Release Date : Apr 12,2013
Nautanki Saala
Review by : Kaushik L M
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Production: Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Ramesh Sippy, Roopa De Choudhury
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Evelyn Sharma, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Pooja Salvi
Direction: Rohan Sippy
Screenplay: Rohan Sippy
Story: Rohan Sippy
Music: Falak Shabir, Mikey McCleary, Rashid Khan
Background score: Falak Shabir
Distribution: Super Cassettes Industries Ltd

After Vicky Donor swept many awards and took the box-office by storm, Ayushmann Khurrana has slowly become a name to reckon with. Something different is expected out of this young talent and his next release, Nautanki Saala, has come out with hit music for company. The makers have also acknowledged the French movie Après Vous in the credits.


The movie’s premise revolves around an Indian theater group staging a successful play called Raavan Leela with Ayushmann playing Ram Parmar, who is the director as well as the Raavan of the play. The workings of a theater group are something interesting for the normal Indian viewer who hasn’t seen this before in other Indian movies. 

Though Ram is a reel life Raavan he is a real life Good Samaritan who helps others unconditionally. He plays the ‘guardian angel’ to one such hopeless soul, Mandar, who has extreme suicidal tendencies due to his failed love life. Ram helps him find his feet, but when he attempts to play the matchmaker between Mandar and his ex, Nandini, things take a turn towards the South for Ram.

Ram hopelessly falls in love with Nandini and as a result, his relationship with his girlfriend Chitra and the unsuspecting Mandar is heavily impacted.

The film lives up to its Ramayan core in the climax when the characters / roles are tweaked a bit and the film is brought to a fitting closure.

We have healthy doses of nautanki (antics, drama) as the title says and the comedy in the film is also a breeze. Ayushmann and Kunaal Roy Kapur make a fine pair as the latter continues to indulge in his self-destructing buffoonery while the former manages to provide some respite each time. Both the actors are natural and it’s a good follow up for both, after Vicky Donor and Delhi Belly respectively. Kunaal’s audition scenes and the moments when he goofs up in the play are among the film’s most lively. The actor who plays the producer of the play and also doubles up as Shoorpanakha (Raavan’s sister) is another comic show stealer.

The movie also has some passionate romance interspersed with comedy, between Ayushmann and Pooja Salvi and we get to see scenes rated among the longest lip-locks in Indian cinema history. Pooja is a hot new face and she isn’t required to emote much. She sure is a work in progress. Evelyn Sharma and Gaelyn Mendonca are the other female faces in the movie and they acquit themselves well.

Watch out for Abhishek Bachchan in a cameo, just for the sake of it as he is a good friend to the director Rohan Sippy, who had worked on Dum Maaro Dum and Bluffmaster with the actor.

The songs by Mikey McCleary and a group of other composers are big highlights of the movie with Mera Mann, Saadi Galli and the yesteryear remixes leading the way. Do yourself a favor and get your hands on the music of this movie.  

The grand production design of the movie befits the theatrical setting of the movie and each frame is colorful. The few outdoor shots we get to see are also pleasing on the eye.

On the whole, this one is definitely a memorable watch despite its leisurely pace and a few dragging moments. The multiplex crowd will dig into it big time.

Verdict: The feel-good rom-com of the season