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Bollywood Movie Reviews

Tarla Dalal Gets A Sense Of Huma




Rating: **

Tarla  Dalal  was a sweet –tempered  housewife who  gravitated towards  cooking like  a moth to a  flame. Or Kangana  Ranaut to controversies, if you will.  To  turn her remarkable rags-to-recipes  story into a bland tasteless dish takes some  doing.

Zee5  seldom known to  do justice to any individual,living or  otherwise, turns Tarla Dalal’s life  into a dish of mashed potatoes.Gooey sticky and  sickeningly sweetened, Tarla is  dipped in sugar syrup and  drained  of all  healthy ingredients.  It has no sense of  purpose other than to make the queen of cookery-books look like  an angel of  belch origins.

Adding to the  sense of  unmitigated  clemency  is  the  husband’s character,a  simple homely bloke named Nalin who plays  that  stereotype known as  the Supportive Husband. Like  Abir Chatterjee  in  the  recent Bengali film Fatafati , the husband here is  a man who seems  fully conscious of the fact that he has nothing more to do in life except to make  sure that his wife feels relevant, and never mind his own identity.

The  ever-dependable  Sharib Hashmi tries hard to tilt the imbalance  in  Nalin’s  excessively  complaisant character. Sadly, a  lot of Sharib’s Supportive Spouse vibes are melded into comedic  concoction.Nalin caught by his wife having  meat  in his office  canteen has  shots of the man chomping on juicy bites  with carnivorous glee.

Burp re  burp!

It is embarrassing  to watch Tarla Dalal’s inspiring  story being squeezed from both ends as though her culinary skills were  to be admired  not for their intrinsic worth but according to how her  family friends and strangers  judge her.

There is a sequence somewhere in the first-half when Tarla is finding her groove, when a “sophisticated” female publisher(we can tell by her  body language  though luckily for  her she is not smoking)  stares at Tarla  and  finally sighs, “You are made  for big things, ”  blah blah.

The problem with such a hagiographic  tale is that  it allows characters around  the hero to say things about her that we  already know. However stating the obvious is  not this biopic’s biggest crime. Mediocrity is. Every frame is like a reminder of  the inception of satellite television days. As for  Huma  Qureshi as Tarla Dalal, if you have seen Meryl Streep play the gourmet queen in  Julia & Julia, you  would know the  difference.

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