Tabbed as Netflix’s first ‘Indian original film’, Chopsticks is the first of much-anticipated Indian movies and shows that the streaming platform has lined up. But be warned, don’t press that play button expecting a Bollywood flick.
The film is far detached from the conventional cinema that caters to the masses. The narrative is subtle: An underconfident girl Nirma (Mithila Palkar) seeks the help of an expert conman simply named Artist (Abhay Deol) to retrieve her stolen car and ends up finding herself up against a gangster and his goat.
There are no out-of-place songs or item numbers. The story simply revolves around Nirma (Mithila Palkar) and her journey.
Palkar excels as Nirma. She’s so convincing as the shy, naïve woman that you will readily believe this is how she is in real life. At no point does her acting feel forced. A shining proof that ‘outsiders’ can find their place in the entertainment industry.
Abhay Deol, on the other hand, finds himself in familiar territory. His role seems like an extension of his character from Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! But can you really blame his casting? There’s arguably no better man in Bollywood to play a charming conman than Deol, and it shows.
The same can be said for Vijay Raaz, who plays the goat-loving Gangster Faiyaz bhai. The casting seems safe. But unlike Deol, Raaz’s character is missing layers, although he still does justice with what little he has.
Is Chopsticks one of the best films you’ll ever see? Definitely not. But is it a step in the right direction in terms of the content-driven cinema that should be the ultimate goal? A big yes.
If you love grand films where the set and the action take precedence over the characters and the story, this serving is not for you.
But if you’re looking for a feel-good 100-minute-long coming-of-age tale of a young, relatable woman, you don’t want to miss this one.