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Old October 8th, 2017, 09:39 AM
ashdoc ashdoc is online now
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Ashdoc's movie review---Chef

This movie is the official Indian remake of the American movie CHEF that was released in 2014 .

Saif Ali Khan plays a hot tempered Punjabi chef named Roshan Kalra who works in a restaurant in USA . He hits a patron of the restaurant because of the patron's complaint over food and gets fired from his job . Even his past behaviour has not been fully responsible . His Keralite wife Radha Menon ( played by Padmapriya Janakiraman ) has divorced him due to this and lives with his only son Armaan ( played by Svar Kamble ) in Cochin in Kerala .

Inspite of being the father of a young boy Roshan has not had a chance to bond with him due to his job in US , and so he takes the opportunity offered by the firing from the job to live in Cochin for a few days in his ex wife's house to reconnect with his son . The son is all too eager to bond with his dad and they go to Delhi ( which is Roshan's hometown in India ) to revive his old memories and to meet old acquaintances and too also meet Roshan's dad , who is still sore over Roshan abandoning him for the USA . Roshan tells his son of his hard struggle from poverty to achieve success and introduces him to Punjabi dishes as the son has been used to eating only Keralite dishes until then .

On returning to Cochin Roshan wants his wife back , but she has already got another beau named Biju ( played by Milind Soman ) who is so rich that he can afford to keep a full scale elephant along with several costly antique cars . Biju suggests along with ex wife Radha that Roshan take over a run down double decker bus that he has and convert it into a mobile restaurant . Roshan is at first appalled by the idea but soon accepts the offer because it gives him a chance to stay in India to reconnect with his son .

As Roshan assembles his team of Keralite driver Alex and Bangladeshi cook , they begin in Cochin and travel all the way to Delhi via Goa in the refurbished double decker bus . And they make and sell good tasty food all the way . The scenes of the dishes being made are torture for a foodie , especially if he or she is seating with stomach empty watching the movie---as I did till interval . Because the dishes are mouthwatering , but the same are not available around you . Intermission brought some relief as I ate food and the watching the dishes being served becomes tolerable on full stomach .

Biju's magnanimity in giving Roshan the chance to stay on in India proves to be foolish , as the chance gives the family the opportunity to reconnect and come close . In the end Radha gives in too and presumably dumps her rich lover for the sake of her son's wish to stay with his father . And Roshan's father is with them too....all's well that ends well .

But not all is well for the viewer . The film has more talk than anything happening , and all the talk bores you out . The father son bonding is okay , but the wife's change of heart back to her ex husband is not convincing . Acting is okay by everyone including the hard drinking and hard driving driver Alex and the Bangladeshi cook . Photography is good---of the backwaters of Kerala and the scenery of Goa . Colours are okay . Music is so so however and songs are forgettable .

The pace of events and the boredom of the scenes eventually tires you out . Roshan's son looks like a cute kid and Padmapriya looks good too . But the movie is not happening . Didn't like it much .

Verdict---Not good .

One and a half stars out of five .
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Last edited by ashdoc; October 8th, 2017 at 09:43 AM.
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Old October 8th, 2017, 10:35 AM
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---Chef

Good. Looks like your review could of make a crisp substitute for the movie.
Interesting narration in this by you.
The theme looks interesting, but looks like the execution is not.
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Old October 8th, 2017, 11:11 AM
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---Chef

This is what I read from a friend,......

Quote:
Chef

Jon Favreau's 'Chef' was a down to earth story around food, and how the love of food connects us to the ones we love. Food was the heart and soul of the movie. It was heartwarming and made you hungry for food and life.

Saif Ali Khan's remake tries desperately to recreate the magic of Chef but fails miserably. The movie is still endearing and enjoyable in its own way. There are big flashes of magic that totally warm your heart.But then the warmth is lost in a clunky script and narrative that loses focus.

The original follows one of the simplest storytelling structures. A journey of self-rediscovery through conflict and resolution. The Chef is a man who has lost not just his family, but his love of food as well. He rediscovers his passion for food and that helps rebuild his bonds with others he loves.

The writers of the remake make a mess of this simple plot structure. In addition Chef's conflict with his wife, son, and career - the writers included more melodrama in the form of conflict with his father and his past. It probably added some 20 odd minutes of distracting plot points. Indeed the remake is a good 20 minutes longer. The resolution in the original also occurs earlier to allow you to soak in some feel-good factor before the end.

Food also suffered significantly in the remake. In the original food is the main entree that ties the whole meal together. Stories are told and relationships are built around food. In the remake food is a mere garnish to the entree that is a family drama. Food happens to feature in the stories and relationships. The Road Trip was lackluster too. The trip was definitely breathtaking and joyous. But the journey from Kochi to Delhi is a sumptuous journey. Other than Goa it would include Udipi, Ratnagiri, Surat, Ajmer, Jaipur, all places that could have served a local culinary focal point for the journey. In the original adapts Po'boys (New Orleans) and brisket (Austin) in his journey.

For its lack of focus on food and meandering plot, the cast performance of Chef is topnotch. The sincerity of its cast and their perfect character portrayals makes up for what the film is lacking. Saif Ali Khan gives one of his best performance.

While the film is decent, it left the foodie in my with high hopes that went unsatiated.

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