Finding Fanny easily makes it to the thin list of my favorite Indian movies.
The story is delightfully offbeat, highly original and the acting an endless treat.
Love, lust and regret hang heavy in the decrepit air of Goan village Pocolim that time seems to have passed by.
Pocolim’s postmaster, the old bachelor Ferdie (Naseeruddin Shah) is one of a kind.
Mooning 46 years over a rejection from inamorata Stephanie Fernandes aka Fanny, his life goes off balance when he learns the letter (proposal) he sent to Fanny never reached the pretty girl.
So the batty old man determines to find Fanny and express his deep, abiding love to her face to face.
That’s the starting point of this dark romantic comedy featuring Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapur, Dimple Kapadia, Deepika Padukone, Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh (in a ‘short-lived’ role).
A brilliant movie that shatters the Bollywood mold of formulaic or plagiarized filmmaking, Finding Fanny is directed and co-authored by Homi Adajania (Being Cyrus, Cocktail).
Adrenalin junkies, be warned at the outset that this is not a movie in a rush to go anywhere and will quickly reduce you to comatose frustration.
Lust comes knocking in the form of Pankaj Kapur.
His character Don Pedro is a renowned painter who’s in Pocolim to find a muse for his next grand project.
But no sooner is Don Pedro in the village than the arrow of lust bolts his quiver to land on Rosie.
A fat-bottomed widow of a seaman, Rosie (Dimple Kapadia) is the acid-tongued mother-in-law of Angie, herself the victim of an extraordinary brief marriage.
Regret visits Pocolim in the shape of lissome Angie (Deepika Padukone) and angry Savio (Arjun Kapoor).
Savio’s return to the village after six years in Bombay reignites old passions between the old flames and constant thoughts of what could have been.
But nothing is what it seems on the surface of these Pocolim characters. Not love. Not lust. Not regret.
Adajania peels the layers bit by bit adroitly letting us peer into the souls of each of these oddballs.
The English dialogs are well written, crisp, funny and comically Indian in tone.
I thought Pankaj Kapur’s character Don Pedro and Naseeruddin Shah’s Ferdie got the best lines. What a class show these two great actors put up in Finding Fanny!
Deepika Padukone is pleasing as the good-natured Angie. It’s nice to see an Indian actress getting better with each movie instead of the other way around (Kareena, Katrina, Tamanna et al).
Watching Finding Fanny seemed like reading one of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ novels with their phantasmagorical imagery and quaint characters.
Anil Mehta’s camera work and music (Mathias Duplessy, Sachin-Jigar) are the icing on this delicious cake.
It’d have been nice to see a bit more of Pocolim’s larger setting. But I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
Not to see Finding Fanny is to display your contempt for all things artistic.
Homi Adajania deserves a huge round of applause for an adorable film like Finding Fanny.
As usual, the movie appears to have a stark similarity with the 1996 Hollywood movie “Stealing Beauty” starring Liv Tyler. Or as the director may want to claim it as “inspired from” 🙂
You were born to torment me. Just as I was enjoying America’s finest grocery store ice cream (Talenti Gelato, if you want to know), you dropped a bombshell.
You leave me no choice but to watch the film.
Having read Wiki profile of Stealing Beauty, I found one similarity.
Like Lucy Harmon, Deepika’s character Angie too loses her virginity in the open. I don’t know about Lucy’s experience but Angie felt a bit let down having fantasized the act to be “better” than the reality. The “better” moment was one of the funny parts of Finding Fanny. 😉
Have no fear. I shall watch Stealing Beauty soon.
Thank You, Sweetie!
BTW, Highway-Robber Imtiaz Ali was the co-writer of Homi Adajania’s previous film, Cocktail.
Phww thanks SI.
BTW, Mr. Highway Robber has been “INSPIRED” from the Spanish english movie ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’, in 2008, and remade Cocktail !! ALmost a 90% similarity between the two movies.
I don’t think there has ever been a 100% original bollywood movie since its inception.
1. I don’t think Finding Fanny is inspired from Stealing Beauty. Following your previous comment, I watched a third of Stealing Beauty….the 1996 movie goes along a different trajectory. Liv Tyler, who plays Lucy Harmon, was the epitome of beauty. OMG, worship-worthy before age took its inevitable toll.
2. Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona, I have seen. Nice movie – http://www.searchindia.com/2010/10/04/vicky-cristina-barcelona-review-nice-kiss-nice-story-nice-acting-nice-movie/
Cocktail, I have not watched.
3. I agree that the Indian soil is not fertile enough to support original creation.
Indians are lazy, lack creative juices or in a hurry to make money/make it big – Take your pick.
@SI – “I agree that the Indian soil is not fertile enough to support original creation. Indians are lazy, lack creative juices or in a hurry to make money/make it big – Take your pick.”
A more sympathetic explanation which would also be true is that they are stupid.
Something I’ve come to understand and tolerate much more after idealistic (commie) college days (similar to my equation with spirituality which as a mass phenomenon is in fact very accurately described as philosophy/science for stupid people).
I would argue stupidity isn’t a crime. Nor are stupid people lazy or immoral anymore than smart people (impulse control issues notwithstanding).
I don’t go raving mad at Indian movies like I used to earlier.
I won’t sit through them but if I think of them as being made by and for people with mental age of 10-15 years (Western European Whites/Jap scale) they make complete sense.
SI, hope the reading of Hindu equilibrium is going well. Looking forward to the review.
1. A la Nietzsche, I now believe there are Higher Men and Lower Men with the lower orders forever trying to pull down the higher orders! We all know what category most Indians fit into. 😉 No one in their right minds would watch our Bollywood/Kollywood/Tollywood bilge and applaud.
2. I should finish Hindu Equilibrium in 3 or 4 days. I’ve read what I consider the key part (1500 BC-1757 AD) twice and am marching briskly through the remainder of the book (Colonial and Post-Independence eras).
I’ll probably do one review and a couple of separate pieces. There are some tables that are themselves fodder for separate pieces.
Your Favorite Vikram ” I” Trailor
This ain’t no trailer!
Papanasam- Drishyam remake photos, Unga Friend paavam ippi thatha madhiri aayittaaru!! age nalla theiyidhu..(Your friend looks like a grandpa. His age is showing clearly).
What did you expect?
That the Thiruttu LaKaBa would look like Simbhu in his 60s?
I watched the malayalam Drishyam recently. There were quite a few holes in the story, regardless it is a decent show. Well-acted, not too many over-the-top scenes. Don’t know how original the story is.
Now looks like the copy-cat mills have gotten busy spurning copies in other tongues to make a quick buck.