The latest Netflix film Rajma Chawal is over spiced, under cooked and hence turns out to be quite a disaster!
Its a film that tries too hard to raise the Dilli wale emotions – a loud caricaturish family whose conversations don’t have the flavor of the rajma chawal or the chai that they have together, the boy who performs with his band on a chhad of purani dilli and sulks in front of Connaught Place, the girl who forces in her hipster attitude with razer cut hair and a barcode tattoo, and a man who flirts with technology to be cool for his millenial son and doesn’t flinch for a second to hire a girl to have a fling with him and ensure ghar waapasi.
With some very mediocre writing at play, the film stereotypes both the older and younger generations in every possible overbearing way, and is extremely unapologetic in its tonality. Nothing honestly lands well – neither the stale jokes, nor the moments of candor, not even the music (in a story where the lead actor has a successful band of his own!)! Even the background score becomes more of a noise than anything else.
And then there are the lackluster performances – it almost felt that Anirudh Tanwar was forced to do the film by his producer dad, he is so out of place. Amyra Dastur is too much glitz without much soul. Seasoned actors like Aparshakti Khurana or Sheeba Chaddha are wasted in poorly written parts, and even the rest of the ensemble is ho-hum.
Rishi Kapoor, who has mastered the act of playing in endearing dad in so many films, also gets a raw deal here. One, the character arc given to him is more creepy than compassionate, and has practically very limited space to overcome the dull script and shine. He still shows glimpses of his craft in scenes here and there, but they are too few and far, and get totally lost in the cacophony surrounding him.
I will continue wondering why the film had to name itself after the iconic recipe, that usually has a lot of nostalgia, a lingering taste and lovely memories of home associated with it. Because this one doesn’t leave behind any of that and blandly wastes away.