves applaud is the novel conception.

Never has Bollywood showcased a story about an elderly lady getting between pregnant and the ramifications this has on society.

The humour is subtle to the core and that is why it tickles the funny bone.

There is no exaggerated humour. It all happens naturally.

Most importantly, the movie also begs the question as to why is it so embarrassing to know that parents have sex?

Conveys the message of Social Acceptance

Subsequently, such topics are expressed through the dialogues. One such pivotal line is:

“Why is it mothers are always kept on a pedestal and forgotten that they are women who have desires?”

It is such lines that make Badhaai Ho relevant to today’s society.

Even the narrative trope of the parallel between Renee (Sanya Malhotra) and Nakul’s (Ayushmann Khurrana) family is thought-provoking.

Renee is comfortable/open to talking about parents having sex, whilst Nakul is not.

Such sequences could be reflective of the embarrassment in society.

As a result, the film neatly avoids falling into stereotypes regarding the larger-than-life reactions of people towards the pregnancy.

Badhaai Ho’s message is clear. It is important to accept situations in life, regardless of what people think and say.

Despite conveying a message, the movie does not veer into becoming preachy. It is entertaining throughout.

Upholds Familial Values & Comedy

Even though the movie focuses on a sensitive subject, it nonetheless maintains the family values.

We see are taken on this journey of how the family overcomes their dysfunctional differences.

There are moments which are touching and uplifting, which definitely strike a chord.

Excellent Cast Choice

Badhaai Ho has an excellent choice of cast.

Usually, it is the lead protagonists who steal the show. But not this time.

For me, the show-stealers are Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao and Surekha Sikri.

Neena Gupta, firstly, is excellent as Priyamvada.

We see her essay a dutiful wife, who even after facing insults by society, stands by her ground.

Her screen-space is solid.

Gajraj Rao is equally brilliant. He compliments Gupta well and it’s his mannerisms/vacant expressions which make us laugh.

Surekha Sikri is dynamite. We see her as the nagging and yet compassionate grandmother.

From her initial reaction towards of finding out that Priyamvada is pregnant, to responding to the taunts, Surekha ji is first-rate.

Even Sheeba Chaddha as Renee’s mother is great.

She plays an affluent single-mother who questions Nakul’s father. Usually, such characters are shown as adamant.

But the writers of this film avoid falling into any stock characters. Instead, we see a compassionate mother who understands her daughter.

These solid performances drive the film to great heights.

Ayushmann Khurrana & Sanya Malhotra’s Performances

What I love about Ayushmann is his choice of films.

He always chooses to do films which revolves around a social/sexual taboo and yet again he does that.

Ayushmann is flawless as Nakul. He encapsulates the mannerisms of a Delhi boy well.

Sanya Malhotra, though she doesn’t have a stereotypical role of a female protagonist, her screen presence is solid.

Her dialogue delivery and expressions are extremely on-point.

She is only three films new into the industry, but she is leaving a brilliant impression.

What’s Bad?

Honestly, nothing really.

Perhaps the second half is slightly long.

But apart from that, this Amit Sharma film is a brilliant piece of cinema.

Final Word

On the whole, Badhaai Ho is a path-breaking comedy which is socially relevant and yet entertains.

Plus, the venture is realistically made, which helps the audience to closely resonate with it.

It is movies like this which make us proud of Bollywood as an industry.

Don’t miss it!

⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5 Stars)

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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