If you put together an absurd and a predictable storyline, adapted by director Ramesh Sippy from Pierre Salvadori’s French play `Apres Vous`, good actors (minus Pooja Salvi) and Abhishek Bachchan in a cameo for some added star attraction, you get a something that can be called `Nautaki Saala`, pegged as a comedy of errors by its makers. True, a `comedy of errors` it is, but the errors outnumber the logic (if any) the film has.
The movie introduces Ram Parmar (Ayushmann Khurana), a theatre artist playing the part of Raavan in a prolonged play, who bumps into a suicidal Mandar Lele (Kunal Roy Kapoor) one fine night because the latter`s girlfriend Nandini (Pooja Salvi) had ditched him for no good reason. Being a do-gooder that Ram is, he takes an unintentional troublemaking and self-loathing Mandar under his shelter, and realises that the best way to heal his new BFF`s broken heart is by bringing Nandini back into Mandar`s life.
In the bid to bring Nandini back into Mandar`s life (by the way, by now she has found herself a new cheating boyfriend funnily named Loli), Ram somehow falls for Nandini`s charms and vice-versa (and she breaks up with the flippant Loli too).
After going through the entire rigmarole of watching the film, I summed its highs and lows:
Music: The music of the film is good and worth listening to, especially songs like ‘Saadi gali aja’, which is co-composed and sung Ayushmann Khurana. ‘Dil ki toh lag gayi’ and ‘Dramebaaz’ too are good ones. Also, the choreography is a saving grace.
Technicalities: The cinematography by Manoj Lobo is quite a treat for the eyes. Besides that, the costumes used for enacting the theatre sequences in the film are innovative.
Chemistry: There is no chemistry whatsoever between the lead pair Ayushmann Khurana and Pooja Salvi. While Ayushmann does try to make an effort to spice up the romance with his on-screen ladylove, his efforts seem to be in vain. The girl - Pooja Salvi has a lot to improve as far as acting is concerned.
Characterisation: Blame it on the actors or the makers, the actors are a misfit in the film. Post `Vicky Donor`, Ayushmann could have waited for a better script to come his way. As for Kunal Roy Kapur, he came across as a disappointment after a clap worthy performance in `Delhi Belly`.
The characters of `Nautanki Saala` fail to strike a chord with the audience. The comedy scenes are anything but comic. There are some lame jokes thrown in by naming characters `Loli` and `Lele`. Kunal Roy Kapur too, tries hard, but his deadpan humour is not laughter-inducing. Even when a scene aims to connect with the audience on an emotional plane, it fails to do so.
Climax: By the time the film moves to its climax, you can easily guess what you can see next. Seriously, the climax is downright predictable.
Watch ‘Nautanki Saala` only if you really want to.