Despite the intent being fresh, clumy scripting and over-mining the material for sexual innuendo spoil what could have been a stellar effort
Danish Sait-starrer French Biriyani reviews Bengaluru like rare mainstream Kannada films have before. Mainstream movie narratives seldom search into Bengaluru’s non-Kannada ethos, often painting a partial representation of the city, most multicultural
French Biriyani 2020 Kannada
|Stars||Danish Sait, Disha Madan, Sal Yusuf|
|Initial release||24 July 2020|
Uniquely set in Shivajinagar, a bustling melting bowl of cultures and voices in the City’s heart, with a sizeable Muslim people. The film seems to offer a more rounded narrative of the City. The film is also multilingual —with actors talking Kannada, Urdu, Tamil, and English — natural to their roots and the figures that populate the film. While they speak various languages and come from different spiritual backgrounds, they quite naturally understand each other. It paints a picture of an organic, lived-in cosmopolitanism that is effortless. Last time, a working-class Muslim was the protagonist of a mainstream film? It also includes an inter-religious marriage on the rocks for the couple’s effort to have kids, not affirmations of Love Jihad.
The film is scripted and directed by Pannaga Bharana and produced by Puneeth Raj Kumar Productions, indicating an openness to a more layered and inclusive city narrative.Danish Sait is rightfully the face of this new-age Bengaluru cinema. His debut film Humble Politician Nagaraj was also an attempt in the same direction.
While the intent is fresh, one only wishes the filmmakers had made better use of the beautiful premise. In a mistaken identity case, a French national (Sal Yusuf) who lands in Bengaluru is assumed to be in charge of delivering a consignment of narcotics and ends up with Asghar (Danish Sait), an auto driver from Shivajinagar. Both gangsters and cops chase the duo.
Rather clumsy scripting and over-mining the material for sexual suggestion in almost every gag marry the film. All the subplots in the movie have a sexual meaning to it. That would be fine if only they worked! While a few jokes land, most of them miss the right note, making the film — even with a runtime of thinner than two hours — a shoo-in parts, especially in the second half. It feels like a skit increased a tad too long.
The film also opts for one too many caricatures with no arc throughout its runtime. We know so little about even Asgar, the film protagonist, that he remains a caricature. Though Danish Sait fits in with his effortless Urdu, he tends to overact, making the role veer towards being a caricature. French Biriyani is an exciting genre film but surely required more notice to detail.