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39%
2.53 

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Imphal, Chandigarh, Bangalore India
Went to find Fanny. Found Nothing
Sep 14, 2014 05:48 PM 4981 Views
(Updated Sep 14, 2014 06:52 PM)

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Sometimes, it’s easy to fall into the hype. The rave reviews that Finding Fanny was getting in the media prompted me to go in for a Sunday screening. Granted, the last movie for which such rave reviews were forthcoming was Ram-Leela, and that turned out to be a major disappointment. Still, the trailer looked interesting, and the theme song ‘Oh Faani Re’ had an addictive hook. Plus at 2 hours long, the runtime looked reasonable.


One major source of confusion was that Finding Fanny seemed to be an English movie with bits of Konkani and Hindi thrown in. Yes, it is an English movie, but there are also Hindi dubbed versions being shown, so you can choose your version. I saw the English version.


Theme and Story


Finding Fanny is at its heart, a road movie. We have all heard of the great road movies, both in Hollywood and Bollywood. Personally, it is closest in scope to the Hollywood hit ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ in that it is about a dysfunctional group of people who cannot get along yet are on a mission.


The crux of the story is the tale of Ferdie(Naseeruddin Shah), an old postman in the sleepy Goan village of Pocolim, who one day finds out that the letter he sent to propose to his childhood love Fanny, was never actually delivered. Believing that she had rejected him, he spends all these years as a broken, lonely man. He decides to find Fanny and tell her the truth, to finally find closure, and he also harbors a longing dream that she might still be there for him.


Helping him in Angie(Deepika Padukone), a young widow, who wishes that Ferdie find true love or closure. Through circumstances, they rope in Angie’s mother in law, Rosie(Dimple Kapadia), a lavicious artist, Don Pedro(Pankaj Kapur), and Angie’s old flame, Savio(Arjun Kapoor).


As can be surmised, there are jokes thrown in an akward situations designed to make the audience guffaw. Some of the hilarity seems smart, but at other times, it veers off in crude Salman Khan- Johnny Lever territory and comes off as cringe worthy.


The strange part is that these bits of humour(and there are a lot of bits), are thrown into what is essentially a story of tragedy and emptiness in people’s lives. The humour in most parts is of a very dark variety, with bitterness and tragedy being the backdrops. A character being shot in the head while the others are bickering over a gun being one such example. It makes for uncomfortable viewing, and is not meant for children.


The Characters


Finding Fanny has interesting characters on the surface, but ultimately they are not delved into in detail.


Naseeruddin Shah’s Ferdie is perhaps the one you most root for. The hopeless old lover who Is naïve and shy, unwilling to face his fears. He is like an adorable little puppy, and you cannot help but like him.


Deepika’s Angie dresses like a model, immaculate all the time, and her tone jars with the rest of the characters. The fact that she is the narrator does not help. Her narration is boring and drone worthy for the most part.


Arjun Kapoor’s Savio is angry, angry and well, bitter with the world. You feel for him and his pain, but after the 1000th time complaining, you really don’t care for him.


Dimple Kapadia’s Rosie is unashamedly not afraid of being poked fun of, and most of the jokes revolve around her expense. Her uncomfortable time as the artist’s muse ultimately shows a deeper side of the character, but alas, that is also not enough.


Panjaj Kapoor hams it up as the lecherous artist, with Rosie as his muse. He gets a lot of gags and comes across as a dirty old man, but not much else.


What works




  1. The setting of oddball characters will inevitable provide for some laughs, even if they are cringe worthy at times.




What doesn’t




  1. The biggest problem of Finding Fanny is it doesn’t seem to realize what kind of movie it want to be. On one moment it is comical, next tragical. Yet it does not allow the audience to invest into either part completely because it always flits between them.




  2. The characters are more one dimensional and you cannot root for any of them, nor really hate them. This becomes a problem as you do not invest yourself fully in them and the story.






What was the point of this movie?


Ultimately, the biggest problem of Finding Fanny is that you do not find anything in the end. There is no catharsis, no redemption for these characters. For a moment I though the ending would be sad and reflect the tragedy of life, but then, jarringly, they move into a happy conclusion for no apparent reason. The story arc seems incomplete, as if the director and writer forgot that these were characters somewhere along the way. You never really get fully invested in the story, and it seems like you are watching a story instead of being immersed in it. It does pull any emotion from you, only the occasional laugh.


Conclusion


Ultimately, after all the hype, Finding Fanny comes across as a damp squib. It is not deep enough to warrant thought and reflection, not funny enough to have jokes which can be used at a party, not serious enough to make you invested, and ultimately, not deep enough to make you care for Fanny or anyone else.


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