Movie Review: Fanaa - Someone is (not) thinking
Take a look at the chef's preparation. Food is laid out on the table. Designer style. It's mouth watering. It gets you impulsive. Dive in, dive in. You do. The food tastes crap. O Lordy!
And that's what happens to the Shibani Bhatija written, Kunal Kohli directed, Fanaa. At the outset, it's an interesting concept. Love in the times of terrorism, tackled earlier by the "always ahead of the times" Mani Ratnam and the "always following him" copy-gang from Bollywood. But this is different. Love happens on the other side of the line. A side which isn't our side. This provides tremendous scope to get into the inner psyche of the terrorist and his inner dual - between love for death and love for life.
But instead we have a Rehan Qadri, our Dilli ka "temporary" thug/flirt/guide/whatever who seems to roll out lines straight out the books of Pickup Women 101. And our dear blind girl from Kashmir, Zooni begum, on a visit to Delhi, is impressed. Zooni begum finds it hard to resist our Delhi guide's pickup lines. Begum embraces guide Rehan like a stick fast gum. No gum till here.
Zooni-begum, it seems understands Rehan tapori and is ready for a NSA relationship. A man's ultimate dream. A NSA relationship. For those who came late : NSA = No strings attached.
Multiple minutes later, Rehan-no-so-tapori, now has a change of heart, and decides to marry Zooni-begum. Wait. There's a miracle in store. Zooni-begum will get her eyesight back courtesy the latest advancement in medical science.
But expect twists, you must. Bomb blast. Rehan-jee out. Zooni-jee pregnant. A harassed anti terrorist officer walks into an "ANTI TERRORIST" OFFICE. You've got to see this. They even have the "ATF" logo painted on the floor over which they walk on. A female officer sits in a dark conference room talking about IKF the new terrorist force which is going places fast than you can say "Who?".
Jump to seven years later where a badly bruised with tomato ketchup Rehan lands at "Now I see now I don't" Zooni's house. What follows is something that will put an I-can't-go-past-page-one-of-this "Mills & Boon" novel to shame.
No thanks. You either decide you wanna make an out and out nonsense and we'll accept it. Example. Golmaal, released last week. But if you are going to attempt to tell us a story, you better watch out for the heaps of implausibility stuck in every nook and corner of your script.
Cinema is implausible. Perhaps, if you wanna take that line of thought. But it isn't indigestible. The art of convincing the weirdest of stories lies in the hands of the writer and director. The job isn't being done in this banana Fanaa.
And what are ace actors like Lillete Dubey, Tabu, Kiron Kher and Shiney Ahuja doing two minute parts in the movie.
In between all this there's also this grey hair, fur capped character that has an office, consisting of a cordless phone, a dozen AK-47s, and snow. Isn't 7 years enough to melt the snow? Where the hell is he living? Mount Everest?
But the movie isn't completely lost. Firstly, please give a standing ovation to the cinematography of Ravi K. Chandran. Delhi has never looked so beautiful. The opening sequences running behind the titles are breathtaking, though you wish Chandran wouldn't move the camera and would rather have kept it steady, letting the flow in the frame provide the motion,... yet it doesn't take away the mesmerizing effect he provides through his lens.
Here is an ace cinematographer who can make a movie look like a million bucks, delicately balancing between the art and commercial scale of balance. Quite honestly, it's been a long time since someone has impressed me so much, after the personal favorite Binod Pradhan.
Chandran is one of the reasons why you will want to stick till the very end of this motion picture. If only you could say the same for the editing. Pray, why are scenes dragged on and on? Were the editing scissors missing? Or was the team hell bent on turning it into the golden 3 hour of a movie?
And it's good to see Rishi Kapoor doing something more than a two bit role. Providing the right mix of balance and underplay, here is one ace actor who never ever got his due. It's tragic when you see an overly portly Kapoor in the same frame with Aamir Khan. Bollywood's loverboy of the 70s in conversation with the loverboy of today, who himself is on the last legs of this image.
Aamir Khan as Rehan Qadri is at it again. Question. Is the crossing the eyebrows intentional or isn't there any other way to express the message? There is something quirky in his scenes with Kajol. Was he uncomfortable? Was he holding himself back? His solo sequence at the airport is the only part where you see him flowing loose and free.
Coming to Kajol, well... what can one say? Here's an actress who perhaps will play any character with such ease that it makes one wonder, if acting really is an inborn quality, that however hard one try, cannot be "learned". Here is one actress who can come on screen and can hit the bull's eye with her eyes closed. How does she do it? Beats me. But if there is anything believable in Fanaa, then it's this tremendous actress who plays the role of Zooni with unbelievably effortless ease, her handshaking eyebrows notwithstanding.
C Plus. Risk it for Kajol and Ravi. K. Chandran. Not anything else.