Befikre – A view


 

After watching Befikre, I remembered a phrase which cricketer Virender Sehwag said about Sachin Tendulkar in some television show : “beta, beta hota hai, baap , baap hota hai”. Loosely translated it means Who’s the boss?

Aditya Chopra has to emerge from the shadows of his illustrious father , and master story-teller Yash Chopra.Tough ask, but there is no other way, he can make what he really wants to make.

I guess Aditya Chopra  has to ask the question,what’s the feel of the movie he wants to give the audience? A romantic epic ? A light flippant romcom ? An intense love story? Or a love story of epic proportions? Or maybe a bold love story? “karna kya chahtey ho Bhai?”

But you can’t have all rolled into one. I mean never say never, but if you can handle level of complexity or should I say dexterity then so be it. But If not, then stay away. Make a simple film. Period.

Let me give you some examples to elaborate my point.

  • If you want bold, complex love stories : Dev.D
  • If you want layered intense love stories : Silsila,
  • If you want light romcoms : Jab We Met
  • If you want simple romantic : QSQT

You get he drift?

Aditya Chopra’s Befikre threatens to be a good movie, in parts. Maybe the director is slowly coming  into his own. It will take him a few more experiences before he really manages to create an original epic love story.

It must be incredibly tough for Aditya Chopra to think clearly with the amount of attention, and therefore noise, that surrounds him at all times, add to that the burden of expectations. Very few people can even begin to imagine what he must be going through or would have, while creating this motion picture.

Befikre, his latest creation is far better than his previous Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi or Mohabbatien. As far as Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge is concerned , I suspect there would’ve been a lot of inputs from Yash Chopra considering it was Aditya’s first film.

One thing in common for all these movies were epic songs.Something which Befikre misses out on. Make no mistake there are good songs, but not of the epic quality which one has come to expect of a YashRaj banner.

Net-net,the ground-level plot is , if I understood correctly, that what starts off as lust is often mistaken as love, but it is not, love happens post the adrenalin rush of lust and over time. Well so far so good. I think there could be a point there. So now , how do you make a movie out of it? If you are Aditya Chopra, you add the following ingredients :

  1. For location :take some foreign locales, Switzerland , Paris of course is the headquarters of love.
  2. For songs : take ideas from old Yashraj films, (Dil toh  Pagal Hai  etc.)
  3. For scenes : take some good looking scenes for inspiration  ( Lamhe etc.)
  4. For actors : well anything which has a six pack and a washboard ab will do.
  5. For sets : mush, mush, cush, sush, pink, pastels, nice soothing colors.
  6. Oh and the no-brainer : requirement for everyone to be uber rich.

Voila, you have most of the trappings of Befikre right there.

However to not sound too critical, like I said before, the movie had a good underbelly, but went off the grid – therefore some moments are truly touching and just about when the moment is about to suck you in, you have a song burst the bubble.

Kudos to show some male skin in equal proportions to females. Ranveer’s butt -flash left the audience gasping even after the shot was over. The edit  was bold and quick and made the impact. The dares of the character were borderline unreal but you can let it go as good fun.

Here are some changes I would’ve tried with Befikre ,assuming it could be a soft romcom :

  1. The movie could be edited with about 40 mins. of unnecessary scenes and song time.
  2. Added connectivity scenes as characters transition into another mindset.
  3. Added conflict of emotions in accepting their new state of being.
  4. Added some element of realism of everyday life in a awkward post breakup relationship.
  5. Tone down the loudness of expression, add some subtlety in Dharma’s character.
  6. Not skimming through their hurt feelings on realizing each others value.
  7. Shown Dharma drowning at the beginning of the movie to contrast with the end.
  8. Redone the entire climax! instead of loud buffoonery, it could be tragically funny.

But since I’m not the director, I guess will never understand what Aditya Chopra was actually thinking, unless   of course he decides to read this review and tell me about it!

Ranveer Singh plays a Delhi boy, well ok, that ain’t much Ranveer.Nevertheless his comic timing is good, and change of expression to emotional scenes if well done , more noticeable in the second half of the movie.

Will be compared to SRK’s love-lorn eyes and lopsided smile, but for the character Ranveer holds his ground. (but you know what I’d love to see him do a subtle yet intense role which is uncharacteristic of his core personality)

Vani Kapoor – Lady, she will be compared to Kajol’s chutzpah, infectious laughter and just so affable personality. For me, she really came into her own towards the second half of the movie. She grows from not so likeable to likeable over the course of the movie. She needs a bit of polish on the emotions bit, needs to let go and flow, rather than be conscious of it.

Rest of the cast :Well,  they just exist. Really there was a lot of scope for so called supporting cast to do so much more. In fact, all great love stories have had these second in command characters have a pivotal moment in a film, which provides the right support of momentum or maybe even the right balance to the main character.

Sadly, in Befikre, the support cast has no real plot moving character to portray. Think Anupam Kher in Lamhe. What a brilliant essay of the role.Don’t whether it was the genius of Yash Chopra or Anupam Kher that brought it to life.

In conclusion, Aditya Chopra’s  Befikre will go on to become a coming-of-age film for the teenagers watching movies like “Student of the Year”, maybe they are not teenagers anymore.For the middle aged,high disposable income office goer, this will be a good time-pass. For the septuagenarian this will be  a good incentive to see Paris.

Over heard while exiting the movie theater, middle-age man asking his mother : Ma, what did you make of the movie? Ma replied : Well, it was a good tour of Paris and some nice comedy.

On that note,I will go with 3 out 5 for Befikre, a could’ve-been-a-much-better movie,coming from the house of Yashraj. Nevertheless it has its moments which touch your heart somewhere very briefly. Maybe Aditya will say, that’s how it was meant to be.