An intimate character-led story of love across the age gap, Cheeni Kum has a delicate mix of the finest ingredients, making for a film to be savoured. Its near faultless script is a fine cornerstone for the cast's skilled performances. Crammed with witty ripostes between Bachchan and Tabu, utterly comic scenes and poignant sentiment, the strong characterisation is the icing on a perfectly baked cake. Sink your teeth in, prepare to laugh out loud and be moved to tears. Scrumptious!
Buddha Dev (Bachchan) is the stern sixty-four year old chef who runs a top London restaurant. A disagreement over a Hyderabadi pulao brings thirty-four year old Nina Verma (Tabu) to his door, marking the beginnings of an unlikely courtship. The two decide to marry, but for Nina 's father (Rawal), the thirty-year age gap is difficult to stomach, and it falls upon Buddha to win him over, armed only with wit and a caustic tongue.
With his touching portrait of an obstinate man who finds unlikely love, Amitabh excels in every scene. Be it the stand offs with Rawal, the comic sequences, or his relationship with a cancer-stricken child, you simply cannot take your eyes off him. Tabu is the perfect foil for the cantankerous Buddha, and the subtleties of the unfolding relationship between the two make the story utterly captivating. Invested with biting humour, bold double entendres and attention to detail, it's a gem of a script and a film that works on every level.
In Hindi with English subtitles.
Cheeni Kum is released in UK cinemas on Friday 25th May 2007.