Bollywood does not venture much into food movies, but when it does, Lunchbox for instance, it leaves a mark. Nothing short is expected of Saif Ali Khan's Chef, an official remake of Jon Favreau's heartwarming movie with the same name. While it is understood that this movie will cater mostly to urban audiences, especially those who have watched Jon Favreau's Chef, the fact that the movie stars Saif Ali Khan might appeal to a wider viewership.
Chef revolves around Roshan Kalra, a celebrated chef based in New York, who gets fired from his restaurant and moves to Kochi to bond with his son . However, life takes an unexpected turn as he ends up starting a food truck and gets closer to his ex-wife.
Saif Ali Khan's movie has released today and is likely to face competition from Varun Dhawan's week-old Judwaa 2, reboot of Salman Khan's Judwaa and Dame Judi Dench-starrer Victoria and Abdul. Judwaa 2 is likely to cross the Rs 100 crore today, and is expected to continue its steady business over the weekend.
Trade analyst, Girish Johar, told Indian Express that Chef is likely to mint Rs 4 crore on its first day, and move on to collect Rs 15 crore over the weekend. The movie is releasing in 1,500 to 2,000 theatres. Johar furthermore adds that the estimate is likely to be achieved if the content of the movie is good and if people end up liking it.
As reviews are pouring in, there are a couple of things that everyone seem to agree on - that Saif Ali Khan is in top form and the movie is more gloss than content. Raja Sen says of the film, "Chef holds no secret sauce of its own, but perhaps we shouldn't be that surprised. There is only that much you can do with a reheated film," and gave it 2 stars. Anna MM Vetticad gave it 1.5 stars and called it "flimsy". Nandini Ramnath, on the other hand, called it an "enjoyable movie with likeable characters and warm performances". Rohit Bhatnagar gave it 3 stars and said "Chef has multiple flavours and it comes out as a satisfying dish".
However, regardless of what critics say, Indian viewers are known to have favoured movies on wholly different barometer. It remains to be seen if Chef will turn out to be good news for Bollywood box office and follow Judwaa 2's footsteps.