Befikre (2016)

Befikre: Aditya Chopra has made a frivolous, silly film where he fails to create romance. He establishes the ‘Frenchness’ of the movie, and you accept it, hoping he will stick to it. But he, like the film, can’t make up his mind, so the audience is subjected to a volley of baseless proceedings.

Cliche. That’s the word I would use to describe my experience. 90 minutes into the movie, I was hoping something, anything would redeem it. But it went further downhill. The film has been directed with careless abandon, much like its name. Kissing incessantly does not equal love, romance or even intimacy. Using the backdrop of Paris it was shoved down our throats but even the Eiffel Tower couldn’t turn the scene.

Ranveer Singh is his usual self. High on energy, good performance, a natural. But the story doesn’t back him up. Vaani Kapoor has difficulty emoting, which makes her look uncomfortable on screen. That is successfully transferred to the audience. Poorly etched and written, they did their best in a script which only demands patience.

I dare you to watch this film. (Ironically a pun you will understand only after you see it. But don’t tell me you were not warned).



The hundred foot journey (2014)

Writer Richard C. Morais probably didn’t imagine such a stellar cast and rich production would be given to his novel. Two beautiful worlds collided in this film, where Indian spices and flavours gave age old French recipes and classic culinary a delectable twist.

The story is neither predictable, nor are the characters. Helen Mirren plays the Michelin Star restaurant owner who has new ‘neighbours’. They have opened ‘Mumbai Maison’, an Indian restaurant 100 feet from hers. There starts a journey which no one could have foreseen. Director Lasse Hallström’s repertoire of the ABBA videos and his impressive filmography show a flair to balance such contrasting elements.

Besides salivating throughout the film, and laughing at ‘Papa’ Om Puri’s exquisite ‘Indian-ness’, we are treated by the stiff and snobby Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) and the vulnerable yet talented Hassan (Manish Dayal). They are ably supported by Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) and a small yet adorable cast playing both Hassan’s family and Madame’s staff and town folk. Sensitive bonds, breath-taking French locales, cinematography that captures our own emotions and feelings set this film apart in 2014.

We take with us the tastes of both cultures, but above all, the lesson that good food never goes unrewarded. Prejudice takes a back seat and talent takes centre stage. Produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and five others, with music by A.R.Rahman, this is one masterchef you cannot afford to miss.

Running to packed houses in limited cinemas with even fewer shows, savour it now!