Why Raja Menon’s Chef Failed to Impress

I recently watched Chef (Hindi) after my friend’s recommendation despite I’d already watched Chef (2014) based on which this movie was remade. Honestly, I had less expectations but it still managed to disappoint.

The film, as I said before, is an official remake of a Hollywood movie of the same name Chef created by Jon Favreau. The story is about a middle-aged chef’s emergence from the confined zone of a restaurant kitchen and his realization of his dream of cooking.

Those who have watched Jon’s Chef would have loved the movie for its galloping pace and rendering a picture of the chef’s life. It was the craziness of that chef that drives his life along with his relationship with his ex-wife, his kid, his friends and his dream. The common thread was Food. That is exactly what was missing in Raja Krishna Menon’s Chef, especially in the first half of the movie.

Today I am writing my view on why Raja’s Chef failed to impress the critics as well as the audience.

What Went Wrong?

Raja’s Chef started with Roshan losing his job due to his arrogant behavior and his attitude towards any criticism. From that point onwards, the film was oscillating between his struggles with the mid-life crisis and his relationship with his son Armaan and ex-wife. This went on for the entire first half of plot accompanied by the sad tunes and there was hardly any cooking involved.

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Also, the film’s pathetic attempt to pick some of the great scenes of Jon’s Chef is quite irritating. First, when you do something like that, the scene directly comes under the lens of a comparison where it fails to leave the same impact. It’s like someone has given you the assignment and you copied it and like any teacher, the audience will know instantly. Secondly, even if the audience hadn’t watched Jon’s Chef, those scenes looked a little forced and didn’t give any vibe of real development in the relationship between the father and his son.

Since the film was overly focused on relationships, it affects its run-time pace and length-wise. The first half of the movie lacks a good background score and the real passion of Roshan.

What Was Good

It was great to see that most sequences of the story were filmed in India, began in Kerala. The cinematographer has brilliantly captured places like Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and the connecting roads. The actors played their part amazingly. It was interesting to see Saif Ali Khan (Roshan) underplaying his role. Although he did it very well; but I am not sure whether the character’s role was meant to be the same or not.

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The film blooms in the second half where it literally goes on the roads with a food truck supported by some good songs (which were also used as a background score).

To be frank, these kinds of hiccups and problems happen with every remade movie. I appreciate the honest attempt and the good effort made by the entire cast and crew that makes it a one-time watch.

If only the director had chosen food as the central theme, then rest aside, it could be a masterpiece like The Departed (by Martin Scorsese – Remake of a Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs).

So, what was your verdict of the movie? Did you find it interesting? Tell me your thoughts.

I am Shivesh, signing off with a promise from you to

Keep Watching Good Movies, Keep Reading Keep Humming

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