Fanney Khan

wogma rating: Add to that never-watched 'To Watch' list (?)

quick review:

A bit too convoluted even if you could try to sympathise with the length that a common man has to go to, to fulfill his dreams.

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Director: Atul Manjrekar
Running time: 130 minutes
Genres: Family, Social
More Movie Info

Fanney Khan - Preview

For all the themes it touches, the aspect that I am looking forward to most in Fanney Khan is the amusing kidnapping. For one, it sets Fanney Khan apart from Secret Superstar and then it adds the kind of goofball comedy that can actually be enjoyable.

Also, it will be refreshing to see Rajkummar Rao in a comic role and Anil Kapoor in a role where he is not over-playing every line. Aishwarya Rai sticks out like a sore thumb so far, but I would give it the benefit of doubt – maybe that is intentional.

Looks like a fun two films at the cinemas, next Friday.

Fanney Khan releases on 3 August, 2018.

Music Reviews:
Bollyspice – "3.5/5"
Movie Talkies - "2/5"
Times Now – "3.5/5"

- meeta, a part of the audience

The themes are all noble – body-shaming, the hollow stress of stardom, the ridiculously cut-throat TRP game, and so on. But, each one of them seems way too off-balance to be believable. Even if we assume that the exaggeration was intentional, the story goes more and more out of control and the climax leaves no stone unturned to be unreal.

Fortunately for itself, it is not a complete miss.

Fanney Khan seems to portray an anarchy of its own kind. The system is so messed up that the character, Fanney Khan has to resort to crime to get his daughter to a music reality show. While this is hardly believable, you are willing to go along with the basic premise. But, he doesn’t care about the repercussions, almost as if he knows there aren’t going to be any. That is taking it a bit too far.

Similarly, it seems quite an over-reaction to see everyone in an audience be mean to an obese teenager who is performing - without any provocation. She has a good voice, right? Why is she being put down for her voice? Then comes the inhuman rush for TRPs. It is good for the film that we as an audience are willing to lap up anything nasty said about the entertainment industry. That must be why the atrocious behaviour of characters doesn’t appall us, let alone surprise us. Then you have a star disillusioned by her stardom. The disdain comes across as rather superfluous. Again, one that will get nods from the audience.

Of course, it might be due to what I call the plastic-performance that Aishwarya Rai delivers film after film. To be fair, you can see some emotions when her character gets to let her hair loose. It is refreshing to see Rajkummar Rao take up comedy. It works but nothing surprising. Anil Kapoor has put his heart and soul into this performance but by the time it is down to expressing himself in the climax, the story has become too unbelievable. You are too busy saying, “yeah, right!” to appreciate his act.

Fanney Khan comes across as an effort from someone who has way too much to say. It wants to comment on many things wrong with society. At the same time it is very aware of not making its characters representative of the group of people they belong to – the stars, the managers, the producers, and the common man of course. To do that, it has to weave it all in a story. And they took the, “the more ridiculous, the better” route. Fortunately for itself, it is not a complete miss owing to the themes it picks to pick on.

- meeta, a part of the audience

29 reviewers(?) - 2 yays 14 so-so 13 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...What works is the film’s integrity, it’s intentions are fully bonafide. The daughter’s ridicule at a musical reality show has a ring of truth about it. So does the furious disdain the daughter shows towards her father. Eventually if you sit through the ordeal of watching Rajkummar Rao romance the stunning Ms. Rai Bachchan in an abandoned industrial factory with only her pet dog for company, Fanney Khan is a heartwarming ode to life, Lata Mangeshkar, Mohd Rafi and Shiela Ki Jawani. Effervescent and emotional it is an effective antidote to the pain of existence. ... full review

Thumbs up, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, FANNEY KHAN is laced with illogical plot and a lot of loose ends. But the emotional and funny moments coupled with some fine performances ensure that the film turns out to be a decent, entertaining fare. ... full review

So-So, by Ankita Chaurasia , Bollywood Life : ...The sincerity with which Anil and Rajkummar portray their characters and Aishwarya’s star power are enough reasons to buy tickets to the film. ... full review

