13 Sep 2014

Finding Fanny: A Performance-Powered Road Trip

Director Homi Adajania's latest movie has many sparkling moments of black humour, sparkling one-liners and some heart too.

It all starts on a quiet night in the nondescript Goan village of Pocolim, when some mysterious hand drops an undelivered love letter at the door of head postmaster Ferdie (Naseeruddin Shah, lovely voice modulation, vulnerable body language, knockout). Ferdie sleepily picks it up and realises with increasing dread that it is the same letter he had written to Stefanie Fernandes, his lady love, 46 years ago. His best friend Angie (Deepika Padukone, in fine form), a young widow, offers to help him mend his heart, find Fanny and know if she loved Ferdie. 

Angie convinces the lovelorn, tongue-tied bachelor Savio (Arjun Kapoor, inconsistent, spirited in parts) to drive her in a battered car along with her friend in search of Stefanie alias Fanny. She doesn't tell him that Rosalina, her vain widowed mother-in-law of mountainous posterior (Dimple Kapadia, heartfelt) is tagging along with the house cat; after Rosalina in fervent, feverish trail is the painter Don Pedro (Pankaj Kapur, excellent, gets the film's best lines). 

So the motley gang of five set off on a road trip, snail-paced moments and some plot holes are passe because of an ensemble cast in top form. There is death, love, lonesomeness and lovely village scenery. In the spirit of Hollywood road movies, this could easily have been a cute, light stage play. The music is breezy, merciless editing would have added polish to the film. 

This is still a fine movie, certainly worth a watch on the big screen.Despite the slack pace, the film finds Fanny and itself at the end of it. Out of the box initiatives on Hindi film non-brainer commercial territory is always commendable, applause to the cast and crew.  

Don Pedro's one line mockery of Ferdie's fear of darkness, Savio's angry, irritated outburst mentioning his 'mental state', a strangely immobile cat and a bullet piercing the forehead. 

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