The much-awaited Bollywood flick, Befikre managed to grab the attention with its trailers, showcasing the French backdrop throughout, lively tracks and a peppy spirit. However, the film opened to mixed reactions. While for some it is a fun watch, others found the story line weak.
Arresting locales of France, up-tempo songs, innumerable kissing scenes, Ranveer Singh and of course his bottom-naked frame – the latest Bollywood release, Befikre (carefree), created much buzz even before its release on December 9.
Starring Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor in the lead, the Yash Raj banner film is a story of two lovers-turned-friends, and then vice-versa, as has been the case with too many Bollywood films before it.
Dharam Gulati (Ranveer Singh) is a Punjabi boy from New Delhi who has just moved to Paris. A typical Delhiite, wears body hugging clothes and words like ‘slut’ and ‘chudail’ (witch) are part of his everyday conversation. On the other hand, Shyra Gill (Vaani Kapoor) is an Indo-French, commitment-phobic tourist guide in Paris who also helps her parents run their restaurant in France.
The film begins with the song ‘Labon Ka Karobaar’ (business of lips), where in the backdrop, gay people, school kids, policemen and old couples are shown kissing at different locations in Paris, delineating it as the city of love and its carefree attitude.
Contradictory to the beginning, the second frame shows Dharam and Shyra having a fight that ends with her throwing a television and him calling her a French slut, after which the film takes us back in time to show where their story started.
For the first hour, Befikre goes back and forth in time, tracking the couple’s progress from hook-up to live-in, and finally to their present friendship.
Throughout the relationship, the couple is seen stealing underwear, performing strip teases in libraries, interrupting the dancers at Lido cabaret and national football matches and turning up naked in parties, as a part of a series of ‘dares’, which reminds of the 2003 French movie ‘Love me if you dare’ (Jeu d’enfants).
A mix of old Bollywood rom-coms with a twist
Just to name a few, Bollywood films like Hum Tum (2004), Love Aaj Kal (2009), Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013), amongst many significant others have had a similar plot where the protagonists refuse to commit themselves into a relationship only to find out in the end that they love each other. Befikre is nothing different.
Despite a beautiful cinematography, artistic aspects and exquisite backdrops and sets, the film failed to deliver a clear visualisation of the script.
However, what sets it apart is that it takes you to the beautiful set ups in France, notably in the famous cabaret Lido de Paris; in Picardy region, north of the French capital and in Cannes, on the French Riviera.
The exceptional mix of Hindi and French languages in its songs has found a way to our humming list. The lingo used in the dialogues also connects to the young audience and of course the people who know the French language.
While Ranveer is a delight with his never-ending energy, Vaani too has an arresting presence in the film. They are well matched and the best thing about them is their groovy dance moves, through which they surely managed to drop some jaws.
The film ends by appealing the audience to ‘kiss free, love free, live free’.
A rom-com but also a romantic drama, Befikre fails to meet the expectations of the people who like to watch something different. However, for the people who love light, high-spirited films, it is a one-time watch.