Entertainment Magazine

Finding Fanny: ‘Insane’ Slice of Life

Posted on the 13 September 2014 by Haricharanpudipeddi @pudiharicharan

Movie: Finding Fanny

Director: Homi Adajania

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

Rating: ***1/2

Road films, as much about the journeys are also escapades from the character’s not-so rosy lives. They are an attempt to rekindle confined perspectives of life. Finding Fanny, as an obvious black comedy, is reality painted on a shaky layer. The line between mockery and humor is blissfully thin. The protagonists, akin to their indifferent existences, dress up casually, as we see a commoner doing so, hiding their insecurities, setting themselves for a trip to find a lady love of the laid-back hamlet’s only postman Ferdie (Nasseruddin Shah). All of this, for an unsent love letter to the girl of his life, that lands on his table, after 46 years.

Most of the lead characters try to act normal, in spite of their internal adversities. Angie (Deepika Padukone), sitting by Ferdie’s side, stuffs the latter’s mouth with a tissue and literally throws a glass of water on his face, when he breaks down. It isn’t that she is apathetic to his feelings. The girl loses her husband on the day of her marriage. She, a broken soul herself, acts like a motherly figure, calming him down soon enough with comforting words. Rosie (Dimple Kapadia), her mother-in-law, as a ‘landlordly’ figure to this small section of Goa, doesn’t reveal much of herself to the outside world. Her husband’s whereabouts are unknown.  Giving them some uncomfortable in the journey is Don Pedro (Pankaj Kapoor), a painter by choice, a pervert at heart,besides the home-return Savio (Arjun Kapoor), supposedly, as the driver.

The aspect that lends it a different hue from the recent example of a road film, the very prominent Zindagi Na Milegi Dubara, is its consistent mocking flavor. A character, after his dream sequence, wets his bed. He thinks of a young girl opening the door of a house. All he gets to see is an undressed hairy man in his 50’s doing the honours. This is the ‘Being Cyrus’ makers way of saying ‘Welcome to Reality’.

The film commences with Deepika’s interesting yet revealing monolog about each of the characters. She, then catches hold of a hen, gives a sympathetic look, but still rips the creature. Nearly convincing us of the reasons behind the death of a pet and a principal role is Homi Adjania’s lightweight treatment of a solid drama material. Death, a funeral , in his purview is just an inescapable truth of life. He also gives us a dose of poetic justice, before he ends his 105-minute piece. Neither excessive nor minimal, as a line in the film reads, is the fuss.

Most of the travellers in Finding Fanny, who couldn’t almost stand each other’s presence, prior to the journey, harmoniously come to terms by the end of it. They realize the power of the progressing present and forget the past burns. Rosie, after getting drunk, thanks Ferdie, for not  revealing her well-guarded secret. Naseruddin Shah’s moment of guilt is then beautifully put on-screen. The painter, who pictures her body, brings Rosie’s hidden vulnerabilities to the fore, that shakes her inside. The dried, tired voices start opening up for good. They can’t cheat themselves anymore.

It is Deepika, who is privileged with the film’s best lines. She carries herself with utmost grace amidst veterans like Shah and Kapadia. Pankaj Kapoor, whose pot-bellied introductory shot explains the film’s tone, is very much, the compelling womaniser. Arjun Kapoor’s screen presence too carries the reckless yet poignant side of the film with élan.  Finding Fanny is artsy, crazy and bumpy in many ways,  still best suited for viewers, willing to look between the lines of obviousness.

Review by Srivathsan N. First published in Cinegoer.net


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