Whenever Ahaan, a carefree young man with Down Syndrome, crosses paths with Ozzy who has severe OCD, sparks fly. But soon Ahaan’s relaxed, endearing nature ignites a transformation in Ozzy.
At first glance, twenty-five-year-old Ahaan’s (Abuli Mamaji) life seems to center around making brownie and cake deliveries for his mom’s (Shilpa Mehta) baking venture. But a closer look reveals that Ahaan pines for a life that he can call his own. He often tells his caretaker, Hari (Haresh Raut), that he wants a real job, a wife, kids, perhaps a regular life that any twenty-something would aspire for. But Ahaan’s reality is different. Being Down Syndrome, he is under the protective shield of his parents, especially his father (Kaizaad Kotwal), who is wary of him interacting with the other youngsters in the building. And so, for Ahaan, his daily brownie delivery jaunts become the highlight of his life as it’s his only opportunity to interact freely with people around him. And one such person is Anu (Niharika Singh), who is a regular buyer of his mom’s brownies and shares a warm friendship with Ahaan. Every time he visits her to drop off a box, they chat and sometimes he even ends up getting invited for some homemade biryani. But Anu’s husband Ozzy (Arif Zakaria), can’t handle these visits owing to his OCD. As Ozzy’s behavior soon gets obnoxious and rude, Anu decides to leave him. Realizing that Ahaan is now his only way to connect with and win back Anu, Ozzy decides to befriend him, even if briefly.
Nikhil Pherwani, who has scripted and directed ‘Ahaan’, infuses the film’s narrative with warm energy, even as he brings to light the life, limitations, and aspirations of a person with Down Syndrome. And to the filmmaker’s credit, he does this without getting preachy and with a lot of empathy. What really sets ‘Ahaan’ apart is the casting – as it features a Down Syndrome actor, Abuli Mamaji, to represent his own, a first for a Hindi film. And one can’t help but connect with Ahaan instantly as Abuli Mamaji’s carefree and innocent vibe is infectious and lends to his character’s personality. The actor certainly makes a charming and confident debut.
And credible performances by the ensemble cast ensure that the film's energy doesn’t dip at any point. Arif Zakaria blends into the temperamental Ozzy completely and makes for the perfect foil to Ahaan’s loveable yet sensitive nature. Niharika Singh and Plabita Borthakur effectively add with their cheerful, pleasant acts. Rajit Kapur makes a brief yet impactful appearance.
‘Ahaan’ is an important film as much as it is a heartwarming and breezy watch. Certainly, take the time out for this one.