Beginning with a harsh truth, FINDING FANNY is one of those rare, enjoyable comic gems which is not going to find an unanimous applause from all as it seems. Many are going to love it and a few not, mainly due to its distinctive city feel and urban humour served through all wacky Goan characters living life according to their own preset notions. Particularly the film is not going to satisfy the ones expecting it to be another slapstick comedy keeping in mind its intentionally made comical promos. Plus many might find it a bit vulgar too in its verbal confessions and eccentric charactersiations, judged through a conventional mindset unable to accept their frank expressions.
Further admitting the fact, its not that FINDING FANNY is a perfect masterpiece scoring much closer to the maximum as it might sound. The film has its own set of flaws like a slower start, a lazy pace and a stumbled end which leaves many expectations raised as unfulfilled. Yet I would like to recommend FINDING FANNY for its pleasant freshness, authentic feel and many charming performances which slowly make their way into your hearts as the film ends at a less than 95 minutes of duration with a worth watching song video shown with the end titles.
Also it has one particular extraordinary sequence, which I would like to rate as one of best cinematic expressions made in Hindi cinema till date dealing with an artist (painter), his art and his personal depiction of a subject placed in front of him. But keeping this important eye-opener to be discussed in details in an exclusive article later, let us talk about the film in totality and its key features as mentioned below.
Beginning on a slower note, Homi Adajania, the director introduces all its main characters in the first 15 minutes of the film with some interesting scenes. And the moment you have the one and only Pankaj Kapoor on the screen playing the master painter, Don Pedro, obsessed with women and their body curves as his sole subject of art, the narration gets the much required lift and the mood is built for a much wackier film ahead than expected.
Based on a very thin plot of finding the lost/forgotten love of an elderly person (Naseeruddin Shah), FINDING FANNY is actually about five people from Goa (Deepika, Dimple, Arjun, Naseer and Pankaj Kapoor), who decide to search for Naseer’s lady love in an vintage imported car and their experiences on the road leading to some unexpected, enjoyable outcomes. The wonderfully written characters and the unpredictability factor remain its two strong merits throughout and the film successfully makes an impact as it ends with a small pinch of realistic sadness in its final scenes.
Having said that at few places it does tend to be a bit over the top or weird too, like the way the poor cat gets treated in the car, the manner in which the actual truths get revealed by the lady’s daughter herself or the mess in which an unintentional gun-shot hits the wrong destination raising many further questions in the climax. Still the film never goes off the path completely and keeps you engaged most of the times with its worth watching performances, entertaining dialogues, catchy music, excellent cinematography and the unusual story progression with many sudden twists in the second half. Musically, I really loved the title song having an instantly likable Goan composition and Punjabi lyrics amalgamated beautifully along with a pleasing camerawork capturing the landscapes well.
Among the admirable performances, we have the outspoken, lonely and a little hammy Dimple Kapadia winning your heart after the unexpected humiliation coming from the funny painter, Naseeruddin Shah elegantly playing the puzzled old man after receiving a forgotten letter and Arjun Kapoor coming up with a surprisingly bright act clearly showing the signs of growth learning from all the veterans around (in the film) quite intelligently.
But above all there is the lovely, charming lady Deepika Padukone with a sparklingly natural performance looking simply great in every single frame and Pankaj Kapoor who once again proves that even if you give him only 20 minutes in the script, he is capable to deliver the finest act of the film with an amazing, outstanding ease as always.
In all, FINDING FANNY is bold, dark, sad as well as light, funny and enjoyable, bringing in the much desired freshness in our Hindi films. So do give it a try especially for Don Pedro (Pankaj Kapoor) who is sure going to give you a good time in the theater, in this deliciously smart film revolving around five lively characters from the city of Fenny. And just don’t hesitate watching it in Hindi since that’s the version I saw and I never found it awkward or anywhere compromising in the dialogues and their real meanings.
Rating : 3.5 + 1 / 5 (with the additional 1 just for that rare artistic sequence to be discussed in details in an exclusive article coming next at BTC soon.)
