Cheeni Kum, directed by R Balakrishnan, is a romantic comedy that tells us about two strangers who fall in love with each other and wish to spend the rest of their lives together. The movie does not beat around the age factor but rather with hilariously well constructed sequence makes this sensitive issue a realistic and exciting tale.
First lets clear the speculation that Cheeni Kum is same as Nishabd. The theme is similar to that of Nishabd but its flavor is more delicious and colorful. Cheeni Kum brings out the relationship between an old man and a young women with humor and sagacity and makes it easy to comprehend and digest.
Buddhadev Gupta [Amitabh Bachchan] is a 64yr old pompous, arrogant and egoistic old man. His only passion in life is cooking. He owns a restaurant which holds the title of being London?s finest Indian restaurant. He lives with his 85yr old mother [Zohra Sehgal] and his only friend and confidante is his 9-year-old neighbor, Sexy [Swini Khara]. He never showed any interest in anything other than his restaurant and cooking. His life blooms after meeting Nina Verma.
Nina, is a 34yr old beautiful, mature, calm, charming, and understanding women. She visits Buddhadev?s restaurant and there happens an incident which leads to a series of meeting. The two understand each other better and fall in love. Everything was fine so far until they decided to get married.
Everything is nice and rosy as in a fairy tale. No fairy tale prince has won his princess without clearing a task. The only obstacle our old prince has, is to win the consent of Nina?s father Omprakash Verma [Paresh Rawal], living in Delhi, who has an ancient mindset. The would-be-groom is 6yrs elder to the bride?s father. Does this make the task any easy? Will the old prince win his young princess?
Director R Balakrishnan has done a fabulous job. The sequences are well knit and not even once does it seem that the writer had thrust romance on the two. Although some portions of the movie prove his excellence in execution, he gets repetitive with both the sweet-n-sour moments in the first half and satyagraha in the second half. Dialogues are apt and fantastic. Cinematography is wonderful. Ilaiyaraaja?s music is awesome and adds an extra score to the movie.
Amitabh Bachchan, the lead actor, is brilliant throughout. He puts his heart and soul into the movie and emerges a true winner. The man puts across the character with easiness. From the beginning to the end, he holds on to your mind with his enchanting expressions and mind-blowing performance. Tabu matches up to Big b throughout the movie. She is the best suit for a 34yr old young and beautiful looking woman and has done a splendid job. Paresh Rawal enters the screen only in the second half of the movie. He excels in his out-and-out comic role as usual and is matchless. Zohra Sehgal is full of energy and charm throughout the movie. Swini Khara, who is called sexy in the movie, is adorable and we learn some realities of life and also get introduced to other personality of Buddhadev from this little darling.
Positives: Director has designed and interwoven the sequences with care and this thoughtful construction of the plot leads to a believable climax. Amitabh Bachchan and Tabu share a wonderful chemistry throughout the movie. Ilaiyaraaja?s musical score is excellent.
In the first part of the movie, the server at Budhha?s restaurant with protruding teeth?s makes a wonderful comic element. Paresh Rawal?s expressions are beyond compare.
Negatives: Repetitiveness sets in both parts of the movie. With good editing, the film could reduce its runtime by at least 15 minutes.
On the whole, Cheeni Kum is an enjoyable dish till its last bite. It may not do well at the smaller centers as the concept is more likely to attract the elite and modern class of audience. So I expect a good business at the Multiplexes, especially in the metros.