Project: Cheesecake

Cast: Jitendra Kumar, Akanksha Thakur

Direction: Palash Vaswani

Ratings: 3.5 stars

(The review is based on the first 3 episodes) out of 5

When it comes to treating animals and dogs in the best way possible, India surely doesn’t stand at the top and unfortunately so. ‘Every dog deserves a home’ is quite often limited to just a textual thought and people don’t really put their best foot forward to exercise the same in reality always. TVF’s latest ‘Cheesecake’ is primarily about how you should empathize with dogs and understand their emotions to see through their eyes. How? Read to find out.

Neel & Sameera happen to be a ‘happily married’ couple. Well, how much really ‘happily married’ , that’s really a question to toss. Both of them happen to be working professionals but at the same time extremely unhappy with their respective work lives and growth rate. While Neel ( Jitendra Kumar) happens to be a struggling editor who’s looking for the biggest opportunity for himself in the art of editing as he’s literally fed up of editing small-time corporate films, the opening sequence also shows Sameera literally ranting and cribbing to her friend in a café about how she’s not getting her much-deserving appraisal salary growth and how she’s fed up of her job that’s offering her only peanuts in the name of money. However, something interesting rather happens. As the two leave the restaurant, Sameera spots an adorable golden retriever who she only presumes is apparently homeless and abandoned. After cuddling him a bit, Sameera gets distracted with a phone call and boom, within seconds the dog disappears. Later eventually she finds out that the dog has been following her to her house. An ecstatic dog-lover in Sameera comes out and she feeds the dog with a ‘cheesecake’ which the dog literally loves to eat. What follows next in the sequence is downright hilarious and funny.

As Neel is about to get ready to leave for work and is looking for his underwear, he is amazed and horrified to see a random dog in their house and that too with his underwear in its mouth. An astounded and flabbergasted Neel screams at Sameera to explain what’s happening and Sameera in the most puerile way calls it an ‘act of drunkness’ and tries to brush it under the carpet. Both leave for work and as Sameera feeds the dog with biscuits, she leaves for work leaving the dog in the road itself. But a worried and caring Sameera returns from work at night with biscuits for the dog and feeds it. When she realizes that the dog is homeless at the moment, she brings in the dog to her house and convinces Neel that it will be there till they get someone nice to take it for adoption. Much to Neel’s unlikeliness, he agrees and tries his best to give away the dog. But Sameera wants to take it slow and keep him with them. They name the dog ‘Cheesecake’, and naturally, we know how the name comes in there. Although there’s a lot of tension between the couple, the bottom line point that Sameera realizes is the fact it is only because of the dog that they have been having normal discussions between themselves as a couple and it’s only because of the dog that their romance has rekindled a bit. Neel still tries his best to get the dog away but has a change of heart when an animal feelings communicator explains to them that how Cheesecake loves them and feels that he is the reason why there’s tension between them. This melts their heart and they decide to be happy and continue to live their lives the best way possible. With or without Cheesecake? That’s left for the 4th and 5th episode.

IWMBuzz Verdict: The narrative right from the very beginning till the end focuses primarily on sending the right message to the viewers about animal care and affection. Palash Vaswani’s direction truly sets into the right ‘direction’ as if the country needs to progress and prosper, being more humanitarian towards animals is of utmost importance. The story although is adorable (all thanks to Cheesecake’s sweet antics), it lacks a bit of practical approach. Yes, we agree that it’s more of a feel-good movie to give in the right message, but the balance in the script and narrative is a bit of an issue. The cinematography and the editing is crisp and full marks to the team for getting the perfect angles of Cheesecake’s motion and movements with the finest frames that even increase the adorable quotient further. The performances of Jitendra and Akanshka are fine and their chemistry with the dog does show that they are dog-lovers in reality for sure. Extra points to Akanksha for this category. The dialogues and screenplay is well-written and there are plenty of moments from Jitendra and Akanksha’s end that will make you chuckle and chortle. Overall, the film is a must-watch for dog-lovers and although keeping the cinematic aspects in mind, it calls for a 3, but an extra 0.5 to Palash and his team’s vision in their attempt to create a better society for dogs and animals. Awesome-‘Paw’some to sum it up.

3.5 stars