By Akshay Pawar
Paris je t’aime !
When you see the ‘so-called’ french-with-indian-parents female protagonist trying to roll a parantha on the eve of her wedding, it is safe to assume that her creator comes from the mere–punjab-de-khet milieu and is willing to lose the total zing of the character that was so artificially enforced on her in the first place. As a result, producer, writer & director Aditya Chopra’s Befikre becomes that pretentiously frothy attempt that never really lets you buy into its froth owing to the lack of an inherent conviction. His characters are not only over the top, but they stink of stereotyping today’s youth as commitment phobic, reckless, noisy and lousy. As a part of the youth today, I do take offence to such stereotypes and it is this stereotyping that causes me to label this character’s writing as pretentious and superficial.
Befikre proves to be a tolerable ride however, especially in the first half. Chopra makes sure to keep his screenplay crisp and doesn’t hit a dull pace. This certainly helps the theme of the story while you relish every ounce of Paris that is wonderfully shot by Kaname Onoyama. Chopra doesn’t indulge in melodrama except the last few minutes of course and nostalgia except for the recurring self-referencing, which I believe is pleasing for most of the time. Vishal-Shekhar’s music is complementary to the theme and proves to be the film’s biggest strength here.
Beyond a point, Aditya Chopra’s Befikre doesn’t allow you to talk more, because it leaves you unaffected, probably throwing a metaphor for what Chopra thinks is today’s youths’ situation after a break-up. Chopra’s previous directorial attempts, except for the famous DDLJ, were not particularly moving films, but their moralities, although outrageous and unrealistic, seemed to stem from a genuine place of true conviction. I believe that any art form must stem from a place of true conviction, else it becomes what is now Befikre.
Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor laugh, cry, strip, dance, overact, and of course, kiss, as per instructions. They make for the perfect ‘Befikre’ meaning careless, had only Chopra not been so Befikre while scripting the film.
Aditya Chopra’s Befikre didn’t work for me, but it may be your cup of tea, if you are willing to ignore all its pretense and soak yourself into some Paris with dancing pretty faces around. I am going with 2 stars.