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Review Kannada

French Biriyani review: A comedy of errors about Bengaluru's cultural diversity

Release Date: 24 Jul 2020


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Haricharan Pudipeddi

The film, which follows three days in the life of an autorickshaw driver and a French immigrant in Bengaluru, has a lot in common with Delhi Belly (2011) but isn’t as good as the Abhinay Deo film.

French Biriyani, the second Kannada film after Law (2020) to have its world premiere on Amazon Prime Video, is a straightforward action comedy that works mostly because it never takes itself seriously.

Centred on a bunch of characters, including a French immigrant, who are after a missing bag, the film manages to stay afloat till the end because it makes use of improv comedy to deliver some fun stretches.

The film, which follows three days in the life of an autorickshaw driver and a French immigrant in Bengaluru, has a lot in common with Delhi Belly (2011, Hindi) but isn’t as good as the Abhinay Deo film.

It is interesting how the film brings together a bunch of characters from different walks of life, cultures and religions and pits them against one another in a story about mistaken identity and a lost bag.

The result is not something that may instantly strike a chord with everyone, but it definitely does not disappoint the viewer, thanks to some genuinely funny stretches. There is so much happening in French Biriyani, there is so much chaos, yet it manages to entertain in its own way. There are some dull stretches too, but, thankfully, there is enough comedy to lighten the overall mood.

Danish Sait as Asgar, the Urdu-speaking autorickshaw driver, is a riot. Scenes between him and Sal Yusuf, who plays the French immigrant, are easily the film’s best moments. Sait breathes so much life into the film with his flawless portrayal of a local Muslim who speaks Urdu mixed with Kannada. Scenes featuring him pave the way for some mindless comedy, but you won’t mind, given that not much else is happening in the film though it is filled with characters.

It would have been too much to expect French Biriyani to be funnier, and maybe the makers could have taken the help of a better writer to make the screenplay more interesting, but the way the film talks about Bengaluru’s cultural diversity without taking potshots at anyone deserves to be applauded. When you take out the infotech parks of Bengaluru, pretty much everything that is left is what French Biriyani attempts to narrate through its story, and it does a pretty decent job getting many things on point in its depiction.

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