A Hopeless Romantic's Review Of Befikre

Rashmi Daryanani , 09 Dec 2016

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge: the ultimate film for the hopeless romantic. It’s not an exaggeration to say that much of my understanding of the concept of love comes from that film – it will always be the benchmark, it will always be the aspiration.

So when I realised that Aditya Chopra was making a ‘modern’ love story, I have to admit, my first emotion was apprehension. After all, there are enough pitfalls to modern dating; I look to Bollywood films to reinforce my faith in love, in romance, in ‘forever’. Not to mention, Bollywood doesn’t do particularly well when trying to be overtly modern – case in point, Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon. Each promo of Befikre increased the unease: on one hand, it seemed like an entertaining enough film; on the other, it looked like it could too easily become a groan-fest.

Thankfully, Befikre is more of the former: it’s fun, there are laughs, the locations are great, everyone’s gorgeous. Yes, there’s stuff to groan at: the clichés, the whole thing about saying you’ll never fall in love and then, you know, falling in love. But Befikre embraces all of that, so it works well enough. The lead pair has been saying that the promos are slightly misleading, and it’s true: for starters, the film is more com than rom, so none of this grates too much.

What did grate in Befikre, though, was a passing gay joke. This film is trying to be progressive about the way love is depicted on-screen, so it’s absolutely ridiculous that Chopra resorted to throwing in a stale  gay joke for a laugh. It’s barely 10 seconds, it contributes nothing to the film, there was absolutely no need for it – but there it is. Come on, Bollywood. We can do better than this.

That aside, Befikre is a fun watch. A lot of the credit for that goes to the lead pair. Ranveer Singh is ace as always, and he puts in a lot of his own charm and personality to bring Dharam to life. You’ll also hear no complaints from me about that one particular, uh, scene. (Hi, Ranveer. Nice bum.) Vaani Kapoor is impressive – she’s talented, a fantastic dancer (look out for her during that one epic dance sequence), has great screen presence and is gorgeous. I really hope she gets her due, and that we get to see more of her.

I think Befikre would have been much more for me if the film ended differently – it would’ve then truly lived up to its name, being brave and carefree. That doesn’t happen, and I wonder if it would have been too much to hope for anyhow. But once you decide to take it for what it is, Befikre is a decent ride. It’s not pathbreaking, it’s not novel – but that doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining.

Other hopeless romantic reviews:

Baar Baar Dekho
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
Dear Zindagi

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