French Biriyani

If you want to see parts of Bengaluru which you don’t ordinarily see in the movies, you must watch the recently released Kannada movie, ” French Biriyani.” The lockdown has had the side effect of us seeing more movies than we have seen in long! So, while fishing around for an interesting movie, I chanced upon this absorbing title. I wondered what on earth could have made the French and Biriyani come together in a Kannada movie!

The movie was recently premiered onAmazon Prime and we watched it. So glad we did! If you know Bengaluru and its various cultures, you will love the movie all the more, but even if you don’t, it is really off beat and entertaining! As they say, ” Paisa Vasool “, you would have got your money’s worth!

The story is fairly simple. “Powder” Charles ( Michael Madhu) an underworld don in Shivajinagar tells his son about a consignment he is expecting but unexpectedly passes away! The son, “Muscle Mani” ( Mahantesh Hiremath) has to prove himself to be a worthy successor to his father. He sends his faithful driver Sulaiman (Pitobash Tripathy) to the airport to meet the person bringing in the goods. Sulaiman mistakenly identifies Simon, a French representative of a medical company on his first visit to India, to be the courier and takes him away. The Frenchman, so brilliantly played by Sal Yusuf, is unsuspecting as he was after all expecting someone to receive him at the airport.

What he didn’t imagine in his wildest dreams are the events that follow. A blockage on the roads by striking cabbies forces him to take the help of Asgar ( Danish Sait) a passing auto rickshaw driver. What follows is hilarious ! The movie shows us all that happens to the hapless Frenchman over the next two days. We are shown extremely detailed portraits of street life in today’s Bengaluru; the familiar and not so familiar landmarks; the myriad people speaking different languages with different accents; and the cultural melting pot that is our city today.

Simon finds some understanding from Asgar’s sister Rahila, so charmingly played by Sindhu Murthy. She herself is going through the ups and downs of marriage to  Purshottam , played by Nagabhushan. The societal issues of an interfaith marriage, the mother-in-law’s pressure on the girl as she has not conceived , the tendency to blame  her when it is the fault of her husband are depicted simply yet most effectively.

The over the top police officer, Inspector Mahadev ( Rangayana Raghu) , the don’s son and his henchmen, miscellaneous tipplers at the local bar, and Malini ( Disha Madan) an enterprising TV reporter add colour and spark to the movie.  The contemporary music and songs as typified by  The Bengaluru Song enhance the interest in the movie.

Overall, we see very competent direction by Pannaga Bharanna,  and good acting- as is only to be expected -from Danish Sait in his role as auto driver Asgar. I felt the best acting came from two -playing roles totally different to their real life persona- Sal Yusuf as Simon the Frenchman, and Sindhu as Asgar’s sister, Rahila.

I liked the movie a lot. I hope I  have encouraged you through this piece to watch it yourself.  Till then, as the principal characters in French Biriyani would say, ” Au revoir”  and ” Khuda  Hafiz” !




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