French Biryani Movie Review Rating: 3.5 /5 Stars (Three and a Half Stars)
Star Cast: Danish Sait, Sal Yusuf, Disha Madan, Mahantesh Hiremath and Rangayana Raghu.
Director: Pannaga Bharana
What’s Good: Danish Sait and the woke sense of humour that this comedy of error serves.
What’s Bad: The rough patches in between where you wait for the next joke.
Loo Break: Maybe 1, but make it fast, you might miss a punch.
Watch or Not?: Watch it, we deserve this light yet clever content in these trying times.
A French immigrant is misunderstood to be someone else and is chased by a Don (whose biggest punishment is making people hear loud scratching sounds), the police inspector (who wants promotion) and well everyone who is running behind him. Amid this is an auto-rickshaw driver, Asgar (Danish Sait) who is tagged along with the immigrant mentioned above. What happens in these three days is the story that ends in a place called Climax theatre. This is the second Kannada film to get a digital release after Law.
French Biryani Movie Review: Script Analysis
French Biryani is a comedy of errors that never takes itself seriously. It is a hilarious tour of Bangalore which is minus the IT parks. Writers Avinash Balekkala and Pannaga Bharana write this world as a stage where an improv performance is on. You are introduced to various characters which are over the top but serve a purpose in the story and your laughter meter.
For example, a don named Muscle Mani or an aged mother sitting on a chair the whole day wearing dark shades and smoking hookah. Or a police officer whose wife wants him to come home dressed as a pizza delivery guy, for obvious reasons. Altogether a theatre of the absurd. They even name the immigrant Simon!
But while all these characters are supremely over the top, the comedy that they produce is alert and responsible about the time it is set in. When a cow swallows a phone, and a man offers to slaughter, Mitron plays in the background; politics is intact yet hilarious. Or when a man cannot accept that his sperm count is low, and his wife is healthy to conceive, he can’t digest it. Patriarchy is questioned, but you laugh at it.
That is the purpose of French Biryani, writers and the actors are showing you your surrounding, but the setting is OTT this time. It is also a homage to the Kannada films that we have seen through years. You cannot predict whether this will have an end or you might just forget everything while laughing. To end it all, writers place the climax in Climax Theatres. Of course, double meaning. There are many such Easter eggs.
What the script does falter is in the stretches where you have to wait for the next joke. Maybe chopping it down a bit more would have been a better idea. Second, we see Asgar and Simon bond in the final scene. But throughout there is not much chemistry, to see them talk heart to heart in the end.
French Biryani Movie Review: Star Performance
Danish Sait as Asgar is the heart of French Biryani. The only toned down character in this universe, who speaks Urdu, Kannada and Hindi mixed. He is the example of the diversity that the film endorses. He is afraid of even rats, but talks of murdering people. There’s a comedy in his anger, and the actor plays it without judging.
The second best has to be Mahantesh Hiremath who plays the Don Muscle Mani. He is as caricatured as it could be, but not for once you see Mahantesh not believing in his character. His universe where the treasure is alcohol bottles, funerals are carried on bikes, and a don needs to have an attitude is all funny.
Rest others including Sal Yusuf who plays Simon, Disha Madan, Rangayana Raghu, Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy add their bit to make this a joy ride.
French Biryani Movie Review: Direction, Music
Directed by Pannaga Bharana, this isn’t an easy job. There is chaos, and an irritating one, but managing it all to look understandable is a task. Bharana almost succeeds at it.
Music of the film is a pure experiment, that might work for many but will be turned down by some.
Special mention to the production design. A lot of research has gone into matching the sets to the storyline and the jokes. The best piece is the Muscle Mani’s mansion. A Godfather poster behind Don’s clichéd chair had me in the first shot itself.
French Biryani Movie Review: The Last Word
As said above, we deserve this film right now. French Biryani is a film about you, your surrounding and what’s going around, but with comedy. Maybe this way, it’s less offending! Watch it to see how a woke comedy is made.
PS: French Biryani reminded me of two films. First, Delhi Belly (of course the plot). Second, Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (not completely, but the mood). Watch it and tell me if you agree, in the comments section below.
Three and a Half Stars
French Biryani Movie Review Trailer
French Biryani Movie Review releases on 24th July 2020.
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