S Shyam Prasad
‘He may be a cunning linguist but I am a master debater’. Do you recall the double, triple and tuple cinematic joke of the previous sentence? Does not matter really. This is not a Hollywood film impersonating an English man’s contempt for the French.
This Kannada film tries to utilise all of Bengaluru’s linguistic diversity in a sleazy manner and manages quite efficiently to do. The downside being you would not discern half the fun if you weren’t part of a Bengalur school with all this diversity. For starters, try with your pronunciation of salmon (the fish, not the shoes).
An uncomlicated plot about mistaken identity is spun into a fun ride. A don on his deathbed (Michael Madhu ironically in his farewell role) tells his son to inform Suleiman about the arrival of some special goods through Solomon.
You know in this first scene that the incompetent son will make a mess of it. The plot never goes anywhere. It does not exactly turn into a riveting or gripping tale but kept me engaged with the intelligent puns (liberal does of double entendres) and witty writing. In fact, the spoken words provides most of the amusement in the film.
The film does not stick to conventions. Do not expect Danish Sait (as Asgar the auto rickshaw driver) to be the protagonist. Even his screen presence is determined by the plot’s requirement. All the characters have a personality and a profile. Even if the comedy is over the top, these are believable people. That is director Pannaga Bharana’s one big accomplishment with this film.
The director fills the film with details that not only adds visual appeal but in their own way hint at other possibilities or subplots. So what are framed in the don’s residence? Posters of The Godfather and Basha. The film lets you do your visual exploration without pointing them out overtly.
Apart from the impressive (indigestible for those who cannot stomach prawns) dialogues, the cinematography and editing are the mainstay of this French biriyani. They keep the film straightforward and crisp. Vasuki Vaibhav’s music deserves special mention. Apart from the already popular Bengaluru song, there are two more good ones; Hogbitta Charles and Fakruddin.
You may hide behind connoisseur pretentiousness, but French Biriyani is the dirty delicious fare most of us would enjoy, in private.
French Biryani Movie
Cast : Danish Sait, Sal Yusuf, Ranghayana Raghu, Mahanthesh Hiremath, Disha Madan
Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes
Director: Pannaga Barana