Director Sachin Yardi brings a sweet tale of day-to-day troubles giving some important lessons
It’s rare especially in Hindi cinema that a film teaches you something while you are wearing a constant smile on your lips. Chopsticks is utterly simple in its approach, made with a good and genuine heart and has everything to make you love it to the core. Topping it all is the evergreen charmer Abhay Deol who makes every scene worthwhile. Mind you, this involves a dark world of crime with underbellies and shady locales of Mumbai but never are you left intimidated.
Watch the trailer here:
Nirma Sahastrabuddhe (Mithila Palkar), a young enthusiastic but insecure girl is very happy on purchasing a new car. As fate would have it, the car gets stolen on the same day. In a chance encounter with a small time thug at the police station where she lodges a complaint, she comes in contact with an eccentric conman, Artist (Abhay Deol) who assures to get her car back. But there’s a lot in store for these two ahead.
Written by Yardi himself, the story is pretty straightforward. Simple, decent, no-nonsense drama with elements in the screenplay by Yardi and Rahul Awate that make you look forward to the drama eagerly.
There are conflicts that you predict given the set-up. For instance, you know for sure in the very first scene itself that Nirma’s happiness would be short lived. Similarly, there are incidents that clearly tell you about the end of the film. But hats off to the writers here for never irritating you with the predictability. The screenplay is crafted with smartness for you are invested in the build-up and the events leading to the narrative structure.
There’s no exaggerated drama, no heroic moves, no unnecessary indulgence. Things are served and you enjoy. While everything about a crime is going on, at the underlying flow is the message the films actually wants to give. And that remains the biggest beauty of the film. While there are some situations that impart life lessons on your face, there are sequences involving notorious criminals and dark sides of the city that still amuse you. Such freshness in the writing is what captivates.
The makers involve symbols and intelligent film making techniques to convey a lot in just one shot. The city has been shown in a very contrasting light. There’s positivity in almost everything. There’s the brighter side to even the darkest notions shown. Also, the famous Mumbai rains are incorporated in the screenplay twice, to evoke different emotions.
What the makers also should be credited for is the characterization. The naivety of some, while the extrovert behavior of others, loud and humorous demeanor prevalent in some, or be it laughable traits- they all make the film an enjoyable feat. But yes, the film does seem to stretch a bit midway- a drawback for a film with only 100 mins of run time.
Abhay Deol is a sureshot winner in this one. The moment he comes on screen, or even before that, his attitude takes the center stage. There’s a scene in particular where a politician is celebrating his victory in the middle of the road, Abhay with his confident body language nails the act. If Artist is the conman, you wouldn’t mind losing it all.
Mithila Palkar appears in a very different yet challenging role. She’ll make you forget all her past appearances here. She’s scared, naive, immature, insecure, lacks confidence. But then she’s bold, lovable, affectionate, strong headed. She has layers and she blows life in each of them.
Vijay Raaz as gangster Faiyaz is amazing. A gifted actor, he doesn’t leave a single chance to impress. He shines all throughout in a way that you want more and more of him.
Music with only one song by Mukesh Parmar is good. The song is melodious and fits the bill. Score by Pradeep Mukhopadhyay should be particularly praised, that too beyond limits. Its the score that does half the story telling. Its a brilliant use of sound and tunes setting the entire background right.
Cinematography by Kedar Gaekwad is very appealing. The way underbellies ans various different landscapes of Mumbai have been captured, make the viewing exciting. Also, there are some symbolic shots possible only through crisp camera language. Production design by Shashank Tere and Art Direction by Ajit Patnaik is visually enriching. You root for the characters and situations because whatever you see on screen is vibrant and you feel good.
Editing by Unnikrishnan P P is effective evoking necessary moods. The plot requires you to sit back at times while also asking you to be engaged mentally at some. The editing is sharp in those ways.
The meaning of the film’s title is also effective. And when it is revealed in the last scene, you just can’t stop smiling. Simplest things are the most difficult to convey. Such is this film. But the task has been accomplished well. Thanks Netflix.