When the talented Homi Adajania puts on the director’s hat, one almost knows to expect something out of the box. ‘Finding Fanny’ has been touted as a film which was supposed to cater for the international audiences. Starring Deepika Padukone, Arjun Kapoor, Pankaj Kapur, Dimple Kapadia and Naseeruddin Shah, the film promised to be a film away from the typical Bollywood storylines and emotions but instead of a fresher but light-hearted story with a message. However, does it strike a chord with its primary audiences who essentially have a love for Indian cinema?
When Ferdie (Shah) receives an undelivered letter in the post which he had written to his ladylove Stephanie ‘Fanny’ Fernandes over four decades ago, he immediately feels that destiny and the ship of love has passed him by. However, in order to find out the truth and get a change to express his love, his best friend Angie (Padukone), sets out to help him in his quest. With the help of Savio (Kapoor), Don Pedro (Kapur) and Rosie (Kapadia), he sets out on a journey to find the love of his life.
It has to be said that the pace of the film is rather slow and this is perhaps what might fail to keep the audiences engaged at all times. The colourful characters and the reaction-jerking scenes will, however, force that attention to return at various intervals. Adajania has made a commendable effort to put an “international” treatment on this film which, in the end, is more about the intermingling of the characters rather than their journey to find Fanny. The storyline fails to be funny, emotional or quirky enough for this film to have a lasting effect but it is a definite pleasant watch visually. There is a natural feel about the characters, the scenes and the dialogues which seem to work in the film’s favour.
All the actors seem to stand out in their own characters in this film but it has to be said that Shah and Padukone are probably the film’s saving grace at the best of times. Their characters share a special friendship which is very refreshing considering the age gap of the two but they are also individually a joy to watch on screen. Shah is , of course, one of Bollywood’s finest actors and, in this role, he portrays his character very convincingly. Padukone is extremely pleasing in her role as Angie. She comes across as a simple girl who still sees the positives in life despite the setbacks or bad experiences. After such glamorous roles in her previous films, it is only her versatility which stands out in this contrasting role. It seems the audiences should always be looking for her in this film because your attention span just doesn’t stand a chance without her. Disappointingly, Ranveer Singh’s cameo is a blink-and-you’ll-miss it appearance.
Overall, there were quite a few expectations from ‘Finding Fanny’ that the film unfortunately doesn’t fulfil. However, instead, what – as an audience member, you might walk away from is the sterling performances of the cast and the beautiful Goan landscape which is almost a character in itself. Watch this film for an extremely lazy watch which carries a few laughs along the way but doesn’t make you laugh out loud or need a tissue for the tears. It’s very middle-of-the-road and perhaps that’s why it doesn’t carry as much impact as it could have.
BizAsia Showbiz Rating – 2.5/5