Befikre…..Where is the script?

MUMBAI: Aditya Chopra directs a film once every few years. His latest, c, his fourth film as a director and in 21 years, comes eight years after his last essay at direction, Rab Ne Banadi Jodi. What looks obvious in this film is Aditya’s determination to stay with times and the now-generation. While attempting this, he seems to assume a lot about the now generation.

The story has a Paris backdrop and the Indian love story gets the French treatment. The titles of the film are devoted to people kissing, from young to old and even kids locking lips as if wanting to make it to some sort of record book. After that, it pits a typical Delhi boy, Ranveer Singh, against an Indian girl, Vaani Kapoor, who claims to be French in that while her parents are Punjabi Indian, by virtue of her being born and brought up in France, she is French.

Ranveer's character is a standup comedian who has been invited to France by a friend to help salvage his pub. Ranveer is expected to draw the Desi crowd to the place with his antics. The whole of Paris seems to drink, sing and dance and, during his off time, Ranveer loves to visit these soirees and ogle at girls. He has heard about free flowing love in France and is keen to score and make the most of the free love.

After rebuffed by a few, he meets Vaani who seems to be the girl about town, knows everybody around. She is a tourist guide, works at her father’s restaurant during her day off and believes in living it up. She is also off boys just having come out of a relationship. Ranveer, however, charms his way through and wins a date with her.

The duo go around town and end up in the bed by the nightfall and, come tomorrow, Vaani decides to move in with Ranveer much to her parents’ dismay. Their understanding is tacit: No 'love shuv,' emotions or attachment; only companionship and sex. The film starts with the couple fighting and parting ways.

What follows thereafter is the narration alternating between when they met and their time together and the present moment. There is no story to tell. But, as the script would have it, they both keep bumping into each other. They continue to have fun. The problem here is that, their idea of fun does not coincide with viewers’ idea of fun. The proceedings are loud for no reason till louder still songs popup.

As if as an afterthought, the maker seems to realize that this is no fun and there is a need for some notion of a story. Hence, though they are officially separated while also doing things together, a third angle comes in. Vaani has dated a young banker, Armaan Ralhan, also of Indian origin. After a couple of dates with Armaan, Vaani decides to tie the knot and settle down. As if in a rebuff, Ranveer instantly finds a French girl, Julie Ordon, to marry her.

Befikre has nothing in the name of a story or script. Events and songs happen at random. Direction is mainly about visuals, though mostly night shoot, the festive spirit is captured well as all of the Paris seems busy indulging. There is little of romance as in traditional way and all the fun on screen fails to reach the viewer. The editor has no scope here. Songs are good and peppy but placed without creating situations for them. Cinematography is very good. Choreography is excellent.

Ranveer Singh has created a considerable fan following because of his couldn’t care less public image and here he does the same but goes overboard with diminishing effect. The one time the audience reacts to his antics is when exhibits his bare backside. Vaani Kapoor is not quite cut out to be a heroine, less so in a romantic film. With her lanky, odd figure the femininity falls short. Rest in the cast are incidental without scope.

Befikre could have been a wholesome youth oriented musical fun film with a better script. Instead, it is a banal and loud tomfoolery. The film has garnered a fair opening at select multiplexes in metros which is not expected to carry on.

Director-Producer: Aditya Chopra.

Cast: Ranveer Kapoor, Vaani Kapoor.

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