Written by Manisha Lakhe on June 21, 2019
A Delicious Frothy Fun Filled Fairy Tale
Can a little boy from a slum in Bombay dream of Paris? Sure! When he grows up can he use his street smarts and a fake hundred Euro note to get to the city of his dreams? Dhanush (whom you saw in Raanjhana) makes this journey frothy, fun, magical and wonderful.
The film begins innocuously enough. A little boy in the slums gets his first lesson in school, he realises that he’s poor. His mum – who washes and irons clothes for a living – teaches him how to dream big. Tells him that if he talks of poverty, she won’t take him to Paris.
The Paris dream, now firmly planted in his brain, little Ajatshatru grows into the street smart thief/magician/fakir (played brilliantly by Dhanush). You realise that the film has made you fall in love with his dream and Mohini (go find out for yourself who she is!). This happens so naturally and easily, you find yourself grinning as someone in Paris tries to con him.
This is where you will decide whether you like the film or not. If you do, you will enjoy the escapades of this young man. You will ignore the leap of faith you have to take and enjoy the film. If not you will see a large hole: how can the large ‘Swedish store’ have the same furniture as in the catalog Aja loved as a child?
However, if you choose to ignore that gap in tale, you realise that everything the lad does in the store, including flirt with a young American girl (Erin Moriarty) makes him adorable. And as he promises to meet her at the Eiffel Tower, you know something will go wrong. It does.
From Ikea to the Eiffel Tower is a long journey for Ajatshatru. That’s the fun part of the film. The froth is in his never-say-die attitude. He meets many interesting people on his journey and he learns so much from them. The stunning Bernice Bejo helps him make a wish at the Trevi Fountain in Rome, and Barkhat Abdi (you saw him as a Somali pirate in Captain Phillips) shows him the human side of refugees in Libya.
No don’t ask what happens, book your tickets and watch this delicious film that has already made waves at film fests… Oh yes, we also get to see Dhanush dance to ‘Madaari’ at a Roman Nightclub…
(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)