Movie review: Befikre

21 years after redefining romance for a whole generation with his debut film Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Aditya Chopra makes Befikre, a frothy, new age rom-com that tests the relevance of his film-making aesthetics with this current generation. In between, Chopra has made only two films, Mohabbatein (2000) and Rab Ne Bana Di Jori (2008).

In his fourth film Befikre, Aditya Chopra explores a breezy, non committal new age romance with Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor as his lead actors. Singh as Dharam is back in his familiar territory of playing a typical Dilli brat and is easily the best thing about the movie. Vaani as Shyra has spunk and shines in some moments but can hardly rise above her underwritten character, even though her French accent and dance moves are spot on. Exotic locales are a staple in Yash Raj movies and Befikre is no exception. The stunning Paris is the neutral ground where Karol Bagh’s stand up comedian Dharam and French-Indian tour guide Shyra meet and get into this roller coaster ride of a relationship. A wild night of booze and sex and a series of dares later, the two move in together but quickly realize their incompatibility. They fall out of love and part ways just as easily. Their repeated hook up, break up and hook up again have random and arbitrary reasons and the audience lose interest just as fast as them.

The first half of Befikre is fun and effortless. The songs and dances, the light humor and the sparkling chemistry between the leads make it an easy watch. Ranveer Singh’s goofy charm is infectious and you can’t imagine any other actor as Dharam. But admittedly he is no Shahrukh Khan, the star of all three of Chopra’s previous movies, who can carry a film to greatness despite a weak storyline. The second half is marred by predictability and bollywood-esque clichés. If only Chopra could have stuck to the carefree romance the movie had started out as and not wanted to appease all ages and categories of movie goers, it would have turned out to be a much better watch.

The influence of rom-coms like Love Me If You Dare and 500 Days of summer and No Strings Attached are clear. Also, the referencing to older Yash Raj movies gives it a familiar air. The plot lacks originality and the typical bollywood school of romance imposed on what could have been a refreshing take on modern day relationships keep Befikre from rising above mediocrity and frivolity.

Aditya Chopra’s “second first movie” is old wine in a new glossy bottle. The film has its moments but beneath the shiny surface, it lacks depth and feelings or even a solid script. Give Befikre a go only if entertainment is all you are looking for and you are befikra about the choice of rom-coms you watch. At least, Ranveer Singh, in all his bare bodied glory won’t disappoint.

Mekhla Gan

About Mekhla Gan

"The whole world opened to me when I learned to read" and I have been hooked to it ever since. Suspending my own life, cocooning in someone else's imagination and in the process, living a thousand lives is for me the most exhilarating way of experiencing life. Books are what I turn to in my happy and not so happy times for it is in them that I find the words for what I have known all along..
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