Saturday, May 27, 2006

Review: Fanaa- Destroyed in Love

First of all I would like to be clear on this point: Fanaa is definitely NOT a once in a lifetime experience. Second of all, this is just "my" opinion after seeing the movie. Third of all, I can confidently say that I am in the majority. So, don't get swayed by extremely biased reviews that are making the rounds on the wild wild web.

Fanaa marks the return of Kajol to the silver screen after a five year hiatus. Thats probably reason enough to bring people into the theatre. Now, when you also have the added bonus of Aamir acting opposite Kajol, I wasn't too surprised when my colleague mentioned that all the tickets for the movie this weekend were sold out on Friday.But, miraculously I was able to book my tickets online on Satyam's website, a few hours before the movie. Now don't ask me how I was able to get tickets on the day of the show. Remember, I told you its a miracle! hallelujah! a miracle that made me waste the longest 3 hours of my life. I must admit that the performances were top notch and there were a few good scenes, but, they were far flung. And, trust me, on hindsight, in a movie with a run-time of 170 minutes, a few good scenes with top notch performances doesn't make it a worthwhile trip.

Kajol plays the part of a blind Kashmiri girl Zooni Ali Baig. We are shown a blind Zooni saluting the tricolour in the first scene of the movie. However, Zooni is unsure of where the national flag is and ends up doing a flag salute while not facing the flag. And, the moment her mother pushes her in the direction of the flag, Zooni breaks into a smile. Kajol is not the kind of person who is drop dead gorgeous, but as soon as she breaks into a smile you start smiling with her.Kajol's introductory scene is truly a sight for sore eyes that have been constantly abused by skimpily clad heroines and extremely suggestive dance numbers. She is so spontaneous and so full of life, she is one of the three reasons that makes you stay till the end of the movie (will come to the other two later). Zooni's ageing and over-posessive parents, Zulfi (Rishi Kapoor) and Nafisa (Kiron Kher)are reluctant to send their daughter to Delhi along with her friends for the republic day cultural event. However, they end up giving a teary and poetic farewell to their daughter for what is supposedly a 7 day trip. These scenes are overtly saccharine that could even make a maudlin flinch.
Digression 1: At this juncture, I would like to thank my parents for sending me off on year-long trips without such emotion and melodrama.
Digression 2: I realized that if I don't cut down on food, if I don't work out and if I continue to sit on my ass day in and day out,in all probability I am bound to end up like Rishi Kapoor. Being compared to Rishi's girth is A SCARY THOUGHT indeed, but look at the bright side, on hearing this there is the possibility of people relating me to Rishi Kapoor during his "Bobby" days.

On reaching Delhi, Zooni and her gang are in the company of the chatty and charming tour guide Rehaan Qadri (Aamir Khan). Some of the interludes between Zooni's friends and Rehaan are quite funny. Predictably, the lovely lassie with a ear for shayaris gets smitten by the tour guide who just spews couplets left, right and center. Some of the couplets are good, but before you get a chance to soak it in, we have someone belting out another. In fact the shayaris, after a point get to you to so much that you will end up thinking that it was perhaps a well disguised Gulzar or Javed Akhtar reeling one after the other. The director tries to give a lyrical tilt to the love that Zooni and Rehaan have for each other. But, he fails to realize that poets in this world are sadly a minority. There is also this one irritating scene that I HAVE TO tell you of. A blind and unattended Zooni tries to cross the road herself in a bid to impress Rehaan. The girl is under the impression that boy friends and girl friends do such sensless things to impress each other. Mr. Kunal Kohli (he is the director) please put on your thinking cap before you come out with such "priceless" scenes.

