What is most telling and a departure from the expected is the nuance and sensitivity with which director Amit Ravindernath Sharma and his writing team examine Priyamvada and Manoj's own response to their situation, and the judgement they face from a seemingly forward-thinking character who sees in their decision not to terminate the pregnancy a sign of backwardness.
You notice some stray messages on the duality of the colloquial-Hindi speaking boys in a supposedly sophisticated, English-speaking world. You sort of smile at the fairly casual observation on how kids inevitably refer to school-mates (seniors, in particular) by their full name (as if it's a roll-call): "Sumit Malik"! You marvel at how the actors get their Meeruthiya twang, and the specifically 'theth' (rustic) humour, so frickin' right, while so many movies, set in the same space, sound Haryanvi instead. The sum of these asides is clearly greater than the whole.
Most of all, this film belongs to Gajraj Rao, who plays Jitender, a ticket examiner on the Northern Railways. He refuses to tip people for doing what they’re supposed to, though he does parsimoniously part with a small mango instead. He writes poetry under a restless pen name, but is stunned by his newfound position, among menfolk of family and locality, as an icon of virility. Briefly, too briefly, he considers growing a moustache, but Priyamvada disapproves and — as demonstrated to us by the way he flicks a bit of mango from her chin, reads poetry to her on a rainy night, or simply the fondness with which he looks at her — he loves her with all his heart. Now that’s a hero.
Amit Ravinderanath Sharma, who shot to fame with his Google ad a few moons ago and sank with his first Hindi film, Tevar (2015) is totally in command here. Aided by good writing and great performances, he clearly indicates that he can masterfully fix a human drama in a tight, two-hour frame and give the audience a film to remember.
Ayushmann portrays the various layers in Nakul flamboyantly. He is here for a hatrick and we only want to see him more and more. On the other hand, Sanya had very little to do in the movie except for being the love interest. Badhaai Ho manages to ruffle many emotions in us while keeping it engaging and progressive. It is definitely a circus, ticket to which you don’t want to miss out on.
Yes, among the most impressive aspects of Badhaai Ho is the way the director harnesses the rest of the on-screen talent pool and makes every character, even the minor ones, count. Sharma extracts equally useful performances from Alka Kaushal (as Mr. Kaushik's Meerut-based sister, Guddan), Alka Amin (as her elder sis-in-law) and Shardul Rana (as the younger son). Badhaai Ho is certainly worth a visit to the multiplex.
Gajraj and Neena are the stars of this movie. The aged couple bring in a refreshing concept of romance on screen. Get your tickets and book it for your entire clan because Badhaai Ho is a heartwarming movie which deserves to be watched with your family. Don’t forget to carry tissues cause you’re going to have tears – while laughing and crying.