In the opening credits of Befikre we see a montage of couples kissing to the hummable tune of Labon Ka Karobaar. This montage was also showcased in Mr. Chopra’s classic Dil To Pagal Hai: which had a charming montage of crew members with their real-life partners, to the terrific score of Ek Duje Ke Vaaste.
The difference is that Mr.Chopra’s film had true feelings and showcased characters that we actually care for. Unfortunately, that can’t be said in writer-director Aditya Chopra’s latest film Befikre. Which is such a bummer because 21 years ago Chopra made Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, which has been critically, acclaimed as one of the greatest Bollywood films of all-time?
Delhi boy Dharam (played by Ranveer Singh) works in Paris as a stand-up comedian who’s in and in search of an adventure. However,just when he sets to embark on his journey, Dharam bumps into a wild, free spirited, Paris born Indian girl Shyra (played by Vaani Kapoor) who is a tour guide. Moving back-and-forth from flashbacks to present day we see Dharam and Shrya sing, dance, drink, French kiss, and sleep in bed. Over the next 2 hours and 30 minutes, Dharam and Shyra dare each other to do the craziest stuff possible and promise each other they won’t say “I love you”. However, since this is a Bollywood film you can guess what’s going to end up happening from a mile away.
To give credit where it’s due, Chopra does keep the melodrama to its lowest possible, and keeps the film’s tone consistently breezy as time fly’s by in Befikre. Unlike his previous films, DDLJ, Mohabbatein, and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Chopra cuts the cord and let’s his main protagonists go wild or carefree like the title suggests.
From Befikre it seems that Chopra wants to move away from the past and connect with the youth by telling a modern day love story. However, Befikre misses the mark because unlike the director’s previous films there’s no sense of true love as Dharam and Shyra try too hard to connect with the audience.
As the film title’s suggests Singh is completely carefree and uses his energy to his advantage. From his perfect comedic timing, to delivering some nice dance moves, and of course making out with his heroine on screen, Singh must have had a blast on set. However, in Befikre he doesn’t get the chance to showcase his full potential. Meanwhile last seen in Shuddh Desi Romance, Kapoor shines as Shrya; as she holds her own and walks shoulder to shoulder with Ranveer and looks completely at ease on camera.
Befikre is beautifully shot by cinematographer Kaname Onoyama, and Vishal-Shekhar dishes out some hummable tunes including the title track Ude Dil Befikre. We also got some self-references from Chopra blockbuster hit film DDLJ, which I did like.
In the end what’s missing in Befikre is the genuine feeling of love and the depth in the characters which Chopra showcased in his previous films. I’m giving Befikre two stars. Yes the film is carefree but this is one love story that never ignites.