Kolkata, 14 Oct 2019 16:00 IST
The film doesn’t deliver extraordinary insights in Indian cuisine neither does it offer a romance filled with emotional roller-coaster ride.
Debarati Gupta’s Zee5 original film Filter Coffee Liquor Chaa attempts to trace the trajectory of human emotions through food and cuisines with a poorly written script. The glossy production design and clean lighting do not save the film with a linear plot bereft of dramatic tensions.
The film features Priyanka Sarkar and Nishan Nanaiah in the lead roles. While the latter has an innocent and charming presence, fitting for his character, Sarkar’s act sometimes appear confusing and over-the-top.
Apart from the alluring glimpses of Kolkata street food, this film hardly offers engaging screen moments. There are disjointed sequences in the film that do not contribute to the plot and last, but not the least, Filter Coffee Liquor Chaa has a thoroughly predictable storyline.
Though Himeli (Priyanka Sarkar) is projected as an aspiring filmmaker, for the most part of the film, she seems like a bundle of messy thoughts. She has weird and unrealistic ideas on food. In the entire storyline, she seldom seems like a creative person with a vision.
Himeli is in charge of directing a cooking show, which is also depicted with a lot of technical loopholes in it. Either there is no decorum in Himeli’s office or Gupta, who also happens to be the writer of the film, perhaps was in a hurry while choosing the right words for the communication between an employer and employee.
One fine morning, Himeli, finds out that she has a new flatmate, as her tenant Mr Mukherjee, gives the other part of the flat in rent to a male, without even bothering to discuss with her. However, Himeli is not concerned about the gender of her new flatmate but rather about the smell of curry leaves and coconut oil that pervades the kitchen.
Himeli is not only intolerant to different kinds of food habits about which she has little idea, but she is insensitive too. She acts like a teenager to seek vengeance of certain activities of Subbu (Nishan), simply because she is not used to them.
This chapter of the film could have been hilarious if Subbu had similar traits of nonconformity towards Himeli’s certain habits, or it could have been engaging, if both Himeli and Subbu had hilarious confrontations, highlighting the supreme importance of food in their respective lives.
However, Subbu, on the other hand, is a resolved and understanding fellow, who doesn’t end up creating comical moments. Hence, in contrast, Himeli’s character turns one-dimensional and superficial at the same time.
In the film, Himeli and Subbu’s friendship blossoms through the introduction of new flavours and exchange of familiar tastes to each other. However, like every romantic comedy, Himeli and Subbu’s equation too suffers certain ruptures before heading towards 'And they lived happily ever after’ climax.
In the meantime, Himeli’s career takes an ascending graph and she gets appointed as the scriptwriter for telefilms. This particular episode has no closure in the climax. Also, Subbu’s attempt at introducing certain Bengali dishes as not authentic in a wedding dinner goes nowhere. It seems this chapter was either edited for unnecessary length or perhaps, the director did not have much to offer in that particular subject.
The twist before the climax doesn’t raise anticipation, rather you only get to know that it was the twist when the climax has already taken place.
Usha Uthup’s guest appearance doesn’t add much to the content, apart from her commanding presence. Rupsha Guha rather delivers a natural act, despite having dialogues that appear naïve and unscripted.
Prabhatendu Mondal’s cinematography captured certain moments of emotions with appropriate close up shots; however, shooting the cooking show in the film contains a lot of technical errors. Souvik Dasgupta’s editing could have had more coherence in terms of weaving the story more engaging. Amlaan’s background score helps retain a lighter mood in the entire film.
Filter Coffee Liquor Chaa doesn’t deliver extraordinary insights in Indian cuisine neither does it offer a romance filled with emotional roller-coaster ride. Gupta’s previous film Onek Diner Pore (2015) was a dialogue-based intense film. It is surprising to see such a drop in her screenplay that takes the film nowhere.
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