Homi Adjania, in his 3rd film Finding Fanny did try to couple Bollywood formula with offbeat imagination and quirkiness. But in spite of staying away from sandwiching unnecessary songs, obvious plot points or stereotypical characters, the film somehow conforms to the popular formula designed by Bollywood. “Life khatam ho jaata hai, pyaar khatam nehi hota”, narrated by Angie (played by Deepika Padukone) in the epilogue inevitably reminds us of the 90s mainstream Bollywood sentimental dramas.
The film is set in the backdrop of a picturesque Goan village Pacolim and follows the lives of five dysfunctional characters as they set off on a road trip to find Fanny, the long lost love of the local postman Ferdie (played by Nasiruddin Shah) after he finds a letter mysteriously returned to him that he sent to Fanny decades ago. The trip has been organized by young Angie (played by Deepika Padukone), who was widowed just fifteen minutes after her marriage. But this village girl Angie could easily be confused with any city bred model walking on the ramp by her make up and outfit. May be this kind of imposing beautification of not only Angie but also some other scenes dwarfed the potential that the plot had. They are accompanied by imperious mother in law of Angie, Rossie (played by Dimple Kapadia), whose posterior was massively padded in order to create some comic effect, the lascivious painter Don Pedro (played by Pankaj Kapoor). And there is Savio, played by Arjun Kapoor who drives the rusty, old Dodge.
There are twists and turns like their losing the way and the gags involving two corpses, one feline and one human. The subplot which involves the romance between Savio and Angie emerged out of nowhere and had nothing to do with the main narrative. Probably these were there because the director couldn’t ignore the Bollywood rulebook which requires a love affair between two good looking characters, irrespective of whether the main plot requires it or not.
But these loopholes were tried to be filled by the brilliant performances of Nasiruddin and Pankaj Kapoor and by the technicians as well. Sreekar Prasad, with his neatly punctuated editing tried to create a rhythm which would make the climax as quirky as possible. Anil Mehta, the DoP surely deserves a bow for his beautiful portrayal of rural backdrop and the use of colors even in the interiors which goes in sync with the film which is a quintessential feel good story with an underlying theme of love. But in spite of all these, it seems that Finding Fanny lacks the required poeticism, which was needed for a film of this genre.
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