Badhai Ho tackles a serious subject humorously, without losing its entertainment quotients. It tackles the tricky topic of middle-age pregnancy. How it affects the entire family, particularly two grown up sons, forms the crux of the story.
Set in a usual middle class milieu in New Delhi, the story revolves around the Kaushik family. Jitendra Kaushik (Gajraj Rao) aka Jeetu, is a near retiring Railway Ticket Collector who lives with his spouse Priyamvada (Neena Gupta) whom he fondly addresses as Bubbly, his aged mother essayed by Surekha Sikri and his two sons - Nakul and Gular. While Gular is in his final year at school, Nakul (Ayushmann Khurrana) the older one works in an IT company.
Kaushiks are a typical lower middle class family where there is a mother-in-law (played by Surekha Sikri) who doesn't leave a chance to taunt her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Priyamvada Kaushik (played by Neena Gupta).
But one fine night, a thundering sound in the background tells us that a storm is awaited only this time in the form of a "good news." As the couple gets cozy, the camera pans toward the windows where it is raining cats and dogs, a new way to show us consummation, after flowers. What follows next is a circus, with the dilemma the couple feels to break this news to the family. It is a laughter ride throughout the first half where both the sons find it hard to accept this "good news" and abandon their parents. There is a scene where Ayushmann tries to hide himself from his notorious friends and his girlfriend, Renee (played by Sanya Malhotra) to avoid any discussion on this. A natural reaction portrayed very well by Khurrana.
The dilemma and the aftermath of the decision to go ahead with pregnancy was beautifully handled. Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao have performed exceptionally well throughout. The tension, the emotion, the naughtiness and the warmth they show as Mr and Mrs Kaushik will make you smile and laugh at the same time. While the first half focuses more on the revelation and the society’s mocking reaction to it, the second half is a more matured take, riding high on emotions.
Ayushmann in an inebriated state realises what Renee meant when she explained him how age and romance are not correlated. Amusingly, a reference to Anup Jalota is made and the irony of it cannot be missed.
Director Amit Ravindernath Sharma has kept the pace smooth while keeping the screenplay hilarious. The dialogues are kept colloquial and the dialect has been kept in mind considering the film is set in a small town.
Ayushmann essays multi-layered flamboyant character of Nakul with ease. On the other side, Sanya had very little to do in the film. Veterans Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao are the real heroes of the movie. They do complete justice with their meaty roles. Surekha Sikri’s situational comedy is really enjoyable.
With a slice-of-life story, strong screenplay and hilarious dialogues, it is an engaging affair.
Overall, Badhaai Ho is worthy to watch once for its entertainment quotients.