India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Nautanki Saala: A comedy of errors


(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily of Reuters)

The best scenes in Rohan Sippy‘s “Nautanki Saala” (adapted from French comedy Apres Vous) are the ones where there is no woman or romance involved. Male leads Ayushmann Khurrana and Kunaal Roy Kapoor have a good chemistry going and their humour is quirky and whacky, but funny all the same. The problem in their lives, and in the film, starts when the woman arrives on the scene.

Ram Parmar (Khurrana) a theatre director and actor saves Mandar Lele (Kapoor) from a suicide attempt and brings him home, hoping to shake him out of his depression. Mandar is a diffident, depressed man who wallows in self-pity after being dumped by his girlfriend Nandini (Pooja Salvi). Ram, desperate to bring a ray of hope into Mandar’s life, recruits him in the lead role in a contemporary version of the Ramayana, and seeks out Nandini, hoping to convince her to take Mandar back.

Matters come to a head when Ram falls in love with Nandini. The film’s breezy pace is interrupted by the clunky romance track between Khurrana and Salvi, which weighs it down.