Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wicked and witty!

Finding Fanny

Five oddballs venture on a journey to find a long lost lover. The journey is no cake walk because it is scattered with obstacles and humorous incidents. Homi Adajania's English and Hindi satire has wit, heart and is beautiful till the last frame.

'Finding Fanny' is about seeking out a long lost love. Five individuals who are poles apart go on a road trip to find Fanny alias Stefanie Fernandez, the love of Ferdie's life. A postman in a quaint Goan village, Ferdie is shattered when he receives his love letter unopened after 46 years. He discloses this to his best friend, Angie, who resides with her mother-in-law, Madame Rosalina. Both ladies are widows and live a lonely existence with only a cat for a companion.

The meaning of love

Angie decides to help Ferdie reunite with his ladylove. The three along with Savio Da Gama, Angie's one time best buddy who has had an irritable crush on her for years, and Don Pedro, a talented painted who is fascinated with all things big including Madame Rosaline, embark on a road trip to find Fanny. Though whether they do find her or not seems to be the question in everyone's mind at first. The journey leads them towards an extraordinary path of discovery. Many home truths are uncovered as the miles fly by. Each individual finds out the meaning of love and many even find it at the end.

The story is off beat and is mainly aimed at those who love artistic productions. Humour arises out of everyday situations. The emotions displayed by the characters seem real. We can imagine ourselves faced by such situations and being overcome by similar feelings. Another striking element in the movie is that each and every character is well defined and manages to shine at some stage. Though these are all A-list actors in the cast, they manage to stay within the parameters of their characters. The film mostly belongs to Naseerudin Shah who plays Ferdie's role. Not only is he the character who launches the action by revealing his passion to Angie, his haunting eyes and clouded expressions speak volumes.

He can be unmannered in one instance and as bashful as a school boy in the other instance. Pankaj Kapur is a contrast to him and has some of the most humorous dialogs. Arjun Kapoor plays an arrogant mechanic who swings between emotions. His character sinks in gloom even after he has achieved what he desires.

A diverse flavour

Deepika Padukone looks angelic on the first frame and carries on the act but many a time we have seen a daredevil behind her character. Such a shock is apparent when we see her choosing a chicken and killing it to cook a meal. She oozes confidence and holds her own against everyone including the veterans. She has proved the fact that she can even wow the audience out of her comfort zone as the much sought after Bollywood heroine, seductress and girl next door.

Dimple Kapadia give a stunning performance as an obnoxious widow. She displays a tough exterior which hides an insecure persona. This is probably one of the best characters she has been handed over in years. Anil Mehta's cinematography is worth a mention because he has captured the rustic splendours of the Goa landscapes in all their glory.

The little Goa village where the action takes place makes a pretty picture. Its sun-dappled paths lead us to the protagonist of the tale as well as the other characters who support him. 'Finding Fanny' is not a comedy yet it will surely put a smile on your face. Wicked, witty, weepy and wild, the film is an original that many would enjoy and find memorable.

Adajania may have set the foundation for extraordinary productions through 'Being Cyrus' and 'Cocktail', but 'Finding Fanny' brilliantly mixes black humour and entertainment together in just the right doses. Adajania evenly keeps up the anticipation over whether Ferdie meets his beloved before giving a smart ending to the story. More than the climax the journey itself keeps the viewers hooked.

The film is of a diverse flavour from the typical Bollywood films. It has no melodrama as such or the typical boy meets girl and wins her over romance. Therefore 'Finding Fanny' would not appeal to all, especially fans of masala entertainers. This is a piece of coming-of-age cinema. - Ruwini Jayawardana