Critics' review: Nautanki Saala is worth your while

By HT

Nautanki Saala is an official remake of the French film Apres Vous. Crafted on a small budget, directed by Rohan Sippy it has Ayushmann Khurrana and Kunaal Roy Kapur cast as the lead. Critics award the film a nod.

Direction: Rohan Sippy
Star cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Pooja Salvi, Evelyn Sharma

How well is the megaphone wielded?
Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama says: "Rohan Sippy, who has worked with formidable names in his earlier endeavors, casts several relative newcomers in his new outing, Nautanki Saala!...I am told, Nautanki Saala! is Rohan's lowest budget film so far...Nautanki Saala! is, without doubt, Rohan's most accomplished work so far!"

Taran Adarsh's rating for the film: 3.5/5

Bombay as character
Mayank Shekhar of Daily Bhaskar says: "The sort of directorial flourish you witness in this picture is also hard to match. Firstly Bombay looks as quiet and lovely as it did in Bluffmaster (2005) by the same director. The trick is to shoot in the city’s southern stretch, between Taj and Horniman Circle – the only part of Bombay, left behind by the British, that still looks like a global metropolis and vaguely approximates New York’s Manhattan."

Humour
Mayank Shekhar feels, that the humour is "relatively subtle; it relies heavily on some smart lines and funny set-pieces rather than the plausibility of the situation the characters find themselves in."

Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV has a slightly differnt take: "Nautanki Saala! is character and dialogue-driven rather than action-oriented. The humour flows from the core of the situations and the verbal exchanges. It does not have to fall back on meaningless gags for effect.

Saibal Chatterjee feels the film deserves 3 on 5.

Casting
Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV says, "Ayushmann Khurrana is an absolute natural. He does not miss a single trick as he sails through the role of the nice guy who takes acting too seriously for his own good."

He adds, "Thanks to spot-on star turns by the two male leads, Ayushmann Khurrana and Kunaal Roy Kapur, and a stable flow of amusing, if not outright hilarious, comic punches, Nautanki Saala! is, in the main, a watchable film."

And about the female cast Saibal says: "It might have been even better had the three female characters in this crazy love story been allowed a little more space to evolve into emotionally tangible beings. They are no more than mere props in the backdrop."

Mayank Shekhar observes: "Ayushman Khurana...is in good form here (though the part may have been written for someone more suave and “South Bombay”)."

Story
Saibal Chatterjee says: "The consistently snappy writing (the screenplay and dialogue are credited to Sippy, Nipun Dharamadhikari and Charudutt Acharya) lends the film the rhythm of a stand-up act."

Then adds: "Even when the pace tends to be sluggish, which is quite often, and the drama appears to flag a bit, the film is never less than interesting in its own genteel way."

Mayank Shekhar says: "This film is an official remake of the same French film Apres Vous. The problems that exist with the original, set in a restaurant instead of a theatre, will remain in its remake, which is basically that the story doesn’t really add up. And yet if you account for the number of laughs, measure its main performances, ogle at the smart photography, tap your feet to the soundtrack, you realise this picture is far better than its plot. Probably this can only happen with comedies and musicals. This is both. And doesn’t disappoint at being either."

Technical acumen
Saibal Chatterjee says that technically Nautanki Saala is a "fine film". He adds, "especially noteworthy is DoP Manoj Lobo’s contribution to its look and texture."

Final word
Madhureeta Mukherjee writing for TOI says: "This is no Shakespearean act, but there's enough drama, demons and devtaas to rival our desi phantoms of the operas."

Madhureeta Mukherjee has awarded 3.5 stars to the Rohan Sippy film.

Taran Adars says: "On the whole, Nautanki Saala! is uncontaminated, witty and amusing, offers an interesting premise with plenty of good laughs. A lightweight fare that caters to cineastes with an appetite for contemporary cinema, this movie ought to be on your 'to watch' list for sure!"

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