So-So, by Meena Iyer, DNA : ...Verdict: Fanney has little to offer. But if you're the sort who doesn't complain, please be my guest. ... full review

So-So, by Anupama Chopra, Film Companion : ...What stayed with me was the visual of Fanney Khan wiping away tears and pretending to be casual when Lata gets a call for an audition. It’s a heartfelt performance that goes a long way in making this bland film somewhat watchable. ... full review

So-So, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...Dreams do come true but there’s always a cost and sometimes you need a miracle to realise them -- that’s the underlying message of this film. Atul Manjrekar hasn’t made the perfect debut but has shown his heart is in the right place... ... full review

So-So, by Jyoti Sharma Bawa , Hindustan Times : ...Everything ends well for everyone, strike one for melodrama. What begins as a slice-of-life film about following your dreams ends as a fairytale. It is charming but not rooted in reality. Life isn’t that forgiving; but perhaps the audiences will be.... full review

So-So, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...Fanney Khan is a well-meaning feint at the issue of body-shaming and an exhortation to not give up on one’s dreams. Yet, it also shows the yawning chasm between intent and execution into which so many Hindi films fall.... full review

So-So, by Jaidev Hemmady, Movie Talkies : ...In conclusion, though Fanney Khan has some great performances, the story will certainly prove to be the film’s undoing.... full review

So-So, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...Many will object to the logical absurdities and unrealistic turns in this film’s story. But when has that inhibited a film from crossing the illusive three-digits at the box office?... full review

So-So, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...But in a film that glides in and out of the make-believe, it is no big deal if the love story, which anyways runs parallel to the main narrative track of the film, flirts with the unreal. Isn't that what cinematic plots hinging on the realization of impossible dreams are supposed to be? Fanney Khan is that - and more. Embrace it. It will do no harm... full review

So-So, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...It's when Fanney Khan begins to justify and applaud its irresponsible, reckless behaviour as poignant parenting that the sham gets completely out of hand. ... full review

So-So, by SHILPA JAMKHANDIKAR, Reuters : ...But there are notable flaws. Kulkarni’s character and the evil TV executive he colludes with are jarring, as is Manjrekar’s inability to tie up all the ends neatly without unnecessary melodrama. ... full review

So-So, by Nandini Ramnath, : ...Sand’s Lata is a bit too perfectly formed to be convincing as a struggler taking her first steps – she has all the moves down pat in one of the songs – but she comes into her own in the rousing track Tere Jaisa Tu Hai. The evolving relationship between Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Rajkummar Rao is a giggly delight, allowing the veteran of heavy-lidded romances to relax for the first time in years and giving Rao ample scope to show off his comedic skills. Casting is the real winner in Fanney Khan. The actors help the movie navigate the implausibility at the heart of the plot and its facile critique of a music industry in which talent is worthy of being recognised only if it is televised. ... full review

So-So, by Ronak Kotecha, Times of India : ...Overall, ‘Fanney Khan’ is a star studded musical that starts on a high note and has its moments of glory. It shows how parents live their dreams through children. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks : ...Anyway, coming back to FANNEY KHAN, the film neither entertains nor is able to give any socially relevant message as a pretty confused venture. In fact, a one line dialogue in the script sums it perfectly well saying, “Sab Kuchh Bahot Jaldi Nahin Ho Gaya”. Plus, in case you watch it, then just notice the choice of lady Police inspector in its very last scene giving it all. ... full review

Thumbs down, by ARNAB BANERJEE, Deccan Chronicle : ...If Fanney Khan was conceived as a sweet tale fleshed out with well-drawn characters, it doesn’t impact because of its unsophisticated humour and corny dialogues. Another disappointment is its music with not a single hummable song. The worst thing about this film is no connect between characters even as Kapoor tries hard to breathe life into his.... full review

