Justalkin Episode 70: Ayushmann Khurrana and his tryst with content driven films
Can a sperm donor, a blind musician, a man with erectile dysfunction, manage to be a good cop? Yes, if it’s Ayushmann Khurrana! This is Justalkin brought to you by in.com. So the trailer for Ayushmann’s new movie dropped, it’s called Article 15, and it’s a very grim movie from the looks of it. He plays a cop who seems to be having tough time-solving cases related to caste and religion, basically, a lot of things we read about in real life these days. It’s been inspired by true events that took place in Badaun and Una, incidents that kind of made us stop and question the societal structure of our country. Article 15 says discrimination against someone on the basis of caste, creed or religion is prohibited. But hey, when has that ever stopped people in our really huge country from breaking the law, when people with criminal cases can get voted to power! The movie has a kickass cast, with Kumud Mishra, Sayani Gupta, and Nassar and Manoj Pahwa on board. And what got me thinking was, this is an out and out Bollywood commercial film, and it’s not something we’ve seen Ayushmann Khurrana do in the past. But while we wait for this grim, serious tale of a cop to hit the screens, let’s go back and take a look at the movies he’s done before this.
Vicky Donor was the year when movies like Ek Tha Tiger and Jab Tak Hai Jaan were the commercial movies that came out. We also saw some off-beat movies like Barfi and English Vinglish. But Vicky Donor was a real breath of fresh air. We’ve seen some from Hollywood, like the Switch, and a movie called The Babymakers, but Vicky Donor was the first movie that was unabashedly about the topic they had chosen - a man who is a sperm donor! Ayushmann Khurrana actually took a really wild crazy gamble. Because established actors might feel a little awkward to do a movie like this, newbies would have their own doubts. And after years and years of television and radio, Ayushmann Khurrana said yes to this movie, and dived into it with all his heart. And in the process, probably inspired a lot of young Indian men to be okay with making money however they wanted to.
In Shubhmangal Saavdhaan, Ayushmann Khurrana’s character has trouble in the same department where he shines in Vicky Donor. Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar play a couple who are engaged to be married, and they decide to engage in what Sheldon Cooper likes to call coitus. They discover that Ayushmann Khurrana has trouble staying up if you know what I mean, and they could have made this a really emotional story full of drama, but then it ended becoming a comedy. With a lot of drama. It talks about how society judges men with ED, the kind of ridiculous solutions that are offered to people with ED, but Ayushmann Khurrana picked another role that nobody else would’ve been as comfortable in, and a role he really, really shone in! Because it’s important that we have nice actors who can portray problems like these, and there’s no harm in laughing a little along the way.
We all love our parents, but there’s always something they do that annoys us. But the most embarrassing thing would be to tell your friends that your parents are having a baby after you discover the process of sex. When you’re a kid it’s fine, they can tell you it was a stork, or that God came and left a baby with your mum in the hospital, you’ll believe anything! So when Badhaai Ho was gonna be made, I’m sure they thought about who could do a good job in that role, and nobody else but Ayushmann Khurrana could’ve kicked ass at that role as he did! There’s also a whole load of other problems that Ayushmann Khurrana’s character has in this film, but more than anything his biggest problem is when his friends find out his mum is gonna have a baby. It’s tough to pick who is better in this movie, Ayushmann Khurrana or Neena Gupta but honestly, together they make the movie a stellar one.
We love movies about musicians. And we love drama, so sometimes there’s a little both of both. He was in this movie called AndhaDhun, which is about a blind musician, and how he gets framed for a murder. This is a black comedy film, by Sriram Raghavan who has made films like Badlapur and Agent Vinod before this. They got working together and we got a brilliant movie to watch. It’s a great combination of actors that have come together for this film, and because it’s Ayushmann Khurrana, even a thriller has super funny scenes. It’s this guy, he can pull off anything. Even when he’s blind.
Sometimes picking off-beat films can backfire. Even for Ayushmann Khurrana. Hawaizaada came out in 2015, and it’s got quite a radical script. We’re a huge country with a really long history so you can’t really have enough biopics. Even if they steer a long way away from the real story. Hawaizaada is a lenient take on the life of Shivkar Bapuji Talpade, he is said to be a man in Maharashtra who apparently built India’s first unmanned airplane in 1895. In this, Ayushmann Khurrana plays this guy who is lovestruck but is also a genius who finds a mentor for his madness. But that was also sort of the problem because the movie jumped crazily from one problem to another. But in his defense, Ayushmann Khurrana carries all these problems on his shoulders and puts up a really good fight. But in spite of all that, sometimes, the movie can fail to take off. See what I did there?
Dum Laga Ke Haisha
The movie is set in a time when we were slowly getting ready for our transition from cassettes to CDs. This is a really beautifully shot movie, and it’s set in Hrishikesh and Haridwar in 1995. Ayushmann Khurrana plays a man who is made to marry this woman against his will, and he’s really annoyed that she’s fat. Bhumi Pednekar plays the big woman who is full of confidence and has major dreams for her career. It’s full of drama, but through all the ups and downs, Ayushmann Khurrana really holds his own. It takes a lot of bravery to play a character like the one he did in this film because you’re not gonna like him a lot for the things he does. And that’s not what heroes are usually like. He is perfect as this really confused man who is trying to understand the changes in his life as much as we were trying to understand the changes from our tape recorders to DVD players.
Nautanki Saala came out in 2013, and it’s one of Ayushmann Khurrana’s earlier films. He plays a stage actor who falls in love with a girl while he’s trying to help his friend land the girl he likes. There’s a bit of a comedy of errors, a bit of telling you there can be confusion for anybody at any time. It’s a rom-com from Bollywood but definitely not we’re used to otherwise, no running around in the snow, no big-budget song and dance sequence at some wonder of the world, but a lot of Ayushmann Khurrana and his brilliance. Ayushmann switches personalities effortlessly just as he does with his character on stage. It’s also tough to pick between him and Kunal Kapoor, both of them are brilliant, but trust Ayushmann Khurrana to pick an unconventional role.
Bewakoofiyaan had well-known actors. It stars Rishi Kapoor as a typical Indian dad who thinks nobody is good enough for his daughter, Sonam Kapoor as his daughter, and Ayushmann Khurrana as her boyfriend who has to keep trying to win over his girlfriend’s dad. He plays a man who earns lesser than his girlfriend does, and a man who is trying to get used to what society thinks of men like that. It’s quite an interesting take because there are movies that talk about boys and girls from different castes and different religions getting married. But not too many talks about differences in economic status. And again, quite brave of Ayushmann Khurrana to pick a role like this. It had Rishi Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor, but even though the movie didn’t make a lot of money, just like Ayushmann Khurrana’s character in the film, he stood apart.
Ayushmann Khurrana is like a real-life example for all those inspirational quotes you read on the internet to follow your dreams! You need a lot of determination to break into an industry like Bollywood and stick around for so long and become popular even without doing crazily commercial films. His next one, Article 15 seems to be a lot more serious and a lot more mainstream Bollywood, but it’s got him so you can be sure it won’t be a cop movie like Dabanng. This is Justalkin brought to you by in.com.Read More