Although comedy invariably gets reduced to slapstick humour by 90 per cent of our Hindi filmmakers, there are a few rare ones who take comedy rather more seriously and present a scripted, intelligent, quirky or witty film. Rohan Sippy is among those rare ones who don't indulge dimwitted situations in a bid to make for humour. His latest release Nautanki Saala appears to be a quirky riot; at least from what the promos suggest. Does it do the trick? Let's find out.
Ram Parmar aka 'RP' (Ayushmann Khurrana) is a theatre artist who portrays the evil mythological character Raavan on stage plays. But ironically, the person is nothing like that in real life. Instead he is a do-gooder almost to the point of being bumbler. His antics are hilarious for he saves this absolute stranger from committing suicide and brings him home, telling his live-in girlfriend that the person is his buddy. The hopeless nincompoop for a stranger, Mandar Lele (Kunaal Roy Kapoor), is the sort who has nothing to look forward to. In a bid to find happiness in his lonely and suicidal friend's life, RP loses himself and finds himself broken by the end of it.
In the times of heedless remakes where there's sheer starworship and zilch attention to the script, Rohan Sippy chooses to remake Pierre Salvadori's Apres Vous, a french roaring hit, and gives its setting a complete 360 degree switch. The filmmaker moves away from the endless rut of mindless comic capers and presents a highly situational comedy that is quirky, witty and everything that the film industry is deprived off.
Although the maker doesn't quite manage to pull off the entire romantic track from the remake of the rom-com the dates back almost a decade ago, all courtesy its hackeneyed approach, Nautanki Saala still remains quite a feet in the comedy genre all because of its innovatively different approach.
The initial 30 minutes are an absolute laugh riot with the twisted depiction of Ramayan with Sita flocking away with Hanuman on a scooter, Lakshman disappearing from the act and Ram taking over the avatar of Raavan! However, soon after the romantic angle sets in the movie gets into a downward spiral.
The respite in the spiral screenplay comes with both actors Ayushmann Khurrana and Kunaal Roy Kapoor who flawlessly essay their parts to perfection. Ayushmann clearly depicts that he isn't a one film wonder and is definitely here to stay for long. Kunaal showcases his theatrical antics brilliantly and should definitely do more films.
All the three girls Evelyn Sharma as Sita, Pooja Salvi as Nandini, Gaelyn Mendonca as Chitra are average at best. The maker could definitely do better in the female leads department.
Music my multiple artists is quite an assortment and Rohan Sippy uses the tracks impressively as the backgrounds.
To sum it up, Nautanki Saala may not be a flawless film but it definitely deserves a watch for its refreshing comedy and delightful performances by the two main lead actors.