Sriram Raghavan's Andhadhun was one hell of a thriller, where every element, from storytelling to performance to music, came together wonderfully.
But, we took a closer look at what went into making the film and came upon these facts that left us just as surprised as the film's climax:
1. The film was inspired by the 2010 French short film, L'Accordeur (The Piano Tuner).
Hemanth M Rao, one of the film's writers, suggested that Raghavan see The Piano Tuner. Raghavan loved the film so much, he based a script on it.
2. Varun Dhawan, not Ayushmann Khurrana, was the first choice to play Akash.
Apparently, Raghavan reached out to Dhawan, who he worked with on Badlapur, for the role but Dhawan turned it down. Later, Khurrana expressed an interest in the film, and ultimately, landed the role.
3. Ayushmann Khurrana did not use a body double in the film but actually learned how to play the piano.
Calling it the most "the most challenging role" of his career, Khurrana shared that he actually learned to play the piano and no body-double was used for even the close-up of his fingers.
4. Khurrana trained with LA-based pianist, Akshay Verma, for the role.
He rehearsed every day, for 3 hours, for 5 months. He also met a visually challenged pianist, Rahul, at Raghavan's office to observe him, while also visiting and observing the Happy Home and School for the Blind to observe the mannerisms of blind people.
5. The tentative title of the film was Shoot the Piano Player.
We're glad the creators arrived at Andhadhun.
6. Khurrana was given special lenses, and dark glasses, that impaired his vision up to 90%.
A special pair of lenses were procured from London, that impaired Khurrana's vision by 80%. The lenses, coupled with the dark glasses, hindered his vision by 90%, and that's how he shot the entire film.
7. Tabu was given no brief for her role. Rather, she and Raghavan kept developing the role as the shoot progressed.
Tabu was Raghavan's first choice for Simi, and the fact that they developed the role on the go, only makes her performance even more phenomenal!
8. Radhika Apte was so "smitten" by Tabu, and her performance, that she kept coming out of the character while shooting with her.
Apte shared with Gulf News, "I had just one scene with her, but I kept coming out of my character. That never happens to me unless I am tired. I couldn’t get through the scene because I kept stopping to admire her play her role. She’s unpredictable as an actor. I was smitten by her personality and her presence.”
9. Even though the film was shot over a year, the actual shooting time was just 44 days.
10. The iconic murder scene starring Tabu and Manav Vij, was not rehearsed at all.
One of the most tense, and intriguing sequences has Tabu and Manav Vij cleaning up a murder scene, as Ayushmann Khurrana plays the piano. And while Raghavan's assistants prepared a few shots of the scene in advance, the actors performed the scene with no rehearsal.
11. Originally, the film included a post-credit scene which was a montage of characters from various Hindi movies, playing the piano.
The montage was set to the tune of Andhadhun's theme song. However, the montage was later cut from the movie, allegedly over copyright concerns. It featured actors from Dev Anand to Rajesh Khanna, Nargis, and even Shah Rukh Khan.
You perhaps missed this end scroll in theatres while watching #AndhaDhun. It was removed. It's one of my favourite sequences, as evocative as #CinemaParadiso's kiss montage. pic.twitter.com/HfmQFdP0Io— Atul Sabharwal (@sabharwalatul) October 7, 2018
12. The producers (Viacom18 and Matchbox Pictures) were not in favour of keeping the ending open-ended, but Raghavan pushed for an ambiguous end. Clearly, the risk paid off.
One of the alternate endings featured the Sheikh's daughter in a hospital setup, and later, a shot of her recovered and using a hula hoop. That would make it clear that Simmi was indeed killed by Dr. Swami and used for organ donation. Another ending had Akash kill Simmi, believing her to be Dr. Swami.
13. Pooja Ladha Surti, the editor of the film, has been the editor for all of Raghavan's movies, except his debut film, Ek Hasina Thi.
Talk about a 'thrilling' duo!
14. Since it's the story of a blind man, originally, Raghavan wanted the trailer to have no visual, only certain sounds.
The studios backing the film rejected Raghavan's original idea but agreed to his viewpoint of not giving away too much information with the trailer. After several discussions, the creators arrived at the final trailer and it's easily, one of the better ones we've seen in recent times.
15. Anil Dhawan actually plays himself in the movie.
Dhawan, who plays former superstar Pramod Sinha in the movie, is actually a superstar from the 70s, who acted in movies from the 70s to the 90s, and early 2000s.
How many of these facts did you already know about? Let us know in the comments section below.