#Review: 'Chopsticks' is a mediocre film, neither funny nor serious
What happens when a young girl, a mysterious con man, and a goat-loving goon indulge in a cat-and-mouse chase to retrieve a stolen car? Shit just 'goat' real. This is what unfolds in Netflix's latest Indian original offering, Chopsticks, starring Abhay Deol and Mithila Palkar. The film has been written and directed by Sachin Yardi (Kya Super Kool Hain Hum). Here's our review.
An under-confident yet sweet young girl buys herself a brand new car from her hard-earned money, only to get it stolen the same evening. The rest of the film chronicles her quirky but transformative journey to retrieve her car from a local gangster, with the help of a charming con man. On paper, it's an interesting premise, but in the film, it goes downhill.
Chopsticks, in a way, is like a start-up idea that sounds cool, to begin with, but when put to action, it fails to make a mark. The film's initial half-an-hour is engaging, and promises an entertaining ride, but bad scripting ruins it eventually. Soon, the film loses its grip on the viewer, and the excitement it builds in the beginning starts to wear down.
A film like Chopsticks must pack a good deal of laughs, or it simply isn't deserving of its 100-minute-long runtime. But it isn't as funny as it is supposed to be. Tragically, many jokes feel forced, and some are downright repetitive. That aside, the film tries to bring in a moral perspective, but again, the journey isn't convincing enough to let it achieve so.
Mithila Palkar (Little Things, Karwaan) as the shy and naive Nirma Sahastrabuddhe, working as a Mandarin translator in Mumbai, delivers a sweet and memorable performance. She is enjoyable in almost all her scenes. On the other hand, Abhay Deol, as an eccentric and charming con man, is effortlessly compelling. For someone who has pulled off way harder roles, this one is an easy picking.
Vijay Raaz as the short-tempered local gangster, Fayyaz bhai, who, for some unknown reason, is obsessed with goats, is flawless as usual. Having done uncountable roles of this kind in the past, this is an easy turf for the Gully Boy actor. Arun Kushwah also appears in a small role, in the form of a saving grace in this otherwise boring film.
Although, all the actors have done a fine job here, the script isn't strong enough to let them bring anything new on table. For a film that puts so much emphasis on cars and goats, the film lacks both speed and 'meat.' All in all, Chopsticks does work in bits and pieces, but as a whole, it really struggles to impress.