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Film / Andhadhun

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Andhadhun (Blindly) is a 2018 Bollywood film directed by Sriram Raghavan and starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Tabu, and Radhika Apte.

Akash is a pianist who feigns blindness. One day, he stumbles upon a crime scene and has to decide whether to keep pretending not to see to stay safe or to report the crime and expose his deception.

Provides examples of:

  • Anti-Hero: Akaash is revealed to still have his eyes by the end of the film, which puts his morality into question
  • AB Negative: Dr. Swami says that it has been difficult to find a liver transplant for the Sheikh's daughter, since her blood type is B negative.
  • Ambiguous Situation: How did Mr. Sinha die? Did Manohar or Simi kill him? Did the gun go off accidentally, as Simi claims? Or did he shoot himself when he saw his wife with another man?
  • Artistic License – Medicine: Because corneas have no blood vessels, matching blood types is not necessary for a transplantation.
  • Big Bad: Simi is one of the most vile and devious characters in the movie and she has the spotlight for most of the run time.
  • Becoming the Mask: Invoked. Akash pretends to be blind. Simi blinds him for real.
  • Blackmail: Akash demands a large sum of money to pay for a black market corneal transplantation in exchange for not releasing Simi's taped confession.
  • Blind Musician: Akash being familiar with this trope is why he fakes being blind in the first place.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: Well, a duffel bag full of money. And it turns out to be mostly filled with blank pieces of paper.
  • Can't See a Damn Thing: Simi blinds Akash for real by poisoning him.
  • Caught on Tape: When Simi denies killing Mr. Sinha, Akash points out that she did kill Mrs. D'Sa. When she starts making excuses for it, it is revealed that her confession was recorded.
  • Cooperation Gambit: When Simi and Akash are tied up by the organ harvesters, she suggests that she untie his hands in exchange for getting her blindfold removed by him afterwards, so she can guide him. He reluctantly agrees as he has no better options available. She proceeds to send him on a wild goose chase so she can find something to cut her own ties with while he's distracted, and then attacks him.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Simi berates Manohar for bringing his gun to their tryst, saying that they wouldn't be in the mess they're in if he hadn't.
  • Create Your Own Hero: Akash was content to pretend he never witnessed anything, and then Simi blinded him and Manohar tried to kill him. Only then does he start to plot against them—because he wants his eyesight back and he wants to be sure that they don't try to kill him again.
  • Daydream Surprise: The daydream being Akash protesting against the prepared statement the police asks him to sign, instead saying that he's not blind and revealing everything that happened. After the daydream is over, he does indeed sign the statement.
  • A Deadly Affair: Simi and Manohar, who are both married to other people, have an affair. When Simi's husband Mr. Sinha finds out about the affair, he ends up dead. Since we only see the aftermath, it is unclear how he died—whether he was killed by Simi or Manohar, or by himself, or if it was accidental.
  • Death Faked for You: Akash kidnaps Simi and makes it look like she killed herself.
  • Destination Defenestration: Simi kills Mrs. D'Sa by throwing her out of a window.
  • Destroy the Evidence: Simi deletes the recording which shows that Akash faked being blind after blinding him for real.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The plan for the drop-off didn't consider the possibility of Manohar dropping the Duffel Bag Full Of Money into the elevator and taking the stairs himself. This gets Murli killed.
  • Disposing of a Body: Simi and Manohar stuff Mr. Sinha's body in a suitcase to get it out of the apartment and later dump it off a bridge.
  • Dramatic Irony: A lot of the things characters do and say based on the belief that Akash is blind qualify, but especially Simi and Manohar's attempts to cover up the crime scene without tipping off Akash, which is heavily Played for Drama.
  • Elevator Failure: Invoked. Dr. Swami's crew trap Manohar in an elevator by turning off its power while he's inside.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: More like the ending shot. Akash tells Sofie the story that he elected to stay blind as he could not use Simi for illegal transplants. But he is shown kicking a soda can with his stick, showing that it is highly likely that he was fabricating some, if not all, of the story he told Sofie.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Sofie concludes that Simi and Akash have eloped when she sees a news report that says that it is believed that Simi committed suicide although her body hasn't been found and that she was last seen leaving with Akash, whose whereabouts are unknown. What actually happened was that Akash kidnapped Simi.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: When Simi crashes the car towards the end of the film, it bursts into flames.
  • Femme Fatale: Simi is a poster child for this trope.
  • Film Noir: It has a lot of the characteristics of this genre with the Anti-Hero protagonist, the Femme Fatale, the numerous twists, and even the dark humor.
  • Frame-Up: Simi and Manohar frame an innocent man for the murder of Mr. Sinha using the latter's watch. See Schmuck Bait.
  • He Knows Too Much:
    • Mrs. D'Sa having seen who entered the Sinhas' apartment and in which order makes her able to contradict Simi's account of the events. In addition, she says that she would be able to identify the unknown man who entered first (Manohar), which would reveal the truth. Consequently, Simi decides to kill her before she can go on record.
    • Akash knowing about the murder of Mrs. D'Sa. Simi decides to ruin his credibility as a witness by blinding him for real. Manohar decides that that isn't enough, and goes to kill him instead.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: When Manohar is trapped in an elevator, he tries to shoot his way out. The bullet ricochets, killing him.
  • Home-Early Surprise: When Mr. Sinha comes home to surprise his wife Simi on their anniversary after having told her he was going to Bengaluru, he finds out she's having an affair with Manohar.
  • How We Got Here: The film begins with a farmer trying to shoot a hare roaming around his cabbage field. Towards the end, we find out that this led to Simi crashing her car and dying when she tried to run over Akash.
  • Imagine Spot: While the police is asking Akash to sign a statement (which he knows is false), Akash imagines suddenly standing up and telling everyone the truth.
