Chilli Chicken movie review: A compassionate look at migrant life in Bengaluru

Chilli Chicken movie review: A compassionate look at migrant life in Bengaluru

A scene from 'Chilli Chicken'

A scene from 'Chilli Chicken' | Photo Credit: Anand Audio/YouTube

For the last few years the locals in Karnataka are fighting hard for the revival of Kannada pride and culture. Chili Chicken, The film, which revolves around migrants working in a hotel, is an important film considering the current environment in the state.

Be it a restaurant or a salon, it is common to come across workers from the North-East region. We rarely interact with them and never stop to think about how they go about their daily lives. Director Prateek Prajosh's film gives a glimpse into the world of these migrants and begins with the statistic of how Bengaluru has the second highest number of migrants in the country.

Chilli Chicken (Kannada)

Director: Prateek Prajosh

Mould: Shringa B.V., Bijou Thangjam, Jimpa Sangpo Bhutia, Harini Sundararajan

Runtime: 123 minutes

Plot: Five migrant labourers from the North East work for a second-rate restaurateur named Aadarsh, who wants to open a great restaurant, but his plans are turned upside down after a tragic incident.

Khaba (Bijou Thangjam), Jimpa (Jimpa Sangpo Bhutia), Ajay (Victor Thoudam) and Jason (Tomthin Thokchom) work at a hotel called Noodle Home, which is owned by Adarsh ​​(Shringa BV). They live in a small room, yet it is a luxury, according to Adarsh, who says that it is common to keep about 10 migrant workers in a room almost everywhere in the city.

It is natural for these workers to feel isolated in the big city, but the film shows how much can change if they try to become one of the locals. The first step is to speak the language of the state.

Chilly Chicken The film is critical of the workers who leave their homes and go to metropolitan places in search of livelihood. The effortless manner in which the four workers speak Kannada in the film was refreshing. The film does not portray them as completely misunderstood people. They choose the wrong path to make quick money (even if it is a desperate attempt to make ends meet), and when we hear stories of migrants caught for illegal activities, we realise that they have paid the price for it.

Co-written by Prateek and KAS, the film is about a search for identity. Aadarsh, played brilliantly by Shrunga, is a middle-class man with big dreams. He feels inferior in front of his girlfriend's father, who is a rich man. Whenever his girlfriend or her father try to measure his success with money, his self-esteem takes over. Left alone in his quest, Aadarsh ​​calls Bengaluru his home and tells his employers that they belong to this city. It is a poignant scene that best sums up the core purpose of the film.

Harini Sundarajan (in a brilliant performance) plays a young girl who creates Instagram reels with progressive views besides balancing her different part-time jobs. Her character holds a mirror up to those who stand up against those stuck in the wheel of time. Her fight with narrow-minded people is an attempt to fight discrimination, while the four migrants want more respect from their employers and society.

After a solid twist in the plot, the screenplay of the film starts to falter. You also suddenly feel a lack of focus on the part of the filmmaker as the smooth pace of the film slows down. Chilly Chicken Doesn't take any side (Aadarsh ​​is not perfect while his rich girlfriend is not heartless either), making it difficult for the director to balance multiple narratives. The lives of the migrants and Aadarsh's struggles remain intertwined, and it's not an easy ride for the audience, who keeps wondering if they will meet at a common point.

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Still, the director has presented a serious subject in a clever, effortless manner. The film is helped by humour as well as beautiful songs by Siddhant Sundar.

The film's conclusion is pretty convenient, though. Chilly Chicken Its heart is in the right place. Harmonious coexistence is the only way forward for all of us and Chilly Chicken That leaves us hoping.

Chilli Chicken is currently playing in cinemas

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