Friday, 12 September 2014

Finding Fanny :: Movie Review





FINDING FANNY is an enthralling flick which is unusual yet delightful, dark yet appealing, funny yet not over the top and entertaining yet not in the typical bollywoodish manner. After a long hiatus, a movie has come in which laughter does not come through characters making poker faces, forced gags, stale one-liners but flows in the narrative through well sketched characters. The laughs are character-driven and occasionally situational; the anticipation of conflict and their behavioral oddball kinks keep you chuckling even through the silence. Finding Fanny, breaks the mould of stereotype cinema right from the first scene and treads on its own path taking you on a different cinematic journey. I bet, Finding Fanny wont find many takers because of its unconventional theme & treatment which is in total contrast to the flashy, gaudy and escapist cinematic fanfare-soaked in dialoguebaazi and masala moments. The makers have deliberately stayed away from putting any kind of gloss, melodrama or any kind of masala element making it a real different film to watch.  Kudos to the makers for offering audience a film that remains true to itself in every frame, Where there are no insecure songs, superfluous characters, overwritten scenes or obvious plot points. Laced with racy humour and witticisms, the film delivers some introspective thoughts almost like a sneaky mom who slips in veggies in fun food when no one’s watching.  Without any social message or any emotional drama, Finding Fanny looks out for that emotional chord in you, sweeps across it and leaves you with a long lasting smile on your face.


STORY & SCREENPLAY                                            ::                       The writing credits for Finding Fanny go to Homi Adajania & Kersi Khambatta. The biggest asset of the script is its consistency in simplicity without going overboard or melodramatic at any stage and perfectly layered characters. Refreshingly hatke in its tone and gorgeously mounted in terms of its treatment, this film requires you to warm up to the quirky plot layered with a range of subtexts. It also offers a plethora of idiosyncrasies unleashed by its caricature-esque characters i.e. a picture-perfect girl-next-door Angie (Deepika) who lost her husband five minutes into the marriage, her well-rounded (pun totally intended) mother-in-law Roslyn played by Dimple, a passionate painter constantly in search of a female muse, Pedro (Pankaj) and a morose young man, Savio (Arjun) that will not only tickle your funny bone, but will also take you close to the true definition of love-not necessarily romantic love though-and life! 
Angie (Padukone) and Rosie (Dimple Kapadia) are unmerry widows, Don Pedro (Pankaj Kapur) is deluded, Freddie (Naseeruddin Shah) is lost, Savio (Arjun Kapoor) is frustrated, and even the priest (Anand Tiwari) looks like he would rather be on the beach. There’s at least one redundant Russian.

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The story revolves around five characters and is set in a village called Pocolim in Goa where life is slow and simple. Their needs are minimal and they live what I would call a retired life. A young widow Angie (Deepika Padukone) decides to help the old postman of the village Fredie (Naseeruddin Shah) to find his long lost love. He is depressed because it's now, after 46 years he finds out that the love letter he wrote to the woman he loved actually never reached her. In this mission of Finding Fanny, Angie ropes in her mother-in-law Rosie (Dimple Kapadia) the self-appointed Lady of Pocolim who calls the shots and throws her weight around with the locals. Savio (Arjun Kapoor) who loved Angie many years ago is back in town, he will drive the car as he is the only one who can, the car which belongs to Don Pedro (Pankaj Kapoor), an artist who's interested in Rosalina. It actually is not the destination that matters here but it's the journey of these five characters completely different from each other but with clean hearts. What follows is a deceptively funny and effortlessly insightful journey through a scenic Goan landscape. Once on the road, the five laugh, squabble and make-up before getting back to the routine. The ride, as bumpy as it may have been, brings them closer to each other and themselves. Like most road trip films, this one too is a journey to self-discovery — one that explores the latent desires of those who take it, while underlining the idea that it is the journey that matters, not the destination. Not once though, does the tone seem sermonizing.


STARCAST                                                               ::                    Now for the main part, performances, one can't surely get enough of it in this offering. To start with Naseeruddin Shah, who plays the role of Ferdie in the film. Impeccable, flawless, enchanting, etc. the English language would be short of adjectives to describe what a marvelous actor he is. He personifies the character of an old post man who lives in world of his own and has no regrets or complains about it. His mere presence in the frame can grip the audience. The quest of him looking out for his long lost love is portrayed perfectly via his expressions and body language. Pankaj Kapoor plays the role of an artist, Don Pedro Cleto Colaco, who has a fetish for voluptuous women. The eccentric character is portrayed hilariously well by him. The change in moods and expressions are so effortless, that one remains amazed.  Dimple Kapadia who plays Rosalina "Rosie" Eucharistica, in the film, is annoyingly hilarious, and the credit definitely goes to her caliber as actor where she can actually make the audience annoyed. Her voluptuousness in the film is justified as it adds to the reason of Pedro (Pankaj Kapoor) in the film. Deepika Padukone looks gracious as a goan. Even without makeup she looks great on screen. She plays the role of Angie, the reason for the whole journey in Finding Fanny.  Arjun Kapoor who plays Angie's heartbroken lover Savio, is this angry young man in the film, whom you fall in love with. He is full of sarcasm and thus hilarious at certain situations.


TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                    ::                  The background music of the movie that has been composed by Mathias Duplessy is also one of the highlights of the movie. It has a pleasant, soothing Goan feel to it which goes in perfect tandem with the movie and make the on-screen proceedings seem more lively. The cinematographer of the movie is Anil Mehta who has done a great job behind the camera. He has captured some breathtaking shots of Goa and the best part is that it is minus those beaches and parties that we are accustomed to watching in most of the movies shot in Goa. The movie has been edited by A.Sreekar.Prasad who has done a real crisp job. He has kept the run-time to 1 hour and 32 minutes with the pace of the movie going even all through. But, the movie belongs to its director Homi Adajania who has kept the flow of narrative very smooth and sublime, without adding anything superfluous in it to disturb its original texture. Finding fanny  is such assured film making that whether you like the movie or not you can't help but believe and buy into the weird, insular, rural world that Homi creates. The film has some dark and dramatic moments, but Adajania gives you no time to mull over them, bringing in a comical or satirical twist almost in the next shot and turning the mood right on its head.  


CONCLUSION                                                            ::                       Finding Fanny is a movie which is really different in the way that despite the presence of some established stars, it stays true to its simple and meaningful script without adding any unnecessary commercial elements to it. In an industry where the economics of filmmaking overrides the essence of the craft, Finding Fanny reasserts the power of simple story telling, making it one of the most refreshing and delightful films of recent times.


ROHIT SHARMA.
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