Cast : Saif Ali Khan,Svar Kamble,Padmapriya,Chandan Roy Sanyal,Dinesh Prabhakar,Milind Soman
Director : Raja Krishna Menon
Rating : 3/5
The film revolves around a man who leaves his successful career as a Chef to connect with his life and the people who matters to him most.
Positive Points: Performances, story, screenplay, direction
Negative Points: Editing
Roshan Kalra (Saif Ali Khan) is a well-established Chef in one of the most popular restaurants in New York called Galli Cafe. But, one day, something unfortunate happens and he is fired from his job. Instead of searching for a new job, he decides to go to India and spend some time with his son Armaan (Svar Kamble) and ex-wife Radha (Padmapriya Janakiraman) who live in Kochin. After coming to India, Roshan has a ball with his son. He tries his best to make up for lost time. He takes Armaan to his hometown Delhi, makes him meet his grandfather, and then to places where he learnt the art of making the best food in the world. Once he returns to Kochin, one of Radha's friends (Milind Soman) gives him an idea to open a mobile restaurant on his old truck. Initially reluctant, Roshan decides to give it a shot. As good luck would have it, his mobile restaurant, Raasta Cafe, becomes a hit among people within no time. But before he could take everything to the next level, he gets an exciting job offer in New York. Will Roshan accept the offer and go back to New York again? Or he will stay back in India for his son? To know watch the film.
After the debacle of his last release Rangoon, Saif Ali Khan arrives with Chef. Here, he plays a character which is completely different from what he played in Rangoon. In the role of Roshan Kalra, a flawed man trying his best to find his roots and mend his relationship with his son, Saif Ali Khan looks amazingly perfect. He looks very natural and convincing in his part. The best part is that the actor plays his age which adds believability to his character. After watching him in the role of Roshan, it almost becomes impossible to imagine any other actor in that role. Khan is perfectly cast in his character. South Indian actress Padmapriya, who plays Khan’s ex-wife, does a good job despite her role having not very much meat. She looks convincing in her role. Talking about child artist, Svar Kamble, he impresses thoroughly with his sincere performance. Most of his scenes are with Saif, but the child actor never looks under confident by the presence of a senior actor. He is extremely good in all scenes with Saif. Milind Soman in his extended cameo is good. Other actors in the supporting cast lend full support to the main cast.
Chef is helmed by Raja Krishna Menon. Yes, the director of the commercially and critically successful film, Airlift. Since his last film was a massive hit at the box office and garnered positive response from all quarters, he has a lot of expectations to live up to with his next film, Chef. Thankfully, the director does not disappoint. He successfully makes a delightfully light-hearted film which has its heart in the right place. Here, the director does not teach or preach you anything. He is telling a simple story which has the potential to thug the right chords of your heart. Like Airlift, he performs his directorial duties to perfection in Chef also. Apart from directing and producing, he has also co-written the film with Ritesh Shah and Suresh Nair. Everyone deserves praises for keeping the film as simple as possible despite taking the idea from a successful Hollywood film.
Priya Seth, who cinematographs the film, does a great job. Her camerawork is really applaudable. She captures the serene beauty of Kochin and its slow life with the same flawlessness as she films the busy life of New York. Editing of the film, which is by Shivkumar V. Panicker, could have been tighter for sure. There are certain scenes which could have easily been chopped off without compromising on the content being served. Art direction and production value are good.
The album of Chef consists of six tracks composed by music directors Raghu Dixit and Amaal Mallik with lyrics provided by Ankur Tewari and Rashmi Virag. Given the setting of the film, all songs do gel well with the narrative but when you listen to them separately they may not cast the same spell on you. Of all the six songs, Shugal Laga Le and Khoya Khoya make for a perfect listen. Tere Mere, a romantic rendition by Amaal Mallik, is also good but gets bogged down by average melody and mediocre lyrics. Other songs do not rise above the average.
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