Befikre -- a film that wants to be Dev.D but is too Dilwale Dulhania Je Jayenge at heart for it -- wrongs you in many ways. Just when you start seething at the thought that Aditya Chopra must have mistaken your brain for a cauliflower and hence has gleefully proceeded to pakao it, he offers such a great solution for all your relationship troubles that you want to forgive Mohabbatein. The heroine's mother -- always a repository of laddoos and sanskaar in Bollywood -- suggests that the girl ask herself: "Is ladke main woh aloo parathe waali baat hai ki nahin?"
Don't tell me your dream break-up conversation isn't, "O hello, who do you think you are? Some Aloo paratha or what?"
However, the road to this moment of epiphany isn't easy and involves watching a very confusing film.
The road to this moment of epiphany isn't easy and involves watching a very confusing film.
Dharam (Ranveer Singh) and Shayra (Vaani Kapoor) are
Splitsvilla contestants young, hot and reckless. Dharam, a rag-a-tag stand-up comedian from Delhi with Donald Trump's luck, lands up in Paris because an old friend wants to open a desi comedy club. He meets Shayra at a party where Dharam has pretty much been shooed away by all the women in the crowd. Shayra takes a liking to him because he is witty and funny. As evidence of his wit, Dharam presents Shayra with the following joke: "I don't like Indian men either, they smell of methi." Since NRIs aren't exactly known for having high standards in Hindi jokes -- just Google the overseas collection of Chennai Express for proof -- Shayra is totally sold on the aforementioned line. They end up having sex that night, leading to a series of such hook-ups.
Our government has more clarity on demonetisation and black money than Chopra has on casual sex.
And here's when the suspicion that Chopra indeed thinks we have cauliflowers for brains creeps in. In course of a song -- Ude Dil Befikre -- Dharam and Shayra's relationship is fleshed out. And it turns out that probably our government has more clarity on demonetisation and black money than Chopra has on casual sex. If you're standing in an ATM queue right now and want to throw a brick at me, trust me, you'd want to exchange all my old 500 rupees notes to show agreement and appreciation after you watch the film.
Since they are in a no-strings-attached relationship, Dharam and Shayra must be fine cuckoos as well. It's as if their sanskaar and intelligence held hands, declared 'hum saath saath hai' and walked out of their heads, together. So they go around slapping cops, burgling shops, doing strip teases in libraries, interrupting dance recitals, turning up in parties in underwear. Arrey what, if you can have sex without saat pheras, you can break into five-star hotel rooms also naa? #RabNeBanaDiLooseCharacter
Common sense tells you that even pigeons won't want to move in with Dharam or Shayra, so they decide to move in with each other. We have ample proof that their brains don't work in recognisable human ways, so we're told they squabble a lot and hence break-up. Then they decide to become 'friends' and start dating other people. But but but, don't forget this is Bollywood and there are things that aren't allowed on our desh ki dharti. So while Dharam keeps having sex with several women, all the action Shayra gets after him is a peck on her lips -- dripping with the dewy eyed adoration with which Bengalis kiss their Digene after a Sunday lunch.
But but but, don't forget this is Bollywood and there are things that aren't allowed on our desh ki dharti.
As the film progresses and takes one strange turn after another, it's like you can see your landlord uncle grumbling 'aj kal ke bachche'', furiously shaking his head and writing the script.
Dharam is an easy role to play for Ranveer Singh. He is supposed to be street-smart and 'Dilli' and he doesn't even have to 'act' to do that. Vaani Kapoor moves like a hurricane to music. However, since the characters they play are comical at best, the most acting needed from both of them involves emulating three emojis: happy, sad and angry. Even Suniel Shetty could get those expressions right, so Singh and Kapoor have a very easy job at hand.
Befikre's music isn't the best, but am I not thankful that it exists? Because it does, Kapoor and Singh dance, and that's one thing about the film that's bloody good -- the spectacle of them dancing. You may never be able to look at your own midriff again without being reminded of a pillow, but that's just a small inconvenience.
Wondering why I didn't mention those alleged double-digit 'liplocks' that entertainment supplements were going ga-ga over? There's more chemistry between me and my Boroline than there was in those kisses. If you have watched anyone chew a 5 Star, you've watched Singh and Kapoor chew each other's faces.
Honestly, Befikre reminds you of a Tandoori Chicken Pizza... neither this, nor that, expensive and most likely to give you indigestion.