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Film review: Cheeni Kum
After Nishabd, Bachchan is back on screen, romancing a girl much younger. While Nishabd was dark and the love in it had shades of lust mixed in it; Cheeni Kum is a satirical comedy, not dark and with its moments of laughter.
COMEDIES ARE difficult to make; more so satirical comedies. Indians are used to slapstick comedies so far (David Dhawan brand). Of late film-makers are trying satirical comedies (last week’s release Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local being the most recent); however they haven’t found much acceptance in terms of box-office. A few try to serve a mix of satire and slapstick; Bheja Fry is the most successful in the genre.
 
The problem with ‘Cheeni Kum’ is that it is a pure satirical comedy. People with a sense of humor will enjoy it, while those looking for slapstick will miss the humor (that makes for most of the Indians).
 
Cheeni Kum is about a 64 year old (or young as Tabu refers in the film) chef, Budhdha (Amitabh Bachchan). He owns Spice 6, the best restaurant serving Indian cuisine in London.
 
A guest, Nina (Tabu) finds the Hyderabadi Jaffrani Biryani (I hope I got the name right) not cooked to the authentic style.
 
The showdown between the chef and the guest sparks the chemistry read love. The once reticent, rather rude sometimes, Budhdha (Nina’s friend, Shalini, even terms him psycho) starts changing for better.
 
The problem in love, however, is Nina’s father (Paresh Rawal). A true Gandhian (except for him binging on non-vegetarian and an occasional drink) he is genuinely concerned about his daughter’s well being.
 
How he comes to accept Budhdha (six years his senior) as his daamaad forms the climax.
 
The main problem with the film is that it is slow. Also many of the things are left unexplained.
  • When Amitabh yells as the local boys tease Tabu, from where does the crowd appear to shoo them off?
The dialogues could have been better at places. Also the interaction between Amitabh and the young girl ‘Sexy’ balances itself on the thin line between art and vulgarity. I am sure puritans watching the sequences will be offended.
 
If these are the flips, the positive aspect of the film is it introduces a fresh combo of maa-beta, complete with a whole new dimension. Amitabh and Zohra Sehgal share the same chemistry, which Amitabh shared with the famous MAA of the indi-screen, Nirupa Roy. It’s just that the interaction here has a touch of salt ‘n’ pepa to it.
 
The three sequences that stand out are:
  • Tabu checking Bachchan’s stamina (She says coyly “dekhna chahti thee ki bas haath hee pakadh sakte ho, ya ussay aage bhi kuch kar sakte ho”)
  • The maa’s oft-repeated advice to Bachchan to go gym-ing
  • Bachchan’s apparent discomfort when Paresh inadvertently refers to the age.
Directorially Balki makes a confident debut. Screenplay could have been better. Illaiya Raja’s music is in sync with the film.
 
The performances are just flawless. Amitabh Bachchan, Tabu, Paresh Rawal and Zohra Sehgal are all first rate. However, the sequences between Amitabh and Paresh could have been better drafted. The end sequence where Paresh asks Bachchan “mein bhi Lords chaloon, match dekhnay,” stands out because of the timing of the actors. Even supporting cast is apt, the best being Krishna Bhatt playing Colgate. His interactions with Bachchan are sure to raise laughter.
 
If satirical comedy interests you, go grab a ticket for Cheeni Kum, else wait for a slapstick comedy.
 
 
Rating: 5.5 on 10
 
 
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amitabh bachchan
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