The only regret I have while watching “Cheeni Kum” was that I did not have my dinner before watching the film. Every time Amitabh Bachchan said “Hyderabadi Zafarani Pulao” my stomach drooled. But then “Cheeni Kum” is more about food. Its about love, its above logical reasoning, its about need to be loved and then its nothing about the above. Contrary to the name, “Cheeni Kum” (CK) is sweet.
Amitabh Bachchan and Tabu make the movie sweet with their onscreen chemistry almost getting the recipe just right and yet the film remains incomplete. something is missing or is it some Ingredient is missing or is it too sweet?
CK is a love story between chef, Buddhadev Gupta in an Indian restaurant in London. He is arrogant, egoistic and very proud of his cooking. Tabu is a software engineer. He is 64 and she is 34. He is old enough to be her father. She returns the Hyderabadi Zafarani Pulao because it was sweet. He ridicules her on her sense of Indian cooking. She comes back making the dish herself. He can’t say a sorry and she replies his every banter. Eventually they fall in love.
They decide to marry. She asks his mother and he has to ask her father. Only problem is that her father is 6 years younger than him. The rest of the story is about convincing the father.
The movie is clearly divided into two distinct part, one the fighting and falling in love between the two in the first half and the second is the convincing of the father in the second part. The first part is quite enjoyable. Tabu answers Amitabh’s venom making him sweat and tempt him at the same time. The competition between the two to out do each other is worth watching. They are ably supported by Zohra Sehgal as Amitabh Bachchan’s 85 year old mother who is a worse cook, who pesters her son to go to gym and who likes watching wrestling shows on television. Also a 9 year old neighbor having cancer is a part of the story. I did not understand her inclusion in the story except for really being a smart ass kid and being an agony aunt for Amitabh Bachchan. I don’t understand how this 9 year old kid get to be so smart mouthing super intelligent quotes which even I could not think of. Kids are supposed to make cute, stupid comment. I was so stupid when I was at that age. Come to think of it nothing changed much.
The second part is how the duo convinces her father to accept the marriage. The father as expected is not comfortable with an aged son-in-law. He tries various ways to convince his daughter. The movie gets a little serious here but holds on. The climax was kind of rushed.
Swini khara is the 9 year ol neighbor of Amitabh Bachchan and is known as only ‘sexy’. She is one smart kid as i mentioned earlier and has one of the smartest dialog in the film.
Zohra Sehgal is Amitabh Bachchan’s mother and is extremely funny. Its amazing that the 92 year old woman is still going strong.
Paresh Rawal plays Omprakash Verma, Tabu’s 58 year old father. He carries his role properly but nothing extraordinary. He just walks through the role quite easily. Nothing he hasn’t done earlier.
The main highlight is of course Amitabh Bachchan and Tabu. They handled the role quite well. It could have looked quite embarrassing when a aged man romances a young woman. Take “Joggers Park” for example. Amitabh Bachchan does it quite effectively. Tabu on the other hand holds her own against the acting skill of Amitabh Bachchan. They both make the movie a treat to watch. Amitabh gets into the character of Buddhadev quite effectively. The frustration and the desperation he faces while romancing the quite younger woman is shown just right.
Illayaraja Music is strictly ok. The songs are hardly noticed except the title track which is heard occasionally. The story is strong enough itself.
The director K Balaki is an advertising man and that shows in his direction. The product manages to keep the attention time for the whole movie. Except for the climax, everything falls perfectly in place.
The movie manages to linger in your memory after the movie like the introduction between Tabu and Amitabh and the look on Amitabh Bachchan’s face when he gets the Pulao from Tabu, the topic of sex and Tabu testing Amitabh’s ‘stamina’ to check if he can go on, the conversation between Amitabh and his mother and Amitabh and the little girl. All in all a quite enjoyable movie and still at the end it seems something lacking. As I said, maybe its is a bit more sweet. I cannot figure it out.
Cheeni Kum is sweet unlike its name and the movie is worth appreciating and I enjoyed it.