Finding Fanny Movie Review by Rajeev Masand

Rating: 3

September 12, 2014

Cast: Deepika Padukone, Arjun Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia

Director: Homi Adajania

Five restless Goans, a ratty ol’ Dodge, and an unfortunate cat…that’s all the ingredients director Homi Adajania employs to whip up the lighthearted soufflé that is Finding Fanny. Sprinkled liberally with uproarious humor, the film makes some rather predictable points about love, straining its already-thin premise.

Ferdy (Naseeruddin Shah), a postmaster in a sleepy Goan village, is heartbroken when he discovers that the love-letter he posted to Stephanie Fernandes 40 years ago, never reached her. Insisting that “no one should have an incomplete love story”, his unlikely best friend, a young widow named Angie (Deepika Padukone), volunteers to help track Fanny down. She enlists the help of her old friend Savio (Arjun Kapoor), who agrees to drive them in his father’s beat-up car. Joining them on the road-trip is Angie’s bossy mother-in-law Rosy (Dimple Kapadia), and famous artist Don Pedro (Pankaj Kapoor) who finds inspiration in Rosy’s ‘full’ figure.

As Angie puts it, these five oddballs set out like “brave adventurers to find love”. But Adajania suggests that life constantly springs surprises, and the best way to deal with it is to look at life through the viewfinder of humor. This is evident in some of the film’s strongest comical scenes. The bit where Rosy’s cat digs its claws into Ferdy’s lap results in a freak accident that is played for laughs. Another hilarious scene is one in which Don Pedro slips into sexual fantasy while describing how he intends to paint Rosy.

But look beyond the obvious and there is much to admire here. The affectionate, respectful relationship between Angie and Rosy, for one, although the marriage that made them family was over in less than a day. Or Savio helping Ferdy find Fanny, which feels like life coming a full circle, if you consider the role of Savio’s father in Ferdy’s unrealized romance. There is a hint of sadness too in each of the protagonists, a bunch of quietly desperate people seeking fulfillment.

Not everything works though. The dialogues often feel like a mouthful, and not always honest to the characters speaking them. Other times they feel too clever. A post-sex conversation between Angie and Savio comes off contrived, unlike Rosy’s cheeky admission about the effect of too much liquor on her legs – it’s easily the film’s best laugh-out-loud moment.

To be fair, Adajania, who nicely captured a slice of Parsi life in his 2010 debut Being Cyrus, turns a perceptive eye to the Goan Catholic community this time. Rosy, described as “the first lady of Pokoli”, is your typical ‘take-charge community leader’, a one-stop-shop for anyone needing any help in the village. Dimple Kapadia occasionally slips into hammy mode playing the voluptuous character, but you genuinely feel for her when she’s humiliated after Don Pedro has painted her. Arjun Kapoor does well as Savio, frustrated from the personal baggage he’s carrying around. Deepika Padukone, lovely in every frame, brings a nice hint of melancholy to her part, but her long voice-overs are weighed down by flat delivery. The film belongs to Naseeruddin Shah and particularly Pankaj Kapoor, who steal every scene they’re in. Naseer, as the painfully timid Ferdy, who ultimately finds himself during this journey to trace Fanny, is consistently endearing. Pankaj, meanwhile, as the boorish Don Pedro, hits all the right notes, giving us a character that’s vulgar yet irresistibly funny.

Set in a world that feels entirely authentic, Finding Fanny is a charming film that starts off slowly but draws you into its drama. At a crisp 105 minutes, it’s a perfectly satisfying watch unlike so many disposable comedies today. I’m going with three out of five.

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21 Comments
  1. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    Creature Movie Review by Rajeev Masand

    Rating: 2

    September 12, 2014

    Cast: Bipasha Basu, Imran Abbas, Mukul Dev

    Director: Vikram Bhatt

    Steven Spielberg famously explained that his decision to reveal as little of the shark as he possibly could, until one was two-thirds into Jaws, helped escalate the audience’s tension. After all, what really scares you is the stuff you can’t see. Director Vikram Bhatt, however, is clearly no proponent of the “less is more” principle when it comes to monster movies. He doesn’t make us wait too long before giving us the Full Monty in Creature.

    Ahana (Bipasha Basu) has invested her every penny in setting up a cozy boutique hotel in the middle of a forest in Himachal. Not long after the first set of guests have checked in that a mysterious beast shows up and sets off a killing spree.

    The creature in question, a large, scaly lizard with a human-like head and protrusions on its face that resemble a handlebar moustache, is a “brahmrakshas” we’re informed by a grizzled Mukul Dev, who plays a permanently scowling zoologist. It’s hard to keep a straight face while the ever-so-sullen doc links this mythical beast’s origin to an unshakeable curse and a mowed-down peepal tree. From luring it into an empty bus to chasing after it in a cave, things get progressively silly as Ahana and her pretty-boy love interest (Pakistani actor Imran Abbas), resort to all manner of incredulous plotting to take down the monster, even after it’s become painfully clear that fire is its Kryptonite.

