Movie Review – Finding Fanny

A funny thing happened with us. We went for a 12:30 show only to realize it’s a Hindi version. Google search revealed it should be better watched in English. So selling those tickets, we finally managed to catch the English version in another show.

Finding Fanny stares at you from a sleepy hard-to-find-it-on-a-Google-map village of Pocolim, Goa. Nothing seems to move here, not even the time. In such a lost-to-time place, you would imagine that people would be happy. But that’s not the case. Small or big, every person has their own problems.
Finding Fanny

Ferdinand aka Ferdie (Naseeruddin Shah) a postman, one evening out of the blue receives an unopened love letter that he had posted forty-six years ago to a girl called Stephanie Fernandes (Fanny). Suddenly his deep buried emotions resurface. His friend, a young barely-there-bride-turned-widow Angie (Deepika Padukone) gets him to agree to visit Fanny and propose to her, in person this time. She manipulates her mother-in-law, Rosie (Dimple Kapadia), who is a huge lady with her authoritative ways; Don Pedro, a world-renowned artist who tries to find her muse in Rosie and Savio, Angie’s bitter ex-lover. These five dysfunctional characters embark on a weird road trip in a restored vintage car to find Fanny and along the way they get more than they had bargained for; they lose bitterness, bury old hatchets, and manage to find hope and love.

Finding Fanny is about finding love in the strangest of places and in the strangest of circumstances. Just go with the flow and let life happen, let love happen. That’s the message this drama cum comedy movie gives you.

Veteran actors like Naseeruddin Shah and Pankaj Kapur have given brilliant performances as the sad and shy postman still living in the memories of his unrequited love and a master painter with shades of brilliance and eccentricity to match. Dimple Kapadia is another actor who has stolen the limelight with her portrayal of a widow, a self-proclaimed First Lady of the Pocolim village, who is authoritative but at the same time hiding a dark shameful truth. Deepika Padukone is the surprise of the film. She proves to the world that she is capable of matured acting if provided the correct platform. Arjun Kapoor is no less brilliant as the foul-mouthed Savio who is still in love with Angie. You feel as if each of these actors was born to do his/her role in the film.

The film is short and devoid of unnecessary clutter. There are no songs and dance either to take you away from the real film. But there are enough funny moments to bring a smile or make you split with laughter. After Cocktail, I was a little skeptical of a Homi Adajania film, but this movie has restored my faith in him.

Verdict: Take the journey, you will find it pleasing, fulfilling, unpredictable and exhilarating.


Movie Review: Dedh Ishqiya

A movie after 4 months. I had almost forgotten what it felt like stepping into a movie theatre.

Dedh Ishqiya

With a weird but funny name like ‘Dedh Ishqiya’ (sequel to Ishqiya in 2009), one would expect something zany and out of the box.  Well, it doesn’t disappoint much. With an experienced and stellar star cast like Naseeruddin Shah, Madhuri Dixit, Arshad Warsi and Huma Qureshi, you know you will get more than your money’s worth.

The uncle-nephew duo, khalujaan-Babban, is on the run after a robbery. They find themselves in a small and sleepy town of Mahmudabad where the widowed Begum Para (Madhuri Dixit) has organized a 3-day festival of Urdu poetry recitation. Urdu poets from nearby towns and cities come over to participate in it. The reward is unique. The poet who impresses the Begum will get to marry her and be the Nawab of Mahmudabad. No prizes to guess here. Our khalujaan aka Iftekhar Hussain is in the race and almost winning. Another strong contender is the powerful and dangerous local MLA Mr. Jaan Muhammad (Vijay Raaz). Looks like Begum Para has almost decided who her betrothed will be. But things are not as they appear. Everybody’s wearing a mask here and the viewer is left to guess who is using who. After a lot of twists and turns, the truth comes out. And in a bizarre black comedy-like ending, the film comes to an end.

Watching Madhuri after more than a decade is a special treat. A good actor doesn’t lose her touch just because she stops acting. Naseeruddin Shah as the lout and the madly-in-love Urdu reciting poet steals our heart. Arshad Warsi with his natural dialogue delivery endears us. He’s a director’s man; I don’t know why he wastes himself in films like Joe B Carvalho which has nothing to offer him or the audience. Huma Qureshi is impressive. And not to forget Vijay Raaz with his perfect comic timing who steals the show.

The film started with a bang. But lost the fervor somewhere in middle with stretched scenes, unnecessary dance sequences (just because they wanted to show Madhuri dancing) and songs. All the characters were neatly defined and were impeccable. The dialogues were beautiful and funny (there is extensive use of foul language though); and the poetry soul-stirring. The film could have done well with a few edits. The film may not be in the same league as the original Ishqiya where the bold and sexy Vidya Balan woos us all, but it still showcases the grace and charm of Madhuri Dixit.

My verdict: Watch it for it will surely make you grab a book of Urdu poetry.

The Dirty Picture

thedirtypictureVidya Balan plays Reshma, a southern village belle who metamorphoses into a sexy siren, Silk. Silk is hot, bold and sexy. She knows men desire her and she revels in this knowledge. The movie features three other stars, Naseeruddin Shah, Emraan Hashmi and Tusshar but surprisingly they are just eye candies. Vidya is the real hero of the movie and she has played the role of Silk to the hilt. The Dirty Picture makes a bold statement and gives us a glimpse of the cinema of 80s.

The movie is all about entertainment, entertainment and entertainment and Vidya Balan is ENTERTAINMENT galore.