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Posing as the new millennium’s upgraded version of Ramsay brothers (of the 80s), Vikram Bhatt is now more known for his horror films instead of anything else made in the initial phase of his career. So strengthening this newly found unique status in the industry, Vikram continues to experiment within the same genre following the right vision but unfortunately fails to deliver anything exceptional when it comes to execution or in terms of thrill, excitement and horror expected from a film titled CREATURE released in 3D.
To give him the credit where deserved, yes the project can be rated as probably the first mainstream Hindi horror film talking about a strange, scary creature in particular, extensively focusing on its graphical depiction involving great amount of hard-work, expenditure and skill. However the other side of the coin is that this happens to be the only merit of the film as you are not going to find it that engaging, exciting or horrifying in comparison of any other creature movie seen before.
Actually a horror film revolving around A CREATURE has to be outstanding at three exclusive points in its script. First at the time of its entry, second while revealing the creature’s hidden history of origin and third when it gets destroyed in the end with some distinctive trick or any other novel technique. Sadly Vikram Bhatt’s CREATURE is not able to impress its viewers in any of the above mentioned points in its script and thus remains a below average, unentertaining film in totality to say it all.
Stating the three points individually, the creature’s entry in the film is just ok with nothing spine chilling or exciting happening on the screen. Its existential history is not explained with any kind of interesting detailing or scenes and finally its destruction turns out to be more funny than scary mainly due to the over length, clichéd killings and poor execution towards the climax. For instance, the learned professor very well knows where the devil lives in some underground caves and the exact spot too. The caves which have the entry from just a 3 feel wide hole, later can also accommodate a whole jeep moving in, just at the right moment to save our heroine. Following the set pattern of a Vikram Bhatt horror film, a weak parallel love-plot is simply there to incorporate all the average songs thrown in randomly. Plus a particular sequence in the film shows the killing of a wild leopard by some hired hunters being celebrated with a photo session so fearlessly as if its not a crime in our country running the “Save The Species” campaign from many years now. In fact this was the most irresponsible insertion in the film demanding a severe criticism.
Adding to its few positives, CREATURE does manage to impress you marginally with the 3D visual effects generating a certain amount of curiosity around the huge demon having a long lizard like tale, green eyes and a manly built in the beginning. But as the film progresses further, the uninspiring artificial roar and boring, routine sequences having nothing fresh to offer completely kill the novelty of the concept introduced and one doesn’t feel like enjoying the experience at all close to the interval.
Post intermission it fast becomes such a long, tedious film despite having an engaging concept of ‘Brahmrakshsa’ which could have been the key USP of the film pulling the viewer in. The writing fails to deliver anything above the routine, the cinematography and graphics try hard to deliver the expected in vain and background music doesn’t bring in those chills which one wants to feel while watching a horror film revolving around a strange creature. Besides the way they all try to kill the demon in the climax, becomes funny instead of scary due to its poor monotonous feel and the annoying length.
Another major downer of CREATURE has to be the catchy promotional song “Mohabbat Barsa De Na Tu” featuring Surveen Chawla in a sensual avatar, which is no-way related to the actual project and the film doesn’t have any of those sexy scenes too which are sure going to disappoint many sitting in the theaters expecting a lot more (especially from a Hindi Horror film).
As the performers, Bipasha Basu doesn’t look fresh but tries to give a spirited performance minus any passionate bedroom scenes. The newcomer Imran Abbas proves to be a debutant more dependent on his good looks than the skills required but Mukul Dev performs decently in the role of a researching professor, who should have been given more mileage in the script as I strongly felt. Few in the supporting cast do it over the top like the paan chewing inspector and the bank manager, whereas rest of them are simply there filling up the space.
In short as the first Hindi horror film based on a specific CREATURE, this could have been a trendsetter movie with a chain reaction. But in the present format, its nothing more than another wasted opportunity to make an entertaining horror flick by a reputed name.
Rating : 1 / 5
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Before going for MARY KOM this Friday, I had four positives in mind about the attempt made, giving it a finer edge in comparison to a few recent biographical movies coming from Hindi Cinema.
