Cheeni Kum is actually very sweet

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , , , , | Posted on Monday, June 11, 2007


Budhdhadev Gupta is the owner of one of the finest authentic Indian restaurants in London. He is 64, still a bachelor. His say is that he did not find any interesting female to marry till date. He is a perfectionist when it comes to cooking and serving the best Indian food to his customers. He also considers chefs are best artists in the world. No.. don’t question it or object it. When Budhdha can taste Zafrani Pulav and can tell us the quantity of all the ingredients in precision of grams, we just have to accept chefs are indeed great artists or should I say great chefs are indeed great artists. Budhdha seems to have no great bonding with any one except his aged mother and a kid next door who is fighting blood cancer.

One fine day a mistake of cheeni for namak by one of Budhdha’s chefs makes Budhdha to confront a beautiful customer of his. That’s Nina [Tabu], a spinster from Delhi who is currently staying in London. I swear I did not get the purpose of her stay in London. Budhdha challenges Nina that Zafrani Pulav available in his restaurant is the best, without knowing the cheeni for namak mistake by his chef. The next day Nina returns with tasty Zafrani Pulav. Budhdha finds out the mistake from his chef and decides to apologize to Nina. What begins with a cup of coffee for asking apology slowly and steadily builds up as a strong bond between Buddha and Nina. Budhdha surpasses the usual emotions like jealousy for another male talking to his woman, the initial jitters in man woman relationship.. etc etc I loved Amitabh doing all this so convincingly.

Bhalki, director deserves a great amount of credit for depicting the romance between Budhdha and Nina delicate yet elegant and surely not frivolous. There is always great amount of risk involved in narrating the romance between old man and a young man or vice versa. I have even watched few movies which fail miserably in depicting this kind of relationship. Either they look silly or unreal. But that is not the case here in Cheeni Kum. Another great thing about the characterizations of both Budhdha and Nina is that both being so sure about their unusual relationships and being so sure even about getting married to each other. It feels nice to see two souls being so sure in love! Does it come by maturity..? I liked the banteringly romantic conversation between Amitabh and Tabu throughout the movie.

Paresh Rawal is good as Tabu’s father. Amitabh is marvelous as Budhdha. I do not think anybody else could do Budhdha’s role so convincingly in the whole of Indian film industry. Tabu looks gorgeous in salwars. I liked her performance in this movie more than in Chandni Bar or Astitva. Though I liked the kid-next-door, I did not quite like her characterization in the movie. I want to repeat Rajeev Masand’s say on this. “I love kids being kids, but not acting like matured adults”. Ilaiyaraja’s music is truly awesome. Feels heavenly to listen to ‘Jane do na’ in Shreya Ghosal’s voice.

At last I beg to differ with the title of the movie. Cheeni Kum is actually very very sweet :)