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Bheja Fry – Movie Review

May 2, 2007

I saw the movie Bheja Fry at long last! Been hearing all kinds of good things about it – and what made me finally go and see it wasn’t just because that it was said to be ‘different’ and ‘funny’ and not typically Bollywood, and also because it had got good ratings from reviewers.
Well, the movie isn’t bad at all. In fact, its fun to watch. Good time-pass. And thankfully not a long movie, just one and a half hours. People in the theatre enjoyed the movie and as we walked out everyone was in a good mood, laughing amongst themselves, repeating the dialogues, and I heard someone say: Good time-pass.
The movie is different and it’s funny. Now, that’s true. It’s different because it’s basically a low budget film shot almost wholly in a bungalow where most of the action is conversation. No songs and no glamour. No elaborate sets, no exotic locations. It’s difficult to make a movie like this interesting or funny, but this one is both.
The story revolves around a part-time singer who works in an income tax office (Bharat Bhushan played by Vinay Pathak). He is pleasantly plump and well, a bit of an idiot who gets on people’s nerves. The story is also about a rich and arrogant music director (Ranjeet Thadani played by Rajat Kapoor) who along with his friends invites a ‘guest’ for dinner every Friday, just to have a laugh at his expense. This time they choose this guy, the singer, who calls himself Bharat Bhushan.

The dinner party doesn’t finally happen due to unforeseen circumstances, but Bharat Bhushan does come to Ranjeet Thadani’s house and the situation gets complicated partly due to Bharat Bhushan’s bungling, much to the chagrin of his host. At some points the movie reminded me a little of Mr. Bean, but Bharat Bhushan is not really like that, not that much of a clumsy idiot. Just a well meaning fool who tries to help others but in the process makes a complete mess of things.

But frankly if it wasn’t for the acting of Vinay Pathak who acts as the idiot, the movie would have been a completely flop. There are some very very funny moments in the movie…and all because of Pathak’s mannerisms, the way he repeats his dialogues, the way he locks his briefcase, the way he speaks…well, the movie is all him.

There are only a handful of characters. Besides these two main characters there is Milind Soman (he plays Ranjit’s friend Ghosal) whose acting was pathetic and forced, Ranvir Shorey who acts as Asif Merchant (Bharat Bhushan’s friend) and his acting was completely over the top. Too farcical to be funny. Sarika, who plays the wife of Ranjit Thadani acted quite alright, but she plays the serious parts, and was not comic. Rajat Kapoor was very good in parts but I felt paled in comparision to Vinay Pathak.

One thing about the story or situation I found a quite odd…Sarika plays the fickle wife and in fact keeps changing her mind about which man she wants to be with. And in the movie several other wives are shown to have left their husbands…Bharat Bhushan’s and Asif Merchant’s and ofcourse, Milind Soman’s. All these wives seem to be playing musical chairs with men (all older women with no sign of any kids in the background!) and while it was quite funny, I was left a little puzzled…until my daughter told me when I came home that the movie is a copy of a French movie!

Ahh. Then it fits. The rapid changing of partners is a theme of many French movies and in fact a subject of various French comedies. It is a satorical reflection on their society. Not ours. I have not seen the original French but a search of the internet confirmed that the movie is indeed alleged to be a copy. I was terribly disappointed. Sure, the title (Brain Fry) is cute, but I wonder what else.

Sagar Ballary who directed the movie and wrote the screenplay has apparently lived up to Bollywood’s name. He has allegedly made a movie thats a copy of a western movie…this time not of a Hollywood movie, but of a French movie. What a shame, specially as it has been reported that Ballary has made a lot of money on this movie as its a low budget film.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 3, 2007 12:48 am

    Sounds like this movie is based on the French “Diner au cons” quite goofy! But your version sound very funny from your description. You would think that a remake of a foreign film for audiences in India might be based more on play on local manners and social expectations, so if Musical-chairs wife stuff is not common in India, then perhaps the movie makers might have made a good comedy of contemporary manners there , hung onto the foreign premise – now that would have been really good, most likely.
    I like the way you review, it makes me want to go see this film! G

  2. George permalink
    October 12, 2007 12:48 am

    I thought Milind Soman did well with what he had … also the child-free, romantically-challenged class it portrayed is part of the India of the future

  3. January 19, 2008 4:15 pm

    Seems like Bhejafry is not working ay more. I tried several times to open it, but i failed.

  4. January 19, 2008 4:20 pm

    I watched the movie a few years ago in spain. The spanish title was “la cena de los idiotas” (the dinner of idiots). I liked the film a lot. But it wasnt a boom. Nice story. The indian version is also a good one. The actors are good. They did a good job.

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