Movie Review: The dish is appealing and inviting but not as mouthwatering!

Chef is the story of a chef based abroad, who, while on a forced sabbatical, visits Kochi to meet his son and estranged wife. And there he gets a second chance to rediscover his passion for cooking, his relationships and in due course, himself.

The movie is an official remake of Hollywood movie by the same name. Our Hindi version has been written by Ritesh Shah, Suresh Nair and director Raja Krishna Menon (of Airlift fame).

The movie is breezy and charming and treats you to visual delights of beautiful Kerala, complete with the backwaters, greenery and houses with authentic and amazing interiors.

The story is easy to the senses and remains buoyant without any lows.

The protagonist Roshan Kalra (Saif) takes his son (Svar Kamble )on a familiarisation cum culinary tour of Delhi and Amritsar. They eventually embark on a road trip with their food truck from Kochi to Delhi via Goa et all. The father-son relationship has been dwelt upon well. All this definitely makes up for an interesting watch.

Saif portrays this 40 plus man, with flaws as good as real, with great ease and his trademark charm thrown in. He carries the film smoothly.
Child actor Svar is very likeable and real minus any typical child actor gimmicks. Padmapriya Janakiraman is well cast as the Keralite wife and looks every bit her character.

Sobhita Dhulipala ( Raman Raghav fame) is impressive in her small role. This actor deserves to get her finding like Radhika Apte.
Milind Soman as a Keralite friend looks as suave as he is even in Kaili (lungi) and with salt and pepper hair.

Together the cast, the looks, the locations, and the photography make it all a pleasant and likeable watch.But what prevents this likeable watch from becoming spectacular is the writing which seems weak in spite of a tried, tested and acclaimed plot. And the biggest lacunae is ironically what should have been its biggest strength.

As a food movie, it fails to rev up our appetites or make us drool over those cooking scenes or close up shots of food.

While they do take us on a culinary tour and give glimpses of many regional delights, we are more or less left wanting for more details.

For a movie where the hero’s sense of smell is his uniqueness, the director failed to let those aromas reach the audience like in case of delectable ” Lunch Box “.

The music by Armaan Malik and Raghu Dixit is average except for a very peppy and foot tapping number ” shugal laga le “.

With the cute little story, beautiful locations, heartwarming relationships and few appetising preparations, the movie is a good one time watch with a feel-good factor.

Score 6 on 10.

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