Well Done Abba
Directed byShyam Benegal
Screenplay byAshok Mishra
Story byShyam Benegal
Based onJau Tithe Khau (2007)
Produced byRaj Pius
Mahesh Ramanathan
StarringBoman Irani
Minissha Lamba
Ravi Kishan
Sammir Dattani
Music byShantanu Moitra
Release dates
  • August 2009 (2009-08) (Montréal Film Festival)
  • 26 March 2010 (2010-03-26) (India)
Running time
144 minutes
Budget₹10 crore
Box office₹25 crore

Well Done Abba (transl. Well done dad) is a 2010 Indian political satire Hindi film directed by Shyam Benegal, starring Boman Irani, Minissha Lamba and Sameer Dattani in pivotal roles. It is the remake of the 2007 Marathi film, Jau Tithe Khau.[1][2][3] It was based on three short stories: Narsaiyyan Ki Bavdi by Jeelani Bano, Phulwa Ka Pul by Sanjeev and Still Waters by Jayant Kripalani.[4] The screenplay was written by Jayant Kripalani and Ashok Mishra, who also wrote the dialogues.[5][6][7] It won the 2009 National Film Award for Best Film on Social Issues.[8]


The film tells the story of Armaan Ali (Boman Irani), a Muslim driver working in Mumbai, who takes a one-month leave from his employer to find a groom for his daughter Muskaan (Minissha Lamba), who lives in a village near Hyderabad, India. Armaan does not turn up for three months, and his employer makes the difficult decision to sack him, but he asks his boss to listen to why he could not come. Getting soft, his employer allows him to drive to Pune where he has a meeting. Armaan starts the story from here.

In Armaan's village, many problems include a rising drought situation and financial difficulties due to the antics of his twin brother, who has a bad reputation for debt addiction and theft. In the opening, a man named Arif demands 500 rupees from Armaan. Eventually, Muskaan pays the debt to Arif and Armaan's brother is arrested, later on released. To solve the drought problem, he goes to a government office to build a well, with a friend. There, he goes through stages such as explaining what he wants and even having his photo taken. Muskaan, on the other hand falls in love with Arif, of which Armaan does not approve at first but later is pleased with.

Armaan does not receive the well he wanted and sits in despair. He and Muskaan try to tell the police inspector about the well that was 'stolen', but the inspector finds the story rather silly and is even stubborn enough to not listen to what they have to say. Disturbed, Armaan and Muskaan launch a protest with several villagers against the police inspector, later on to the justice minister, where the minister punishes the inspector for his slack behaviour. The inspector, realising his mistakes and behaviour, then starts to approach the people in a more orthodox way. The justice minister then allows the government people to build the well for the villagers and punishes them all, for not doing what they are supposed to do.

With the drought problem solved, Armaan decides that Muskaan should marry an Arab sheikh. Muskaan does not accept her father's offer and even has an argument about this. The issue is even more heated when she receives a letter from her friend, Sakina, which involved her getting beat up by her sheikh husband and getting kicked out, shocking Armaan and Sakina's mother. Disturbed, Armaan then decides that Muskaan should marry Arif, much to her delight. With the two of Armaan's problems solved, he ends his story at an awards ceremony, which in his perspective was a 'big drama', as the stage literally collapsed, delighting people. With his employer convinced, he then allows Armaan to work for him again.



BIG Pictures and Reliance BIG Entertainment Ltd collaborated with director Shyam Benegal to bring "a satirical comedy 'Well Done Abba' on the celluloid". The film was shot at Film City, Mumbai, the Mumbai–Pune Expressway, Ramoji Film City and Ibrahimpatnam near Hyderabad.

Vihir Chorila Geli, a Marathi film, in based on similar story starring Laxmikant Berde and Ashok Saraf.


Well Done Abba
Soundtrack album by
GenreFeature film soundtrack

Well Done Abba's music is by Shantanu Moitra and the main promotional song "Jab Bhi Muh Kholta" was composed by Vishal Khurana. The lyrics are penned by Ashok Mishra, Swanand Kirkire and Ila Arun.[1][10]

1."Meri Banno Hoshiyar"Ila ArunIla Arun & Daniel George03:32
2."Hum Toh Apni Bawdi Lenge"Ashok MishraMohit Chauhan & Swanand Kirkire03:32
3."Sandesa Sandesa"Swanand KirkireShreya Ghoshal & Rupankar05:14
4."Rahiman Ishq Ka Dhaga Re"Ashok MishraRaghav & Raja Hasan05:59
5."Pani Ko Taraste"Ashok MishraKrishna Beura & Raja Hasan05:34
Total length:23:51
Promotional Song
1."Jab Bhi Muh Kholta"Ashok MishraVishal KhuranaIla Arun & Boman Irani 

Critical reception

The film received favourable reviews from top critics in India. It received 6.5/10 at ReviewGang.[11] Anupama Chopra of NDTV writes "The end result is that Well Done Abba is heart-felt and intermittently funny", while Nikhat Khazmi of the Times of India writes "The film is a sheer delight, with the events unfolding in a breezy, comic vein which keeps the ribs relentlessly tickling". Vinayak Chakravorty of Mail Today gave it three stars.


  1. ^ a b c Buzz18 (21 April 2009). "Shyam Benegal completes 'Well Done Abba'". IBN Movies. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2010.((cite news)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "'Well Done Abba' to release on 370 screens". The Economic Times. India. 23 March 2010. Archived from the original on 26 March 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
  3. ^ "Mind Matters". The Indian Express. 17 March 2010. Archived from the original on 15 January 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
  4. ^ "Mind Matters - Indian Express". Archived from the original on 18 October 2023. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  5. ^ Writers Archived 13 March 2017 at the Wayback Machine IMDb.
  6. ^ "Mind Matters". The Indian Express. 18 March 2010. Archived from the original on 18 October 2023. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  7. ^ "s 17th Annual Star Screen Awards 2010: Production Awards". The Indian Express. 7 January 2011.
  8. ^ "And the National Award goes to..." The Times of India. 17 September 2010. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  9. ^ "Welldone Abba (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". iTunes. 8 March 2010. Archived from the original on 23 May 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  10. ^ Music Review Archived 4 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine NDTV.
  11. ^ "Well Done Abba Reviews". Reviewgang.com. Archived from the original on 1 April 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010.