The title translates into carefree, no worries. But
writer-director Aditya Chopra needs to seriously worry about his writing and
story-telling skills. Love is like bungee jumping, jump in without thinking too
much about it, says Aditya at the end. Cinema is story-telling, don’t jump in
if you don’t have a story to tell, is what I’d say to Adi.
In a largely flat narrative dotted with ‘I dare you’
moments, the filmmaker strives to portray youngsters as cool, wacky, loose with
their morals and unwilling for long-term relationships. In fact, all that
Aditya Chopra wanted to say was encapsulated in the promos with no value additions
in the full-length film.
labon ka karobaar plays in the credit titles where the overdose of
kissing begins and spills over into the rest of the film. The wackiness of ‘I
dare you’ incidents wanes with overuse especially when nothing else is
happening. And Ranveer Singh dares to bare his backside, if that can be counted
as a bonus.
The wafer-thin storyline introduces Shyra as a French
girl with Indian parents. But apart from references to past affairs and
spouting French here and there, she soon slips into alu parathas for comfort food,
Bollywood songs for fun and only Indian boys for marriage. Unless drinking
and jumping into bed with Delhi boy Dharam on the first day makes her French.
Shyra is a tourist guide mostly to Indians while
Dharam has landed from Delhi to liven up an Indian restaurant with his stand-up
comedy. Unfortunately, his jokes don’t have you in stitches.
The writing veers between Shyra and Dharam’s break-up
to how they met and vowed never to fall in love or mention the ‘marriage’ word.
It takes a break-up and near-marriage to weak alternatives for Shyra and Dharam
to admit that they’re in love.
Vaani Kapoor may flaunt bikinis and even see-through
evening wear which is more like a two-piece, but she does not make an endearing
heroine. Ranveer Singh is the expected bundle of likeable energy who can also
add soft touches of emotion when needed.
Paris makes a visually beautiful backdrop and the
music by Vishal-Shekhar and Mikey Mcleary is catchy.
But Aditya Chopra is not in his comfort zone as his
trademark of tender directorial touches are sorely missed. Go back to home
territory and make a more substantial film – I dare you, Adi.
For a film that’s robust and breezy with no story to
tell, Befikre gets a 2.5* rating.
Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author