Firstly it’s a biopic made in an Industry which doesn’t like to venture in this particular genre in terms of commercial cinema and that too talking about the life of a woman, which is even a rarer attempt by the makers unarguably.
Secondly it’s supposed to be a sports movie which again is a genre rarely chosen by our reputed directors and that too focusing on Boxing, a much lesser followed sport than Cricket, Hockey, Athletics or Wrestling in India.
Thirdly and most importantly its not a biopic of an old person, who had done it many decades ago. On the contrary it’s a film made on the life of a talented sportswoman, rather a mother, who is still young at 31 and still kicking to go further in her achievements fighting many more competitions coming ahead in the next years. And one seldom gets to see a biopic of a person who is this young and still active in his or her particular field representing the country all over the world, so proudly.
In cinematic terms, the project also had a worth mentioning strong merit of being the debut directorial film of a highly experienced and known artist Omung Kumar who began his career as an anchor almost two decades before and then remained associated with numerous reputed projects as a Production Desinger/Art Director including films like BLACK and SAAWARIYA.
So having these four positive points in mind and one negative one about the unnecessary glamourization of an important bio-pic, featuring Priyanka Chopra, I was excited to watch the film, only to get disappointed to a much larger extent than feared, witnessing the dismal attempt quite sadly.
But before moving on to the review, I would like to clearly mention that this is a just an honest analysis of the movie made on the life of the highly respected sportswoman of our country titled MARY KOM and not in any way pointing towards the iconic figure or her majestic achievements at all.
The film begins with a fine opening sequence shuttling between the present and past of a pregnant woman being taken to the hospital by her husband, amongst the tension spread in the city due to the revolting groups. The pretty weak ‘boxing training’ scenes coming next, straight away remind you of the masterpiece MILLION DOLLAR BABY revolving around another brave lady boxer, directed by the maestro Clint Eastwood. And then as it progresses further one feels truly amazed to see everything happening so easily in a pure filmy manner, unable to move or impress the viewer neither emotionally nor excitingly.
In fact some poor choices made in the supporting cast (like Mary’s mother and her coach), too many below average songs coming repeatedly, uninspiring fight sequences and a quite lifeless direction by Omung, completely ruins the whole excitement felt in the beginning with a clear indication of the film being nothing more than a mediocre attempt dealing with an the important genre of bio-pics unfortunately.
In other words, this is not anything even close to a realistic biographical movie, but a mere commercial project eying for a quick killing at the box office getting some instant attention and few claps here and there en-cashing the national spirit. For instance, one wonders why we always tend to go overboard with a filmy execution of all training sequences in such a film (along with a typical background song) and also what can you say about the vision followed in a sports movie when in one of its international fight sequences, a German coach hits his own reputed contestant in anger (on her head), while she is coming back to him after losing the bout. Moreover I strongly don’t think the talented lady’s real life had been as easy as depicted in the film with everything happening on its own without any major hassles or clashes.
Giving the actual truth, I remember only one impressive scene in the entire film when Mary apologizes to the federation manager and then few good moments towards the end with another Bollywoodish kind of climax fight, ending with the national anthem being played at full length (asking people to get up from their seats) which ideally should have been avoided to end it on some different kind of inspiring cinematic note.
In short, I deeply respect the exceptional & unbelievable kind of achievements made by the brave Indian sportswoman MARY KOM, both in her personal life as a mother and in the sports career as a boxer. But I am unable to praise this too plain & filmy biopic made on her extraordinary life in any of its department be it cinematography, background music, performances or direction, despite the earnest attempts made by Darshan Kumaar (as Mary’s husband) and Priyanka Chopra (who again was a wrong choice made for the role, as predicted by many).
Hence you can go for it as an informational film, to know more about the pride of our nation, the fearless MARY KOM, who is still ready to win many more fights in the next Olympics too. But not as any great inspiring biographical movie doing any kind of acceptable justice to the subject matter here, putting it honestly.
Rating : 2.5 / 5 (Including 0.5 just for the brave choice of attempting a bio-pic of an extraordinary woman, breaking the set pattern of Bollywood)
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