Fox Star Studios and Maddock Films’ Finding Fanny (UA) is the story of five dysfunctional people who live in Pocolim in the interiors of Goa. Ferdie (Naseeruddin Shah) is the village post-master and the main soloist in the church choir. Angie (Deepika Padukone) is a sweet girl who was widowed minutes after her marriage. Rosie Eucharistica (Dimple Kapadia) is a bossy lady who thinks, she is the Lady of Pocolim. She is Angie’s mother-in-law and is very protective about her daughter-in-law. She herself is a widow. Savio da Gama (Arjun Kapoor) is a car mechanic, bitter about not having ever expressed his love to Angie because of which she had married his friend. Angie also loved Savio but didn’t know about his feelings for her. Don Pedro (Pankaj Kapur) is a temperamental artist who, on meeting the rather plump and sexy middle-aged Rosie, is obsessed about painting her on his canvas.
One day, the old Ferdie receives a letter which he had written 46 years ago to Stefanie Fernandes (Anjali Patil) whom he lovingly called Fanny, proposing marriage. It turns out now that the letter never reached her but Ferdie lived all these 46 years thinking that she had rejected his proposal. Angie convinces Ferdie to try and track Fanny down as she may also be waiting for him all these years.
Ferdie and Angie get ready to set out in search of Fanny and request Savio to drive them in the car owned by Don Pedro who also joins the group. Rosie, with nothing better to do, accompanies the four and she takes her cat, Nereus, along. The journey makes the five discover a strange sense of solace and new purpose in life.
Does Ferdie meet Fanny?
Homi Adajania and Kersi Khambatta have penned a quirky story with characters which are interesting. Their screenplay is as quirky and crazy as their story which is also wafer-thin. To set out in search of one’s beloved 46 years after one had expressed his love for her looks like a very far-fetched proposition but that’s the main story. The sub-plots are more believable and more interesting but not the main story. However, it must be added that both, the main story and the sub-plots, are very class-appealing in nature for several reasons: for one, the story and sub-plots are far from the usual ones seen in Hindi films; secondly, all the characters are dysfunctional, which is not what the usual Bollywood film buffs are used to seeing in films; thirdly, a lot of rules of Indian cinema are broken – like, for instance, the hero/heroine is not always right; and the good characters don’t always conform to acceptable norms, etc. The film’s main plus point is the unusual humour. The class audience in the big cities will enjoy the jokes, smiling at many, and laughing at several of them.
The first half is better than the second half which gets slow and appears lengthy. Also, the pre-climax is a bit depressing. Dialogues, penned by the duo, are earthy and often evoke laughter.
Naseeruddin Shah plays the character of Ferdie so convincingly that it is a delight to watch him. Dimple Kapadia is splendid. She gives her all to the character of Rosie and emerges a winner. Pankaj Kapur is stupendous as Don Pedro. His loud style of acting is truly entertaining and he makes every scene of his remarkable. Deepika Padukone looks pretty and delivers yet another sensational performance. She acts without inhibitions and is so natural that one can’t help but marvel at her talent. Arjun Kapoor is good as Savio. Ranveer Singh adds star value in a very brief appearance. Anjali Patil is adequate.
Homi Adajania maintains the quirkiness of the script in his narrative style also. His direction does justice to the script. The good point about his direction is that he doesn’t unnecessarily try to cater to the non-target audience and instead remains true to the target audience and his script. On the other hand, it must also be added that the script and his narrative style restrict the film’s appeal very much. Mathias Duplessy’s music is interesting. The Goan tunes and songs may be very class-appealing but they are also cute. The ‘Fanny’ and ‘Bootiya’ songs are also good. Picturisation of the ‘Bootiya’ song is interesting. Manisha Khandelwal’s production designing is nice. Sreekar Prasad has done a fine job of the editing. Dubbing is very good.
On the whole, Finding Fanny is a cute entertainer but it has appeal for the class audience only, that too, in the big cities only. It will do well in very select multiplexes of the major cities mainly. But its business in lesser multiplexes, single-screen cinemas and in centres other than the big cities will be very dull. Overall, the film will garner critical acclaim but its economics will not bring a smile on anybody’s face. The English version will fare far beter than the dubbed version.