Finding Fanny - Review
The much promised eccentricity doesn't live throughout and you slowly lose interest in characters in this character-centric film. Yet worth a watch for the performances even if some are caricatures.
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A film that starts with a voiceover, however lovely the voice and what it has to say, feels likes a cop out. Save for a couple of times, I have felt that the voiceover is just an escape from having to show us the characters, instead you are just told about them. Almost, as if you were reading out the character wikipedia entry. Finding Fanny warms up after this initial put-off, only to set into a routine very soon. From then on it is flat, if not a ride on a downward slope.
When the ride starts and the film gets into second gear I loved how enterprising Angie (Deepika Padukone) is in getting the other characters join the road-trip to find Freddie's (Naseeruddin Shah) love Fanny. She has each one of them believe it was their decision to make them do what she wants them to do. The means and the end are equally quirky. But, then that is the peak of the eccentricity. After this point the craziness is either too forced (a la a caricatured Vladimir) or too flat.
This is a shame because individually the characters are uniquely funny. The humor is dark and it plays out quite well. Yes, of course, each one of the characters is a caricature, some more so than the others, yet they are entertaining and engaging. Savio (Arjun Kapoor) the most normal of them all, is also the flattest character - maybe because he is normal. His outburst though comes out of nowhere. But in this crazy bunch, he brings a bit of a balance along with Angie.
Angie is sweet, composed and a romantic. At the same time she is creative and gives a whiff that if she has made up her mind, she can get what she wants. This is why, her character's arch seems to be a little too out there. Given that she has the confidence of getting away with anything, it is a mystery why she waited so long for what was playing on her mind.
Her strong-headed mother-in-law, Rosie (Dimple Kapadia) on the other hand is the coconut of the group - hard on the outside hiding a soft inner self, but feeling empty deep within. Now see, herein lies the biggest flaw of the film. This thing that Rosie is empty deep within, is not something that I deduced because of what went on in the film, it is because another character spells it out. Again, out of nowhere.
That character being Pedro (Pankaj Kapoor). Easily the quirkiest of them all, Pedro is shallow and openly so. His pervert eye is omnipresent in the film and uncomfortable, even though deep down you know he won't be causing too much harm. It is a bit of a shocker when he makes an insightful observation of another character then. I'm not saying people who are overtly shallow are incapable of making deeper inferences. It's just that when the remark comes, not only is it over-dramatic which makes it out of place in this otherwise non-dramatic film, but it also comes out of nowhere.
Do you see, the trend here. The way the characters behave towards the end are very uncharacteristic of the way they have been defined for us till then. It almost made me feel like the end was written before everything else and everything else that came before was a means to that end. For a film that seemed to be about enjoying the journey this is too much of a mismatch. I am all for characters behaving out of character, but I feel left-out and thus uninterested if I am not in on what brought about the deviation?
The only consistent character then is that of Freddie whose quest is at the center of the film. His quest for finding his love. The beauty of his search is that it's not with the intention of wanting reciprocation. He just wants his feelings known. Unfortunately, the way the quest ends is such a bummer then.
Yes, Finding Fanny is more about these characters than it is about the story itself. Which is why each of these characters needed a little more to them than just an initial character sketch. A little more detail, a little more backstory.
Thankfully, the characters had brilliant actors to play them out. I doubt there is any other word that would describe him other than "sulky" - which might be the one-word brief he got from the director; which is what he portrays very well and consistently by sulking.
Deepika Padukone plays Angie the reason for Savio's sulk. She is very aware of her affect on him and uses it too. There was this glimpse of what a wonderful actor she can be in Love Aaj Kal. Finding Fanny allows her to show us that through the film and she makes the most of it. She uses her eyes to convey it all.
A complain that is held against the character, Rosie, but can never be held against the actor that plays her Dimple Kapadia. As gorgeous as ever, padded hips notwithstanding, the lady stumps me every time I see her on screen with how well she makes me forget the actor that's playing it. And I could and would use the exact same words to describe Naseeruddin Shah's portrayal of Freddie.
The only one who stuck out for me as an over-done is Pankaj Kapoor. I am sure that was on the director's command. But, he sticks out like a sore thumb with the exaggerated portrayal of his character's craziness. Sure, he's done it well, but wouldn't the challenge have been a better one to underplay that zany character to fit in with the rest of the film?
A word on the Goan atmosphere and language before I close - it really worked for me. So did the background music, even if it were too loud at times. It would indeed have been nice to experiment with a few scenes, especially the romantic ones, without any music. Another film, maybe. Once again something that sticks out as forced.
Which can be said about the film's summary that Angie spells out for us in the end. Such a clean-cut, sliced and diced ending is not what a dark humored film like this one deserves. Even so, it is nice to have a change of pace and scenery from the typical Hindi film. Always welcome.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: None.
- Language: A few abusive words.
- Nudity & Sexual content: A making out scene and some sexual jokes.
- Concept: Looking for love when it is actually punching you in the face.
- General Look and Feel: Quirky, Goan.
Finding Fanny - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Facebook Twitter YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Fox Star Studios, Maddock Films
- Producer: Dinesh Vijan
- Director: Homi Adajania
- Lead Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia
- Supporting Cast: Ranveer Singh, Anjali Patil, Ankur Tewari
- Story: Homi Adajania, Kersi Khambatta
- Cinematography: Anil Mehta
- Editor: Sreekar Prasad
- Music Director: Mathias Duplessy
- Costume Designer: Anahita Shroff Adajania
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 110 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Dark Comedy, Noir, Romance
Finding Fanny - Trailer
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