Director: Pannaga Bharana
Cast: Danish Sait, Sal Yusuf, Rangayana Raghu
Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video
Simon (Sal Yusuf), a representative of a pharmaceutical company from France arrives in Bengaluru, India. At the airport, he gets picked up by mistake to be somebody’s ‘Saamaan’. On his way, amidst a commotion, his path crosses with Asgar (Danish Sait), an auto-driver from Shivajinagar. The Frenchman is carrying a bag which gets stolen by a local thief and what begins is a comedy of errors.
French Biriyani is a farcical narrative blended with occasional social commentary. The film opens at a Don’s den. It has movie posters of Marlon Brando’s The Godfather, Sasha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator and Rajinikanth’s Baashha on the walls. The ailing Don dies and his son – a wannabe Don, takes charge of the business immediately. The narrative has plenty of characters dealing with their own set of problems and offering plenty of laughs.
Watch the trailer of French Biriyani:
There’s Asgar and the Frenchman. A cop tired of arresting petty thieves and wanting to do something bigger to get a promotion. Asgar’s sister and her husband are having difficulty conceiving a child. A news hungry journalist Malini who Asgar (and everyone else) likes. A stupid, wannabe don supported by his good for nothing punters. A foreign Don modeled on Pablo Escobar. He gets a desi version of Netflix’s Narcos’ title track as his background music.
In spite of being farcical, French Biriyani is not on-the-face. You have to be smart to get the stupid humor right on screen. There are subtle comic pop-culture references throughout the film. For instance, in the beginning at the airport, people stand holding placards with their guest’s name. One of them has Mr. Bean written on it. When a butcher asks whether he should slaughter the cow to get the mobile (that she has eaten) out, the cow moos ‘Mitron’. A random bar-goer whines about losing all the money in betting as he bet on his ‘home team RCB’ winning the IPL. A little knowledge of RCB’s IPL journey so far and this joke is effing hilarious. Alright, won’t tell you more.
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All the actors are spot on with their comic timing. Danish Sait’s mannerisms in the film give an impression of a mellowed down Varun Dhawan. In spite of the film revolving around him and the Frenchman, there’s not much for him to do as the sub-tracks and supporting characters occupy a lot of space. Rangayana Raghu as the cop and Mahantesh Hiremath as Muscle Mani are superb in their roles. At nearly two-hour long, French Biriyani never gets boring. It was fun to see a smartly done desi silly comic-caper after a long time. I thoroughly enjoyed it. You might too.