Director: Ani IV Sasi
Forged: Ashok Selvan, Ritu Varma, Nithya Menen, Nassar
Theeni takes place at a Michelin Star restaurant in London known as ‘Amara’ the place three misplaced souls come collectively. Dev (Ashok Selvan) has simply moved to London to work as a chef, Tara (an outstanding Ritu Varma) can be a brand new worker at ‘Amara’ who’s come to London in search of her misplaced father, and Head Chef (Nassar), a as soon as legendary chef who’s now given up cooking so he can mourn his estranged household. Theeni is about how the three of them assist one another discover the love they’re lacking—by means of meals.
Dev and Tara idolize Head Chef. Meals helps the each of them expertise sorrow and pleasure, prefer it is likely to be with music or books for others. And so they’re each emotionally damaged. Theeni is a bittersweet drama that’s surprisingly reluctant to offer in to straightforward feelings. What makes it really feel good despite that is that the background to every part within the movie is the child-like ardour its characters have for meals.
Everybody within the movie lives to eat. A superb meal would possibly exchange a go to to the therapist for them; meals is non secular. And the restaurant is their pure habitat: we’re taking a look at common individuals having issues, however whereas doing what they actually love doing. So, even when these characters are going by means of darkish issues, the aftertaste of those occasions is at all times candy and hopeful. And it’s these characters that remodel Theeni from an everyday drama into a fragile portrait of troubled and passionate individuals.
Dev is a bit like a bearded Winnie the Pooh: rotund and at all times hungry. Ashok Selvan performs him simply self-consciously sufficient to make him awkward and likeable but additionally simply unselfconsciously sufficient to make him endearing. He will get these sudden muscle spasms (resulting from a traumatic occasion prior to now). It’s launched to us steadily till it seems like an endearing quirk that we even sit up for. The way in which he says that his spasms “have been launched earlier than just a few years,” or the good-humoured perspective he has to his embarrassing situation make us establish with Dev—due to all of his quirks. He appears human as a result of we are able to see his demons. When he bangs his head on the desk — maybe, each resulting from his pleasure and spasms — we are able to see how the tic that appeared so odd at first doesn’t really feel misplaced in any respect.
If it’s his physique that exhibits us what’s on Dev’s thoughts, it’s her eyes for Tara. They’re at all times fastened when she speaks to Dev, as if any motion may betray what’s on her thoughts. Solely meals can break her. When she tastes one thing ready by the Head Chef, her eyes open large and a tear drops. Dev prepares the identical meal and the litmus check isn’t the tongue, however, once more, the attention. The intense recognition that Tara feels is proven by means of an in depth up of her eye dropping a tear. With Tara, her eye is the window to her intestine. By way of a number of touches like these, Director Ani IV Sasi stylizes a generic drama into a particular one about foodies who’re all in search of love by means of meals.
There’s no meet-cute between Dev and Tara, as a result of this isn’t a traditional romantic comedy. The truth is, nothing is cute within the movie, particularly Head Chef who’s its most opaque character. Nobody even takes his identify, as if ‘Head Chef’ is his solely id—and it’s.
He’s the sort of one who’s so bored when ready for his immediate noodles to cook dinner that he places a gun to his head and contemplates demise. We get his damaged life story by means of a fast and environment friendly flashback however Dev’s flashback with Maya (Nithya Menen) feels lengthy drawn out with its montages. For a movie that’s in any other case understated, these elements really feel loud; although it’s creative to make a personality’s interior demon visible within the type of a pleasant ghost of a girlfriend previous.
The ending of Theeni feels too handy, however this movie was by no means about plot. It’s the sort of movie the place you really feel greater than you course of. It’s characters begin out as flawed and find yourself as flawed too—however in addition they turn into a bit extra hopeful. It’s not the answer to your life that you just might need been hoping for, however it’s that dessert you fastened for your self at 2 AM within the morning that feels shut sufficient.