Chef Chidambara review: A fun comedy that easily qualifies as a one-time watch

Dark comedy, as a genre, is rarely seen in Kannada. Director Anand Raj succeeded to a big extent in ensuring most of the jokes land right.

BySunayana Suresh

Published:Jun 21, 2024

A poster of the film Chef Chidambara

Chef Chidambara (Kannada)

14-06-2024, Drama, Thriller, 1 hour 45 minutes U/A
  • Main Cast:Aniruddha Jatkar, Nidhi Subbaiah, Rachel David, Sharath Lohitashwa, Shivamani, KS Sridhar, Mahantesh
  • Director:M Anand Raj
  • Producer:Roopa DN
  • Music Director:Rithvik Muralidhar
  • Cinematography:Uday Leela



Chef Chidambara is an earnest restaurateur whose aim is to save his property on his ancestral land and lead a peaceful life with his lover Anu. But when he crosses paths with Mona, the young wife of his old loan shark, his life goes topsy turvy. How does he get out of the mess?

Chef Chidambara begins with a bang, quite literally, where one gets to see an accident take place. Of course, this little bit is then thrown aside, as one gets to enter the world of Chidambara. We meet interesting characters, a loan shark, his ambitious gold-digging wife, a corrupt police officer, a don and his sidekicks, and Chidambara’s ladylove. Between all of this, some corpses and complications surround them, which ensures this chef has enough ingredients in his life to cook up a storm.

A breezy entertainer

Dark comedy as a genre is rarely seen in Kannada. All one gets to see is either slapstick or sometimes comedy tracks with lots of double entendres. Chef Chidambara is refreshing on that front. The film is breezy with it being well under two hours and having enough fun moments to keep the audiences entertained. M Anand Raj has succeeded to a big extent in ensuring most of the jokes land right too, which is the most important aspect in this genre.

Kotee review: Finally a film made for Kannadigas amidst the pan-India hullabaloo

Rachel David in Chef Chidambara

Rachel David in ‘Chef Chidambara’. (X)

It seems clear that director M Anand Raj surely knows the beats of a comedy right and has written scenes well. Most of these scenes hit the right note, barring a few. The complications and twists are well handled, ensuring it doesn’t get too boring or stagnant, and some scenes evoke laughter at regular intervals.

What does not work 

What holds back Chef Chidambara from achieving its full potential includes some unnecessary bits, like a song featuring the protagonist’s ladylove at a time when the momentum is just building.

Similarly, some of the casting of the secondary characters who are pivotal to the film’s plot doesn’t work, particularly that of a casanova who is supposed to be charming the seductress Mona. Had the makers paid better heed to some of these points, or maybe even refrained from having the director and producer making cameos in the film, the film could have worked even better. The Hitchcock and Subhash Ghai trope needs to stop, at times.

Convincing performances 

When it comes to performances, Aniruddha Jatkar is earnest and puts in a zealous performance. Nidhi Subbaiah as the temptress shows how comedy is her forte and stands out. Sharath Lohitashwa who has a major role, is an apt casting. Rachel David looks pretty, but one wishes she had put in a little more effort in her dubbing, for her performance is good. Shivamani deserves special mention for his bombastic act.

Also, read: Kannada film industry first half 2024: High on content, low on box office

Final take

Chef Chidambara makes for an entertaining one-time watch, with enough comedy and some good performances. However, one wishes the makers had refrained from a force-fitted tribute to Dr Vishnuvardhan in an added track that could have been left out too.

(Views expressed here are personal.)

(Edited by S Subhakeerthana)

(South First is now on WhatsApp and Telegram)