Directed by: Rohan Sippy
Starring: Ayushman Khuranna, Kunal Roy Kapoor
Not too long ago Sonali Bendre said she is not vying for lead roles since quite often the most interesting part is of somebody else in the film. While I sense Sonali might have said that simply because she is no longer offered lead roles, there is some truth to her statement and Nautanki Saala is a clear proof of the same theory. After winning accolades and hearts as Vicky Donor, Ayushman Khuranna was one of the most watched out for newcomers. Sadly his second big screen venture did not really go according to plan at the box office. And you can´t really blame the audience. People do not buy tickets to the bored.
A successful theater actor and director RP saves an unknown young man from commiting suicide by hanging, and to prevent him from trying again he takes him home, thinking everything will be fine by morning. However Mandar – the saved one – not only has no interest to move on from the tragedy that struck him (girlfriend challi gayi. Blah. And here I was rooting for something really depressing), but it also turns out he has nowhere to go, nothing to do and basically actually is as useless as he claims to be. RP is determined to help, much to the protests of his girlfriend, who, unlike him, can see Mandar for what he really is – a whiny baby, selfish and absorbed in self-loving. RP gets him a job in the theater (and as a lead actor in his own play – talk about confidence) and lets him live in his own flat. After a while even he is tired of Mandar, who is failing in every single department of life, and decides to put him and Nandini, the girl behind the suicide, back together. But dil to paagal hai and RP falls for the girl himself....
It all starts on a rather promising note. The first twenty or so minutes I found genuinely funny, but after it starts slowing down more and more and more.... so after what feels like an eternity, during which your head keeps dropping and eyes keep closing, you FINALLY reach a climax, that just happens, no explanations needed apparently. The greatest flaw (if you have not noticed from my complaining already) is the snail speed, which result in excrutiatingly boring wait for things to move on. Considering the running time is only 2 hours, this is just unforgivable. While it was really funny in bits, the boredom ultimately overpowers all.
Ayushman was my favourite new comer last year, but Nautanki does nothing to support my liking for him. He doesn´t really have that much of a role when I think about it, does not go through any development as a character. As I have mentioned above, he is a lead, but everybody else is more interesting. Kunal Roy Kapoor looked extremely ...... dirty and sleazy. And Abhishek Bachchan´s appearance is one of the most lukewarm cameos ever. Even the music is average - with the exception of So Gaya Yeh Jahan and Dhak Dhak, which are both just copies, and now even incorporated in the film. Waste of time, really.