Tiki Taka is a Bengali sports/comedy/drama film directed by Parambrata Chattopadhyay and starring Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Saswata Chatterjee, Ritabhari Chakraborty and Emona Enabula.
Tiki Taka takes place in flashbacks where Raju tells a pair of filmmakers the story of how he met Khelecchi, a footballer, and what happened during a fated Derby match between Youth Bengal and Notun Bagan. However, the story runs deeper, and there’s a bumbling gangster in the midst of the chaos.
This is a light-hearted movie, pulling on the heart strings of football-crazy Bengal. The premise is simple and quite predictable. The story itself takes a few turns here and there, but nothing you wouldn’t be able to guess from the first scene. Khelecchi belongs to a poverty-stricken Senegal and has come to Kolkata to deliver a drug containing football to PK, a notorious and bumbling gangster.
Here, he meets Raju, a no-nonsense taxi driver who is always ready to help everyone. We also have Bonnie, who wants to be a successful journalist. Raju, in a bid to help Khelecchi, tells Bonnie that he’s a very famous footballer, and has come to Kolkata to try his luck. There’s a kidnapping and an eventual football match where the African national scores a goal and helps to nab the criminals.
As expected from mainstream movies, Tiki Taka is high on racism. People call Khelecchi “amabosshar chaand” (অমাবস্যার চাঁদ) or new moon, and that the bad guys couldn’t differentiate between two African men because they are both dark complexioned, and thus, look the same. Kudos to Raju for pointing out that that’s racist, but the “joke” is there throughout the movie, and is extremely cringy. And what is it with Parambrata’s dark makeup? It’s extremely distracting and honestly, quite embarrassing.
Taking stereotypes a bit further, the coach of the Youth Bengal team (taking the place of East Bengal F.C.) talks in Bangal, because, you know, East Bengal. The gangster eats paan and is only able to mumble. Whenever he “mumbles” a slang, his right-hand man, and the only person who can understand him, says something else because it’s funny, I guess.
There’s a scene in Tiki Taka where Bonnie, not being able to get a new scoop, is called to her boss’s office. There, the boss tells her that she should either get a scoop by evening, or she’d lose her job. Or, she can also go with him to Mandarmani and spend the weekend with him to keep the job. It would’ve been fine if they’d showed how terrible and humiliating workplace harassment is, however, the entire scene has a fluff track in the background, and it is so uncomfortable to watch because of it that it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
However, the movie has its entertaining moments, and the acting’s quite good. Saswata Chatterjee, Parambrata Chattopadhyay and Paran Banerjee are quite believable in their roles and are a delight to watch. Emona Enabula, as Khelecchi, is also quite good. The movie pads a lot of its runtime at PK’s house, which doesn’t add to the plot or tickle our funny bones, and there’s a scene where Ritabhari Chakraborty’s Bonnie tries to flirt with PK – it’s so sexualised that it’s uncomfortable.
Summing up: Tiki Taka
Tiki Taka does not deliver much when it comes to comedy, which it is heavily reliant on. The movie uses racism as a comedic element which should not be a thing in 2020. The story is a bit all over the place, and has elements that do nothing for the story. However, Parambrata Chattopadhyay’s Raju is sweet to watch, and his commitment towards seeing his “brother” go home safe to his mother is genuine, which makes the film bearable.
Tiki Taka is streaming on Zee5.
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