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French Biryani Review: A comedy in times of malady- Cinema express

French Biryani Review: A comedy in times of malady  

Director Pannaga Bharana must be credited for giving a realistic touch to this comedy-drama despite its outlandish narrative style

Published: 24th July 2020

Grim times bring grim tales. But once in a while, even in harsh situations, dollops of laughter can grace us. This is what French Biryani brings to our homes. Puneeth Rajkumar's PRK Productions comes up with yet another engaging tale, which is charmingly handled by Pannaga Bharana, and flawlessly acted by every single cast member.

Inspired by true events, French Biryani is a laugh riot that bypassed theatres and has released directly on Amazon Prime Video. Taking on the classic trope of mistaken identity, the film has enough comedy tucked in to make it quite an enjoyable ride.

Simon (Sal Yusuf), a medical representative from France, who is addressed as Saaman (Hindi for 'commodity'), lands up in Bengaluru. A cab strike leads to Simon meeting auto driver Asgar Ali (Danish Sait). Meanwhile, a local goon, Charles aka Powder Charles, instructs his son Muscle Mani (Mahantesh Hiremath) to ask their car driver Suleiman (Pitobash Tripathy) to collect a suitcase from a person by the name of Solomon. Unfortunately, Charles dies within minutes of this instruction leaving several loose ends that lead to mayhem and confusion. A suitcase, its contents, the people behind it, the people caught in the crossfire, and a number of other threads are woven into this film that ultimately unfolds in a simple climax.

Cast: Danish Sait, Sal Yusuf, Disha Madan
Director: Pannaga Bharana
Producer : PRK Productions -- Ashwini Puneeth Rajkumar and Gudutt A Talwar

Though the crux of the story revolves around Asgar and Simon, there are a lot of other layers added to this comedy. There are gags about a foreigner’s first impression of our country, the struggles of inter-religion marriages, the inefficiency of cops, the pressures on media persons for delivering ‘breaking news’, and a lot more. With Danish Sait as his trump card, Pannaga Bharana has expertly extracted the best from his cast that includes names like Rangayana Raghu, who plays a senior cop, and Disha Madan as a reporter.

The director must also be credited for giving a realistic touch to this comedy-drama despite its outlandish narrative style. Whether it is costumes, the backdrop, or the dialect, he has maintained autheticity. The fact that most of his cosmopolitan characters are allowed to speak in their languages and dialects adds to the uniqueness of French Biriyani.

Danish Sait, who was seen as Humble Politician Nograj, and has been the darling of social media with his comedy sketches that feature him doing a variety of impressions, is top-notch as Asgar. But it is not just the central characters of the film who do a fine job. Every actor in the film, irrespective of the duration of their role, does a commendable job and makes their presence felt.

Plaudits to dialogue writer Avinash Balekkala for some well-directed quips and using the mistaken identity theme to milk humour from misheard pronunciations and wordplay. Cinematographer Kharthik Palani has created the right atmosphere and has employed quirky camera moves to keep us in tune with the film’s proceedings. Music director Vasuki Vaibhav adds spice with his unique mix of songs —  Charles Hogbita, En Madodu Swamy, Fakrudeen, and of course the Bengaluru Song.

To sum it all up, French Biryani is made with a lot of affection and the end product is one worth relishing.

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