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59%
2.81 

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Befikre is fun while it lasts
Dec 09, 2016 11:17 AM 2105 Views

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Paris is always a good idea - Audrey Hepburn


INTRO


BEFIKRE is a huge film for director Aditya Chopra. The man who created box office history with his epochal debut film DILWALE DULHANIYA LE JAYENGE has belied expectations in his next two films both being average efforts. In fact the last film he directed, RAB NE BANI DI JODI(a banal affair) was eight years ago. In addition, this is the first film he will be making a film after his father the legendary Yash Chopra passed away. And yes, this is also the first time that a Yash Raj film helmed by the father-son duo does not feature superstar Shah Rukh Khan(An association that lasted 23 years) Will Aditya Chopra prove equal to the task? Or is this beginning of the end for the Yash Raj banner?


STORY


WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD


There is not too much by way of a story in BEFIKRE. The premise is of Dharam(Ranveer Singh) a want-to-be standup comic who lands in Paris(?) in search of a job who bumps into Shyra(Vani Kapoor) and before you know it gets into a relationship with'no strings attached' Predictably they reach a point where they start getting serious and part ways to get engaged with separate partners before reuniting in the end. No rocket science stuff this.


For a romantic film to work and work well, music is a key element and who would know this better than the Chopras whose films like DIL TO PAGAL HAI became runaway hits purely on the strength of a chartbuster soundtrack. The duo of Vishal and Shekhar do not disappoint and the soundtrack of BEFIKRE has a lot to like. Aided superbly by lensman Kaname Onoyama, an inspired choice little known apart from his work in Mr X a Japanese docu feature that wowed audiences at Sundance. For apart from Ranveer Singh, Paris is the other hero of the film. National award winning editor Namrata Rao(who is a regular on director Dibakar Banerjee's films) does a swell job and for most of it's 150 minutes, the film is a brisk ride. Though the story and screenplay are credited to the director, selecting Sharat Katariya director of last year's sleeper hit'DUM LAGA KE HAISHA' to write dialogues for the film is a smart move. For Aditya Chopra's dialogue writing comes across frequently as too verbose and heavy handed(sample MOHABBATEIN) IN BEFIKRE the conversations are like light hearted banter and every day like. Refreshing!


The opening credits with the song'Labon ka Karobar' playing while couples go on a'Kissathon' reminds one of a similar opening sequence in Yash Chopra's DIL TO PAGAL HAI(with the song Ek Duje Ke Vaaste playing) and pretty much sets the mood for what is to follow. What makes BEFIKRE work and rise above a hackneyed script is the exhilarating screenplay that keeps the audience hooked to the bare-or-dare escapades of the lead pair. With every scene, both Ranveer and Vani seem to be pushing the envelope bit by bit, little at a time. In a tribute to the bold vision of the director, the kissing scenes are so many and done so nonchalantly that after a while they become de rigueur. Which is why the last part of the movie including the messy climax in a church(Aditya Chopra digs them) seems more cliched and sticks out like a sore thumb. If only.


Vani Kapoor as the free spirited, rumbustious Indian lass born and brought up in France is quite superb. From her body language to her perfect French(and the film has a lot of it) accent to the hot curves that she uninhibitedly displays, she does not play Shayra as much as she becomes Shyra. A particularly memorable scene(that pays a tribute to the famous'Palat' scene from DILWALE DULHANIYA LE JAYENGE aka DDLJ) in which Vani admires a guy's derriere perfectly sums up her character. The Hindi film heroine has truly arrived and how! Ranveer Singh's Dharam is a far cry from the'Rahul' and the'Raj' characters that have inhabited the world of Yash Raj films in all these years. With shades of a charming Bittoo from BAND BAJA BARAAT and a brash Ram from RAM LEELA, Singh is mad, unapologetic, irreverent and in-your-face all at once. There is really no stopping this man.And if you women out there thought John Abraham in the yellow briefs in DOSTANA or Ranbir Kapoor's towel scene in SAAWARIYA was jaw dropping stuff, wait till you see what Singh reveals in BEFIKRE.


Aditya Chopra makes a bold, breezy romance that will have the youngsters going bonkers. There is a certain joie de vivre about BEFIKRE that one cannot miss. Those expecting this to be the new age DDLJ are missing the point. For this is Aditya Chopra 2.0 and we surely ain't complaining. And no, we did not miss Shah Rukh Khan. Take your lover along and have fun.


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