Sunday, May 28, 2006


One critical question in the movie Fanaa is what should drive a person " Ehsaas (feelings) or Zaroorat (needs) ? Maybe the director himself was confused between these two poles and the movie comes across like Indian food in foreign land, it fills the stomach but not your heart. In a Zaroorat driven country like Singapore where I watched my first Hindi movie on foreign land, it was just another tick for the weekend.
Well there are times success is a bad omen, especially when you have directors like Kunal Kohli. Kunal Kohli, down memory lane, used to host a movie show on Zee TV where he would excel at one thing, prostrating and grovelling at any Yash Chopra movie that hit the screens. He even gave a five star for Dil to Pagal Hai the crappiest movie that could have been produced in pastel colours. He tried to replicate that style of movie making, but failed miserably in his first attempt. Then he got his second chance, Hum Tum, a never ending soggy tale somewhat redeemed by the performances of the lead pair. with school going caricatures that are now part of film marketing folk lore (when will the marketing head of YashRaj stop bragging about that in every interview).
Now he gets his third chance, so he gets bolder. He plays his marketing cards.
He creates a brand new pair of oldies, Aamir Khan with a fast receding hairline and Kajol with ever expanding eyebrows. Then he tries the masala of mixing terrorism and love so that the second half can have some action scenes. And he has to turn Kajol blind so that his second half can be justified ( arre yaar Kajol has not seen Aamir in first half, so he doesnt recognise him when he returns as a terrorist). Plus he rips off old Karan Johar's Kuch Kuch Hota Hai so that kids can ask the most pesky questions and make their parents fall in love again.
The result fails of course because Kunal Kohli is not Mani Ratnam. Firstly the lead pair lack chemistry. There are times in the movie where you feel the complete lack of intensity. And a blind girl coming from Kashmir falling for a tourist guide is too rapid although her parents are very encouraging.(A brilliant Rishi Kapoor and normal Kiron Kher).Second problem is more fundamental. Its very difficult to believe that a terrorist can romance a gal the way Aamir does in the midst of bombing Rashtrapati Bhavan. Come on guys, the Indian security forces are not such easy meat. And well terrorists on a mission are deadly serious. Even a brilliant performer like Aamir Khan looks a bit jaded and confused in the second half. Hence the movie neither scores as a love story nor as a thriller.
But the movie still has a lot of positives. The breezy first hour is fun with the shero shayari style pataoing in Delhi and Aamir Khan playing the role he has perfected 'the witty road Romeo'.People blame Shahrukh's stereotyping, but Aamir is not far behind , 75% of Rangeela's Munna, Ghulam's Sidhu, DCH's Akash, Raja Hindustani, RDB's DJ is the same. Well Kajol sometimes forgets she is blind and ends up acting through her eyes . She is a lot better in the second half when she regains her sight and acting skills. 2 Lilting songs by Jatin Lalit, Chand Sifarish and Mere haath elevate proceedings. The altercations between Sharat Saxena and Tabu( Intelligence chief) are fun. And like all kids, Rehan Junior brings some relief in the meandering second half. Ravi Chandran's cinematography is first rate.
And Kunal Kohli also gets some perverse pleasure by wasting Shiney Ahuja and Lara Dutta in inconsequential roles. Saroj Khan's choreography slips a few notches compared to her loud announcements in Nach Baliye. She cant even get a proper Kashmiri Republic Day dance right.
Thus the story of a blind gal fall in love over a Raju guide who is a terrorist in disguise, gaining her eyesight after losing her virginity only to find the same Raju taking shelter in her Kashmir house while fleeing from the Indian army and losing him all over again has all the right ingredients tries to fulfil cinematic zaroratein but fails to evoke the ehsaas of other love stories.


At 2:07 AM, Blogger Vetirmagal said...

I agree with you on Kunal Kohli. He used to critise others so well, one thought he would make perfect movies, but he has faield. Hum Tum did not deserve to be called good ..
I have not watched Fanaa yet, but I am sure it would be a let down. The promos were not too interesting.

At 9:24 PM, Blogger Bombay Addict said...

adding your post to my blogroll. Thanks.

At 5:31 AM, Blogger shikha said...

I opted out of fanaa, didnt wanna risk it:)

At 7:17 AM, Blogger Anu said...

And to add to the marketing gimmicks comes Aamir Khan's perfectly times views on Narmada Aandolan...have written a small post on that.

At 9:23 AM, Blogger ggop said...

Nach baliye was choreographed by Shaimak Davar who made a cameo appearance in the song.


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