Badhaai Ho – Congratulations!
The title of the movie is supposed to bring a very pleasant feeling but that’s not what goes on in the movie. Nakul(Ayushmann Khurrana) our lead lives in a joint family with his parents, younger brother and his loud mouth grandmother. It’s still a very happy family although he is very embarrassed to introduce his upscale girlfriend Renee(Sanya Malhotra) to them.
The movie is picturised in a middle class family living on row houses, every time we watch such movies it’s reminiscent of the fact the we are loosing this culturally knit locality to fast growing metros.
So Nakul is enjoying his life, hanging out with his new found love everyday, his brother going to school who gets a pocket money from his brother; it’s a greatest feeling. Grandma is happy controlling the family where both son and bhau(Neena Gupta) are obedient all the time. It’s a very happy family.
Then the pain starts, mother kinda falls sick. See this is a story based of a middle class family, there has to be some pain. So the whole family is attending to her now. Anyways before I go into describing her sickness, I really want to quote this classic dialogue which summarizes the whole movie. Nakul and his brother are sulking on the terrace with their mother’s “illness“, he goes,
“You really had to cry and beg to have your own room, hah!“, smacks on his back of the head. Corollary to that line ‘Can’t you just continue sleeping with parents!‘. Yes, his brother is in high school and children do sleep with their parents as long as they want,
a. for the lack of space
b. unlike American culture it is not looked down upon for children to hang out with parents. Instead it builds a lasting bond of caring, this story is testimony for that
c. the most important reason is that in India it acts a parent birth control.
Alright to the climax of their mother’s illness, she was feeling giddy and throwing up, the common problem at this age – gastric trouble. With the expert doctors visit, the unthinkable gets confirmed, she is pregnant!
The family falls apart, Nakul storms out the door saying, “What were you thinking“, younger brother never looks into his parents eyes. Grandma scolds them saying, “It is time to see your son get married and have children, and here you are having your own time“. These grandma’s have a heart of gold mine, but spits fire from their mouth. Well the only person who said Congratulations was the doctor.
Then the smirky congratulations keep coming from neighbors and distant relatives.
Nakul who was already feeling low with his status as stacked up against his aristocratic girlfriend, this makes him go even lower. In the heated argument, breakup happens. He is ashamed to meet his friends, skips going to cousins wedding. His brother comes home with a bruised face; he had gotten into a fight with his classmate who had teased their mother. Then it takes a turn, first Nakul goes to school with his brother and fixes that classmate, comes back home and comforts his mother that he would be there for the smooth delivery supporting the family.
Well it’s a two hour movie going melodramatic and addressing the family values in the society. Finally on the delivery day his girlfriend comes to join his hand in celebrating a beautiful new angel baby girl to life.
In this day and age where socially appropriated heterosexual sex has become a novelty, while the millennials are busy using all kinds of social media, texting and sexting, somebody has to keep the age old tradition alive.