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Care A Damn Love

Saturday, December 10, 2016
By Deepa Gahlot

Befikre
Directed by
Aditya Chopra
Cast: Ranveer Singh, Vaani Kapoor and others
Rating: * * ½

The film begins with a kissing tutorial in Paris, as couples of all ages and races smooch against picturesque backdrops. Aditya Chopra aims at a target audience of youngsters and does everything he can to keep them hooked, which means Befikre ends up a shallow romance between self-obsessed, inconsiderate and badly behaved people.

The girl tells the guy during a smash-up fight that he may have left Karol Bagh (Delhi), but inside he still belongs there. So, Befikre is a European romcom, with its Karol Bagh roots showing. The Indian origin couple may smooch and make out in public, jump into bed after the first meeting, and be what Bollywood considers 'bold', but they are actually looking for stability and a ‘forever’ relationship.

Shyra (Vaani Kapoor) says she is French, with Indian parents, which means she is what Bollywood describes as 'free-spirited' (read sexually adventurous) and heartless towards her perfectly nice parents. She is a tourist guide for mostly Indian groups, so she can speak in Hindi and the audience gets a good look at beautiful Paris. Dharam (Ranveer Kapoor) has come to Paris to work as a stand-up comedian in a bar called Delhi-Belly, which means he can speak in Hindi and amuse his desi audience. Why not simply set the film in India? Not that one is complaining—the French locations are the best thing about Befikre.

The two get into a no-strings attached relationship, break up, become friends, get engaged to other people and so on. The film would have been really grown-up and ‘today’ if it weren’t so predictable-- just stripping, showing off gym-toned bodies and kissing is no sign of maturity or modernity.

The translation of befikre provided is carefree, but Shyra and Dharam could be described as childish and unfeeling. The  antics of the two—like daring each other to do silly things--or the ‘love is like bungee jumping’ kind of bumper sticker lines would probably go down well with teens, but for all its gloss, Befikreis just a mash up of several Hollywood and Bollywood films. However, romcoms are to be seen as breezy and frothy and in this area, Chopra delivers the goods, just wish it wasn’t so infuriating as well.

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