Ok now back to the story. Rehaan who is also in love with Zooni is afraid to commit himself because he has some other important things that require his undivided attention. However, that doesn't stop Rehan from sleeping with Zooni. Now dont raise your eyebrows, because when you come to know about circumstance#1 which led to the intercourse, you are likely to say its a "but obvious" course of action. Hmmm, so what could make a conservative blind Muslim girl to sleep with a commitment-phobic tour guide whom she has known for a whole week- what else? the traditional bollywood rain-dance. Post rain-dance Rehaan succumbs to the blinding love of Zooni and decides to marry her. He also decides to get Zooni a fresh pair of eyes before their nikaah. Pardon me for equating eyesight to something as trivial as getting a pair of socks from shoppers stop, but thats how the scene plays out on screen

Doctor: How many times should we ask you to come for regular check-ups?
Patient: uh huh uh, what you saying doc?
Doctor: Ah nevermind we will get your retina fixed.

Patient: Dad I can see, Mom I can see

And thats not all, Zooni after her eye operation is immediately accosted by the police to identify a corpse.Its so bloody stupid. Anyway, back to the story, post operation, circumstance#2 separates Rehan and Zooni.7 years later you get to see Rehan junior because of circumstance #1. Rehan Jr. is "reason number two" that infuses some light hearted moments in an otherwise serious and slow movie fraught with emotion. Watch out for the sequence where the kid explains why he calls Rahul Dravid abba. The scene where he hands Aamir a glass of haldi milk is also rib tickling. Aamir is "reason number three" that will make you stay till the last scene plays out on screen. Aamir is extremely at ease when he plays the role of the tour guide in the first half. He is quite convincing in his second half avatar as well. I dont want to give too much of the movie, so I will just leave it at that. After watching Aamir and Kajol in scenes that they act together, you will (or atleast I) witness two actors who have completely contrasting styles and yet their on-screen chemistry is great.Kajol is an instictive actress and Aamir is quite methodical, but I guess the similarity they share is the intesity with which they act.

This movie has captured Delhi really well.The camera man should be commended because every frame is picture perfect.Barring Chaand Sifarish, I thought all the songs were pretty ordinary. There was this one horrendous song where they worked in some hindi tongue twisters ala "she sells sea shells" in to the lyrics of the song. My sympathies to the playback singers who sang it. You can go to the theatre and get destroyed, or if you are smart you can stay home and wait for the "destruction" to play out on TV.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

dai appan enna da annan? bleddy fat financial analyst....


3:32 AM  
Blogger rwhat said...

That was a pretty nice review from someone who doesnt understand hindi :-)
anyways, directorial blunders (touches?) apart, can't miss a Kajol movie after so long!

10:46 AM  
Blogger karthik durvasula said...

I laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed some more when i read this :

These scenes are overtly saccharine that could even make a maudlin flinch.

Today, u have made Mr. Barron's proud. Mr. Kaplan was pleased too!!

3:23 PM  
Blogger pagala'k' said...

@ chithi: :) you should add lazy to it as well

@ Romit: :-| I have gone through 10 painstaking years of NCERT's Hindi. Yeah you could watch it for Kajol.


11:27 PM  
Blogger karthik durvasula said...

haha. good one!!

1:44 AM  
Blogger Prasanna said...

thats was a gud review. If someone says that kajol is married, it would seriously give him a surprise. She still luks so gud. Luking at Aamir's list of hits, wld this one be a stopper?

4:26 AM  
Blogger pagala'k' said...

@Prasanna: Thank you. Yeah looks like this will end his run of hits. A minor blip I guess. His next movie is with Mani. Mani is incapable of writing lame scripts. Eventhough Mani and Aamir provide "creative-insurance", Mani in particular (offlate) does have the tendency to make movies that cater only to a section of the audience, which could have a bearing as far as the economics are concerned. I hope it does well on either front.

6:31 AM  
Blogger Bombay Addict said...

hi - adding you to my blogroll. thanks.

4:06 AM  
Blogger PS said...

who is this mani that you talk about in such intimate terms???

btw, what was your verbal score in GRE da?

10:09 AM  
Blogger pagala'k' said...

@bombay addict: thanks

@PS: dai pultu (pultu=show off), prepare for your interview. Mani is Maniratnam.

3:09 PM  
Blogger Radhika said...

Hmm..whatever happened to Appan???

10:42 PM  

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