Yahoo Review: Befikre

Cast: Ranveer Singh, Vaani Kapoor

Direction: Aditya Chopra

Rating: ***

‘Befikre’ looks good but is marred by predictability. It’s a film by Aditya Chopra and you expect him to do more than just make it look slick and stylish. You expect him to take us through a memorable journey that stays with us, much after we have left the theatre. You expect him to make us laugh and cry. Instead, he gives us a film that is replete with clichés.

So, a love story based in Paris must start with couples of all shapes, sizes and colours; French kissing because, well, that’s the only thing that happens there. A couple that decides to hookup without a ‘happily ever after’ plan have to continuously drive home the point by reiterating over and over again that they will never say ‘I love you’ to each other.

There is really nothing new about the plot – two people who are intrinsically attracted to each other and don’t want to complicate their relationship by making long-term commitments: this is the ‘No Strings Attached’ or ‘Friends with Benefits’ kind of storyline that has been done to death in desi versions such as ‘Love Aaj Kal’ (2009), ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’ (2013) or even the very recent ‘OK Kanmani’ by Mani Ratnam. They have all explored the genre of casual romance.

So what is different about this one? Once, Dharam’s and Shyra’s lustful journey comes to an end, they embark on another to become good friends. Our crass Dilli da munda realizes that it was wrong of him to slut-shame his ex girlfriend and they try to be grown-ups post an ugly breakup. The friendship part of this story plays out quite well actually.

It is a refreshing to see an ex-boyfriend being supportive of a new love interest. In this world of stereotypical Bollywood romances, it is nice to find former couples hanging out together and having a good time. It is because these elements play out so well that the predictable climax seems to be such a letdown.

Another drawback is that while you see the conflict Ranveer’s character is experiencing once he realizes he has been completely ‘friendzoned’, you never really get the same drift from Vani’s character.

In contrast, she looks like she is tired of being footloose and fancy-free and has really moved on to wanting a more steady relationship. I was convinced that no matter how much fun some girls seem to have in a frivolous liaison, at some point they uncharacteristically want more commitment. And Shyra had me convinced that despite how genuinely fond she was of Dharam and his antics, she does want a more mature relationship.

Yes, good sex and a great friendship can be the recipe for a perfect marriage but it can also be tiring to have to continuously babysit your partner and handhold him through the emotional stress of a relationship.

What happens here is that the relationship dynamics between the lead couple doesn’t really pan out in a very convincing way. It never really assures us of their intent, their conflict, or even the eventual resolution.

The flossy feel of a YRF production, the good-looking lead pair, the peppy song-and-dance numbers make the movie immensely watchable. In an attempt to up the oomph factor, there are dollops of skin on show. Call me a prude but the incessant lip locking doesn’t really add anything to the film – I found the chemistry a tad tepid.

The film works at some levels but leaves you disappointed at others. ‘Befikre’ is a breezy watch but it’s not a story sincere enough to tug at the heartstrings.

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