  • Instant Sedation: Of the "rag over the mouth" variety when Akash kidnaps Simi.
  • Internal Reveal: Akash's knowledge of Sakhu's Shiva tattoo reveals to the organ harvesters that he could see, which saves him from having his kidneys stolen.
  • Irony: Sophie believes Akash to be blind. She then finds out that he was only faking it from the kid living next door to him... at the same time as he's blinded for real by Simi. Her finding out about his deceit thus doesn't result in her finding out the truth, but in her substituting one mistaken belief for the opposite one.
  • It Gets Easier: Simmi is shown distraught after Pramod's death. But she nevertheless has no issues committing or attempting more murders to protect herself and is evil enough by the end to try to kill Akash even though he is of no danger to her. Or so it seems...
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Murli dies as a result of his involvement in the organ harvesting scheme, and when asked to save him the doctor says that the only thing that can be done is to donate his organs.
  • Liar Revealed: Sophie finds out that Akash was only feigning blindness from the kid living next door to him. In an ironic twist, this happens at the same time as Simi blinds him for real.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Invoked. Simi sets it up so that Sofie will believe that Akash is sleeping with Simi by poisoning him and opening the door partially undressed when Sofie turns up at Akash's place.
  • Mistaken for Prank Call: Someone calls the police saying that Manohar was the one who dumped Mr. Sinha's body. The police officer dismisses this as a crank call.
  • Never My Fault: Simi blames Manohar entirely for the death of her husband Mr. Sinha since Manohar brought the gun and more egregiously refuses to take responsibility for murdering Mrs. D'Sa in cold blood when Akash calls her out on it.
  • Never Suicide: Manohar attempts to kill Akash with a noose to make it look like a suicide. Akash manages to escape.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: The organ harvesters double-cross Akash so they can keep all the money for themselves.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Akash pretends to be blind.
  • Oh, Crap!: Akash has this reaction when he goes to the police station to report the murder of Mr. Sinha, only to discover that the man he saw in Sinha's apartment is a police inspector working there. He quickly comes up with an alternative crime to report to avoid arousing suspicion.
  • Organ Theft: Dr. Swami runs an organ harvesting operation.
  • Phoney Call: Simi pretends to call Mr. Sinha when Akash shows up at their apartment to hide that he's already dead. Akash spots the dead body anyway, since he's only faking his blindness.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Akash calls Sophie after Simi has blinded him, attempting to explain the situation. Sophie refuses to listen, having found out that he was faking his blindness and mistakenly believing that he was sleeping with Simi. This leaves Akash completely isolated with no one to trust or turn to.
  • Private Detective: Akash calls Manohar's wife pretending to be a private detective hired by Mr. Sinha and reveals to her that Manohar and Simi are having an affair.
  • Pull the Thread: Several people who suspect Akash of being sighted attempt to expose/test him—for instance the neighbor kid tries to catch him using his eyesight at home and Manohar throws a small knife at him to see if he flinches or dodges it. Simi finally succeeds by pulling a gun on him, which scares him and makes him drop the charade.
  • The Reveal: In the final shot, it is revealed that Akash is able to see again, putting his account of the events into question.
  • Schmuck Bait: A random guy finds an expensive watch in a urinal. By keeping it, he's successfully framed by Simi and Manohar for Mr. Sinha's murder, since they dumped his watch there.
  • Second-Act Breakup: Sophie breaks up with Akash after finding out that he was only pretending to be blind (unbeknownst to her, he has at this point been blinded for real by Simi) and being led to believe by Simi that she and Akash are having an affair.
  • The Sociopath: Simi has no problems framing an innocent man for murder, murdering her neighbor, and blinding Akash to save her own skin. She gets upset with Manohar for bringing his gun to their tryst—not because it resulted in her husband's death, but because his death caused them a lot of trouble. When Akash calls her out on murdering Mrs. D'Sa in cold blood, she rhetorically asks whether he and the people helping him are a bunch of saints and starts trying to justify herself. She deceives Sophie into thinking Akash cheated on her, breaking her heart and driving a wedge between them for no apparent reason besides pettiness. When she and Akash find themselves in a pickle, she comes up with a plan to cooperate and tries to kill him when he has helped her and is no longer useful to her. In short, she lies, manipulates, and double-crosses people unhesitatingly when it suits her purposes, only looks out for herself, is wantonly cruel, and shows no remorse for any of her crimes including murder.
  • Spanner in the Works: Mrs. D'Sa witnessing the comings and goings at the Sinhas' apartment and telling the police results in both Simi and Manohar's plan (simply framing an innocent man and then moving on) and Akash's plan (feigning ignorance to avoid putting himself in danger) being thrown off course. Simi's attempts to course-correct further complicate matters.
  • Surprise Party: Mr. Sinha's plan to surprise his wife Simi for their anniversary by saying that he's going to Bengaluru but instead coming home with flowers and wine and having Akash show up to play the piano for them kicks off the plot.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Simi pours poison into Akash's tea in front of his eyes (he's supposed to be blind, after all). After he "accidentally" spills the tea, he finds out that a sweet he ate earlier was also poisoned.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Akash lies about Simi's fate, at least. How much of the rest is true is up for interpretation.
  • Villain Protagonist: Simi has as much screen time as Akash and is the main reason for all the problems in the movie. By the end of the movie, Akash is arguably there too as he apparently lied about not using Simi for a corneal transplant.
  • Weapon for Intimidation: Simi uses a fake gun to intimidate Akash. In an interesting variation, the main reason she wanted to intimidate him was to force him to reveal that he wasn't actually blind.
  • Woman Scorned: When Manohar's wife finds out about his affair with Simi, she takes his gun and tries to kill him with it.