Mumbai, 31 May 2019 20:41 IST
Sachin Yardi's film has an endearing mix of morals and characters but not enough of it to make for a filling meal.
Considering that Chopsticks is Netflix's first Indian original film production, it could have been quite the big opener. But while the film is endearing, and filled with the sweet happy ending one craves of little films, it lacks the substance that could have set it apart from the many films flooding the digital space.
When a neurotic, diffident Nirma Sahastrabuddhe (Mithila Palkar) loses her brand new i10 hours after driving it out of the showroom, she is left listless. The car is the only secure thing in her life. Her career graph is hindered by her more sophisticated uptown colleagues, and she has barely enough confidence to walk out of her house without being scared.
When the police fail to show any interest in locating her car, she turns to Artist (Abhay Deol), a savvy thief who cooks as a hobby. They trace the car to Fayyazbhai (Vijay Raaz), a local hoodlum, who is preparing for the 100th fight of his big goat, Bahubali.
The film's plot veers from a sweet beginning to an absurd turn of events. Some of these moments of absurdity make for the funniest sequences. Vijay Raaz puts on another display of versatility and gravitas in his performance as the slow-talking, always-in-control gangster. The actor's moments of the relationship with the big goat are absurd but relatable, to say the least. In addition, he brings in his dry sense of humour by turning a hapless music composer into his own private radio.
Mithila Palkar brings home the naivety and bumbling innocence that becomes her character. The actress embodies the nervousness of Nirma with her little tics and behavioural changes. Abhay Deol offers a contrast to Nirma with his savvy, urbane smarts. The actor looks confident and at home in his character, and the storyline as well.
While director Sachin Yardi's film moves at a decent pace, offering some interesting events and a few funny anecdotes, it lacks the gravitas that could offer it an anchor. Apart from Nirma, the other characters seem a little half-baked and hurried. It makes the storyline feel a little incomplete.
Rahul Awate's writing is honest and direct but leaves a lot unfulfilled. Artist's sudden interest and involvement in Nirma's problem is never explained. Neither is Fayyaz's inexplicable changeover at the climax. While Nirma is carefully crafted as a character, her sudden evolution seems a little far-fetched.
Despite that, the film retains an inherent charm, also helped by its music (Pradeep Mukhopadhyay). The acting, humour and dialogues make for an interesting mix, but leave you feeling a bit unsatisfied.
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