    Bhatt’s decision to reveal the creature early on, and to give it virtually as much screen-time as Bipasha gets, robs the film of any surprise or intrigue that it might have otherwise benefitted from. The opening attack scene, on a supplies guy whose truck breaks down in the forest, is nicely creepy because much is left to the imagination. But later scenes – like one in which the beast chases after a speeding jeep in broad daylight – are laughable.

    To give credit where it’s due, the VFX work isn’t too bad, and while comparing it to Godzilla might be a stretch, it must be said that some thought has clearly gone into the monster’s design and movement. What doesn’t work is the consistently crummy writing.

    Bhatt trades in all the usual stereotypes including mumbo jumbo-spouting villagers, lazy cops who want nothing to do with this mess, and a wise old man dispensing words of wisdom. There are also cutthroat bankers who threaten to seize Ahana’s property when she defaults on a loan. “Bloody vultures,” her boyfriend mutters when they leave the room. “They are vultures, but I’m not a dead body yet,” she replies.

    From the unintentionally comical dialogues to the absence of any logic in the script, Creature fails spectacularly in getting the basics right. The film suffers from an overall cheapo aesthetic, as if stuck in a time warp. Educated men bandy on about a Brahma Mandir in Pushkar and about bullets that need to be bathed in holy water on the occasion of Karthik Poornima…you’ll be groaning in pain.

    The acting across the board is so wooden you’re counting down for the characters to be killed off one by one. Of the two leads, Imran Abbas has precisely one expression, and Bipasha Basu – her hair perfectly styled, her nails nicely manicured even while she’s struggling with the beast – mostly flares her nostrils and tries to look brave.

    Alas the film doesn’t spook you, or deliver so much as a few cheap thrills despite the pop-out 3D effects. This is standard B-movie material that plods on for a full 2 hours and 15 minutes. Still, I’m going with a generous 2 out of five for Creature. It’s an ambitious attempt, weighed down by pedestrian storytelling.

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  2. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    #IStandWithDeepikaPadukone is trending on twitter because of her fight with TOI.

    And look at TOI’s defense.

    • Anjanpur685Miles 5 years ago

      I cant figure out whats the issue? Can someone please summarize it for me?

      I dont really know how this whole twitter thing works.

      • Author
        sputnik 5 years ago

        Its there in the pictures I posted above. TOI posted some cleavage video of hers and she tweeted against it.

        • Baba 5 years ago

          Deepika is being stupid n overreacting. No wonder she is slutty savitri! Finding fanny poor bo response seems to b d reason.she wants attention

          • Anjanpur685Miles 5 years ago

            I expect SRK to come to her defence in 1 month or so and talk in a non-stop way jibberish (as he always does)

            I hope someone , some reporter – reminds him of his time and nights with Priyanka!

            (though it wont happen, SRK charmes ladies by smiles and males by smiles and money)

            PS: all above is First hand information

          • Baba 5 years ago

            Exactly.n where was her feminism when there were similar articles during race 2 n ccoctail? Just bcos she is now doing a pseudo art film she watnts so much attention. Srk is another pretrntiouss douchebag who suddenly faced racial,profiling in us right before release of mnik

  3. Anjanpur685Miles 5 years ago

    A star reacting to social sites or newspapers item on their own IMO Is sign of desperation.

    No major star does it unless they are really hurt. I think Deepika is overacting.

    TOI Is stupid to the core btw. Her accent is offensive and ugly. Whereas her cleavage can be a lovely sight for some. Whats wrong in that?

  4. alfa.one 5 years ago

    TOI is stupid and shameless in real sense !

    BTW, why cant aamir cover this topic in women’s support in his SMJ3.

    • Baba 5 years ago

      Its a fucking publicity stunt by padakaun n toi together.dont b surprised if u read a cheerful interview of her very soon in Bombay times cover page for all her so called anger against toi

      • alfa.one 5 years ago

        if its true than toi is real garbage like arnab goswami.

    • saurabh sharma 5 years ago

      Hey sputnik, I am not able to open this site On Windows 8, Though I am able to open the site on Windows phone and Mac. I even tried on all the browsers in windows 8 (Laptop) and even on my friend’s Windows 8 laptop.

      If you can please look into it.

      Also for posting comment Now I need to login, whether earlier I was able to comment with just entering the name and Email address, No login was required.

      So if you can look into these issues.

      • saurabh sharma 5 years ago

        This started happening from past 1 week. Earlier site was working fine on windows 8.

      • Author
        sputnik 5 years ago

        I am on Windows 8 and I can open the site fine on all three browsers IE, Firefox and Chrome.

        I had cloudflare which used to deliver the site based on different locations. I removed cloudflare last week so the DNS was changed.

        Try the instructions here.

        https://www.whatsmydns.net/flush-dns.html#windows-8

      • Anjanpur685Miles 5 years ago

        Use Linux or contact Bill Gates for the crap OS issue.

  5. saurabh sharma 5 years ago

    I think its not working in India, as you said you are in USA.
    I tried on 3 windows 8 systems.

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