Once in a small Goan village called Pocolim lived a man who wrote a letter to his love, in which he proposed to her. To the letter, he got no reply, and so he assumed that his proposal was outright rejected. The same letter returns to him forty-six years later, as brown as brown could be, implying that there was no response because the letter never actually reached his love. What would his life have been had she responded? What would have been her response? ‘No one deserves an incomplete love story,’ and curious enough to seek the answers to his many questions, he sets off on a journey with unusual companions. And ain’t it a joyride!
If there’s something Finding Fanny doesn’t stick to, it’s formula. And that works to a great advantage for this gem of a film, for there is no glorious plot to look out for in the film, but characters, each fighting his own fight. And in their struggle you’ll find your humor, the source of all your guilty pleasures, which gets better with each passing minute. The first-half of the film is pure dope. It escalates slowly by steadily, trips you with its quirk, and finally boils down to sheer eccentricity. The second half the film takes it even slower. More profound moods are revealed, and the laughs are toned down a bit. The bizarre stays constant through.
Naseeruddin Shah has got tremendous screen presence. There’s a scene where his love Fanny is just a right turn away, and Ferdie is all too excited and starts giving a thank-you speech to the people who made it possible for him to meet his long-lost love. You can see the genuine gratitude in his eyes, and his excitement is simply infectious. Pankaj Kapur’s Don Pedro channelizes his extremely perverted energy onto beautiful paintings, and has a thing for sizes extra-large, and larger still. Him constantly framing Dimple Kapadia’s many curves was a guaranteed riot. Dimple’s Rosie is another character with her own set of idiosyncrasies. Constantly pestered by painter Don, when she finally begins to find hope in his words, she’s abruptly crushed by the baseness of his work. The hope-to-crush transition happens so quickly that you’re left feeling sorry for the character. Only for a short time though, thankfully.
Deepika Padukone has gained maturity as an actress, and it shows. Her beauty dripping in every frame she’s featured in is another bonus, and never before has she enjoyed such a brilliant screen image. Arjun Kapoor is a revelation, and this has to be his best work so far. There’s a post-sex conversation between Arjun and Deepika which is as normal as it is funny. Another brilliant addition to the cast is a Russian character Vladimir, who gives this story a no-pointer push, but an entertaining one nevertheless.
Homi Adjania has kept his direction extremely simple. There are a few photographic shots which were lovely, and my favorite one was a time-lapse sketch featuring the back-seat of a car and a dead cat. The narrative is linear, and the editing tight. Music is pleasant, and rare. The epilogue was the only thing which seemed off-place, as if it was placed to sugar-coat the bruises rendered by love, but given the fun had throughout the film, that last-minute piece could be excused. Shiamak Davar’s choreography in Shake Your Bootiya was catchy as well, and not a single soul moved till the song finished playing.
For all the goodness packed for the road, and some off it, I’d definitely list this movie among this year’s best.