Chopsticks Movie Review 2019: Half-tasty Fare

Chopsticks Movie Review 2019: Half-tasty Fare

Movie Name
Sachin Yardi
Comedy, Drama
01 hours 40 minutes

Chopsticks Review

It's as gauche as holding a pair of chopsticks for the first time and learning to eat with it. You manage to hold it right but somehow you just can't pick up the food and direct it into your mouth.

Writer-director Sachin Yardi's film for Netflix, called an Original because the platform has been with it right from inception, actually created it, is somewhat like that first time with chopsticks. You think you look cool holding it but you can't get it quite right and you end up not really relishing the rice or the noodles on the plate.

Yardi has the basic chopsticks right - three characters. Nirma Sahastrabuddhe, a small town girl who's lost her brand new red car, wants to fit in, is a Mandarin translator but does stuff like pronouncing salmon with the ‘l' in it. And gets laughed at for being so ungroomed. ‘Artist' is a guy we know nothing about. He operates out of a dilapidated, half-constructed building, has the niftiest kitchen in that dump, and he loves to cook. He's an artist with food. And he's nimble with his fingers, there isn't any lock in the world that he can't break. Artist is the stranger that Nirma is directed towards to get her car from the underbelly of the city. That's where gangster Faizal Bhai operates with his thugs, where edgy Bhai beats up debtors by banging them into heavy punching bags or gets them to sing his favourite song at his whim any hour of the day. Bhai also has Baahubali, his favourite goat which is pampered, fed the best, even allowed the car of its choice, for it's going to win the big goat fight. Nirma has to get her car out from Bhai via Artist.

After creating those three interesting characters and a goat, Yardi alternates between noodles and rice, ending up eating neither. In the sense, he tries to take you into the underbelly where little boys slave over mounds of coins for a small-time gangster. And he tries to be funny too except that it's school-level humour. Like naming a dog Chicken Pox and saying that the smaller dog is Small Pox. Or like having a picture of the Godrej family hanging on the wall because Artist has lived off their locks (by breaking into them) all his life. Or like Nirma explaining that her parents did have that brand of washing powder in mind the day she was born. Thus her name,Nirma. Somehow the humour's about as funny as noodles slipping through the chopsticks.

A close-up of fish being filleted, grimy bylanes to go through in the quest of the car and the illegal workshop where stolen vehicles rime dramaget broken down or made over, are supposed to give you the lowdown on the crime industry. But, like the humour, the crime scenes too slip through without making a significant connect.

So what is this ultimately? A comic crime caper with a heart because Nirma's simplicity ultimately wins the day? If only Yardi had tossed around his main three and the goat to whip up a film that was either rollicking fun or a strong crime story. But, like the first day with the chopsticks, the meal doesn't reach the mouth.

Mithila Palkar who we've seen before in films like Karwaan pulls off the desperately cool aspirant with sincerity. In the epilogue, Abhay Deol as Artist with his white shirts, is ultimately thrilled to be cooking on telly for master chef Sanjeev Kapoor who in turn is as endearing as ever as a TV show host. Deol is easy as the patronising nice guy who tracks down the car for Nirma. Vijay Raaz is back to his speciality as Faisal Bhai with stilted English who explains the name Baahubali as strong arm, leading to jokes of the juvenile kind around Armstrong, the astronaut who took the first step on the moon.

Disclaimer: We are proud that LehrenTV reviewer Bharathi S Pradhan has been appointed an advisory member of the prestigious CBFC. However, her reviews reflect her personal appraisal of a film and do not in any way speak on behalf of the Censor Board.

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  • Dialogues
  • Story
  • Music
  • Screen Play

The Verdict

What a pity that three perfectly wacky characters couldn’t be strung together to make substantial high-voltage entertainment. What they do manage is a 2* rating.


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