Andhadhun

Is Akash lying?

Akash is a talented piano player. But the main character in this film has a bigger talent. He understands probabilities and risks. He lives in a rent controlled building in a nice locality. He is able bodied and it would be bad if he is found out. But, what are the odds? Once he meets Sophie, he stops wearing contacts to appear blind. He continues acting blind just wearing sunglasses. It would be bad if he is found out. But, what are the odds? There’s plenty of evidence for this risk taking behavior throughout the story. In one of the scenes he’s shown sitting flipping a coin. He thinks he is smarter than the average Joe, he thinks he can take the average Joe for a ride.

The story of the film actually begins at the end.

It’s a long story, coffee?

This line appears towards the end when Sophie accidentally (for the second time) meets Akash in Poland in 2020. Think of the entire story as Akash convincing Sophie how he’s a blind Pianist in 2020.

Akash thinks he’s smarter than the average Joe. Akash thinks he’s smarter than Sophie. Sophie finds out his secret when he was living in India. He can come clean the second time, but he won’t. Akash will play the odds and thinks he can beat Sophie this time around. From his perspective, he used to be a blind pianist, only Sophie finds out, now he is a blind pianist again, and only Sophie needs to be convinced he’s blind. So he weaves a story off the cuff. When the film ends, Sophie is convinced. Akash wins the skirmish.

Compulsive risk takers hate playing safe. They like flirting with danger and push close to getting caught. Akash’s story is riddled with inconsistencies. Some of the smaller ones appear early in his narration. He has a his and her coffee cup. In the scenes where Simi is visiting him, the coffee cups in his tray keep swapping. There are two wine glasses by his bed when Sophie walks in. His police statement reads 2017. But the narration is happening two years later in 2020. The bigger ones appear towards the end. Most people have noticed the tree frame. The doctor and him drive way past the first time. But, when he recaps the story, Simi overpowers the doctor by the tree.

Also pay attention to how the shot is framed between first and second time. Initially the camera is closer to Akash’s face in the car. The next time it’s positioned such that the doctor is closer to the viewer. He is talking mostly, he is convincing why Akash should go for the deal. Little elements like this make this a fun film. Another example is where Murali is convincing Sakku that stealing both kidneys is wrong. While wearing a t shirt that says wrong spelt wrong. Very early in the film, Pramod sees a comment on YouTube from someone in Denmark. To which Simi makes a Hamlet reference. In the story several characters die. Like Hamlet. It’s even implied that Manohar gets injured/dies from ricocheted bullet in the elevator.

But the standout inconsistency to me is this one. They are supposed to be driving towards Mumbai airport. But the signpost that rabbit sits by… reads Pune. They are driving towards Pune. When Simi takes the wheel and turns around to run Akash over, she is driving towards Mumbai. When was the last time you heard of a Rabbit causing a car to lose control and end up in a fatal crash. That makes no sense, he shouldn’t be leaving those breadcrumbs. May be inspired by The Usual Suspects, he chooses to weave a rabbit in his story. There is correlation between his cane and rabbit saving his life. There is no causal ordering. It could very well be the other way. Sophie should catch these sloppy bits in his narrative. But, what are the odds?

His objective is to convince Sophie. Take a step back, did he actually lose his vision and then either got his vision back from Simi, or Murali, or someone else? Did he lose his vision at all? He is living the life of a blind pianist in a new place, the only person he needs to make his story consistent with is Sophie. He needs to tell her a story explaining how he’s blind again. That’s it. It’s us, the viewers that are extending it to, he actually went blind and somehow regained vision. Occam’s Razor my friends.

Some things are best left unfinished

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