Axone, pronounced ‘A-khoo-nay’, is a fermented soya dish that is consumed by North-East Indians. And Pork-Axone is apparently a very popular dish and a staple for special occasions.

This dish is the hero of a movie titled after it. Directed by Nicholas Kharkongor, the comic-drama focuses on a bunch of friends struggling to cook Pork-Axone for a wedding in their Delhi locality. Their problem is that most landlords are not fine with them cooking the dish as it releases a very pungent odor.

The movie is a breath of fresh air, with believable characters who are facing issues that are almost never addressed in mainstream Bollywood films – the racism & alienation north-east Indians face when they settle out of their home-states in the country.

Sayani Gupta plays Upasana, the lead actor, who is sweet, docile and does all she can to cook her best-friend’s favorite dish for her special day. I have seen Gupta in other films, and she really nails her role in this one. She immediately makes you feel compassion for her character. Lin Laishram as her confident, supportive friend is pretty good too.

The supporting cast is endearing and I think some of them could have done really well with more screen space. This is not to say that the film is too short. It could have actually been a little shorter and the pacing was on the slower side. The director made it a bit of a drag by squeezing a sub-plot about a musician who has a dark past.

Axone has some really fun moments and gives us a glimpse into the every-day struggle of being a someone who is made to feel like an outsider in their own country. But more importantly, it’s a film celebrating friendships. You can stream this one on Netflix.