Saturday, November 25, 2017
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Saif Ali Khan, chef, saif, saif chef, chef saif, saif ali, chef bollywood, chef hollywood, jon favreau

Given our love for films and food, it’s surprising that Hindi films haven’t managed to capture that essence in a massive way in the past. Of course, we’ve had our share of Daawat-E-Ishqs and Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khuranas but don’t we all know how that turned out. These two films tried to incorporate culinary elements as characters in the story but failed miserably.

We’ve also had films like The Lunchbox which used the misaddressed tiffin box as a tool to tell the story but calling it a food film would be a massive understatement. White it utilised the Ila’s (Nimrat Kaur) daily chores as a way of connecting with Saajan (Irrfan Khan), the film was much more than those mislabelled dabbas. Amole Gupte’s Stanley Ka Dabba was a unique story that made the audience sympathise with the young school going boy. The film did a beautiful job of acknowledging that the lavish luxuries for some are the absolute necessities for others.
Saif Ali Khan-starrer Chef releases this week and from what we’ve seen in the trailers so far, the film revolves around a father and son who re-discover their relationship via a food truck. The film is adapted from the 2014 film, Chef, directed by Jon Favreau, where he also played the title role.
The original film is based on a chef trying to re-discover his passion for cooking while trying to reconnect with his son. The film maintains an active balance between the emotional quotient of the story along with several beauty shots of food that leave the audience salivating. A grilled cheese in the making had never looked so tempting until Jon Favreau made it on the silver screen.
Jon Favreau’s Chef released in 2014.
After actively participating in various superhero films (he also directed the first two Iron Man movies), Jon made this film with the intent of getting back to the basics. Like many greats who believe in method acting, Jon actually enrolled in a culinary school and worked in a few kitchens to understand the basics of the culinary world and all of that translated on film so captivatingly that the movie actually looked like a love letter to food. The filming process affected Jon so deeply that he remodelled his entire kitchen and now treats cooking as a way to bond with his family.
While Chef majestically showcased the simple food truck-like cuisine, it also got the viewers involved in the character’s lives. The frustration of a chef who can do much more but is given no room to experiment, the tech-savvy son who spends time with his father on the weekends but their bond lacks depth and the coming together of these two formed the base of this heartwarming story. Chef was loved all around the world for its slice-of-life storytelling where even the meltdown moments of the lead character were shown in the most honest way possible and it was probably moments like these in the beginning of the film that lead us to cheer for the character when he rediscovers his passion later in the film.
Hindi cinema hasn’t seen many films of such flavour. Just looking back at Saif Ali Khan’s filmography, we saw the actor play a chef in 2005’s Salaam Namaste but that film merely used his profession as a character trait and it surely did not have much to do with the story. But Hindi cinema sure has come a long way since then. Our films are evolving with the times and with the success of films like Lipstick Under My Burkha and Bareilly Ki Barfi, filmmakers are not bound to tell stories which don’t follow the formulaic path.
Raja Krishna Menon has taken up a mammoth task in trying to adapt a film that is appreciated for its exquisite food shots that makes one want to pause, rewind and replay it over and over again. The task becomes tougher because of Chef’s repeated telecasts on satellite TV channels in India. Adapting a modern-day film that is still fresh in the audience’s mind is a challenge but here’s hoping that the team of the film leaves us wanting to head over to the food court once we’re out of that theater.

Courtesy: Indian Express

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