Thumbs down, by Rahul Desai, Film Companion : ...Kapoor, unfortunately, is the only one convinced this is a legitimate movie – he acts sincerely, sings, dances and at one point seems to be shedding real tears. Who can blame him? He finds himself in a movie about music, and yet the soundtrack is straight out of an Amit Trivedi jingle generator. He is in a movie in which even Irshad Kamil forsakes his pen to design screechy ballads out of B-grade rap lyrics. What else can explain, “Tera jaisa tu hai, mere jaisa main hu”? You are like you. I am like me? Soup is the only healer. ... full review

Thumbs down, by UDITA JHUNJHUNWALA, FirstPost : ...A weak script with some directing inconsistencies, Fanney Khan had room to be an enjoyable comedy or satire. Instead it careened towards over-the-top melodrama with debatable messaging. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...The scripting tries to ape the ‘Secret Superstar’ format without understanding the nuances of the byplay. Lata is shown as decidedly obnoxious to her parents who don’t ever reprimand or punish her for it. Ambition is all very well, but when coupled with arrogance and discourtesy to parents who have sacrificed their all in its pursuit, just doesn’t feel too good. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Suhani Singh, india today : ...There's no faulting Anil Kapoor's investment to the role, be it wearing jazzy shirts to tolerating his daughter's taunts with a big warm smile. Kapoor's performance as a desperate and doting dad draws empathy even as the story falters. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Ananya Bhattacharyal, india today : ...On the whole, choose Fanney Khan this weekend only if you have nothing better to do. Or catch the original Dutch Everybody's Famous. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...And the music, for a film about song and singers, is entirely forgettable. Only one song is sort-of-rousing, but it’s already fading as you leave the theatre. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, Fanney Khan is just like that one bad song you wish you should never have heard it. Anil Kapoor tries too hard to pour some soul in this lifeless script but not enough to make it worth watching. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Sonil Dedhia, MiD DAY : ...At a juncture in the film, Dutta asks Kapoor, "Star banna zaroori hai kya?" I have a similar question for the director -- "Yeh movie banana zaroori tha kya?" ... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, : ...Fanney Khan squanders so much potential, it practically breaks your heart. Only Anil Kapoor succeeds in leaving his stamp all over the film, making your heart go out to this 'selfless' man on a mission. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...Last year we had Advait Chandan’s Secret Superstar, on a similar theme of trying to make it big in the world of music. Despite its share of naïveté and narrative contrivances it was able to forge a connect with the audience with its emotional authenticity and freshness. Fanney Khan, unfortunately, leaves one cold. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Rummana, yahoo! India : ...‘Fanney Khan’ could have been a strong commentary against body-shaming or a gritty tale of how real talent triumphs all odds. Alas, even the dependable Anil Kapoor fails to give us a jhakkas performance. ... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

1 readers - 1 yays 0 so-so 0 nays

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Fan

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None
  • Concept: An obese teenager wants to become a singer, her father does whatever he can think of to make it happen
  • General Look and Feel: Nothing out of the ordinary

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Comments (6)

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Barring Aishwarya the promo is promising. Based on a successful Belgian film. However, Aishwarya looks so over the top, as she usually is. And that is much more overwhelming compared to all the rest. And so as far as I am concerned, for this and only this reason, this movie will be skipped.

@Fan I still feel the comic timing will overcome the over-acting.


@Meeta: let's hope so. Will look forward to the hints in your review. If indeed she is subdued then I might (might) give a rethink to my choice.

Ever since Dhoom2 (including D2) her acting has been annoying to the power of thousand. Only exception in that period was Jodha Akbar, I believe thanks to the director who controlled her histrionics.

Let's wait a few hours for your take on Fanney.

@Fan Unfortunately, she does her usual. Fortunately, it isn't overwhelming because the focus is not on her as much.


Thanks @Meeta.


I was pleasantly surprised with this film. My only hesitation was the presence of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. All my apprehensions were proven wrong.

The film works very well. It slowly grows on you, fanned by all round fabulous performances from Anil Kapoor, Divya Dutta and Rajkumar Rao.

The story about a commoner who wants his daughter to achieve the success that eluded him, and the lengths that he would go to get that success. The story is endearing. The treatment is light yet effective. Music is alright, keeps you interested.

High marks for this entertainer.

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