‘Finding Fanny’...Some fun some yawn

MUMBAI: Once in a while we get these zany films with no head or tail. It is usually a local story. Also, in most cases, it is related to characters of a minority community which are easy to caricature with no protest expected. This is a road movie taking you on a sightseeing tour of the countryside of Goa.

Finding Fanny is Parsi director Homi Adajania’s take on small Goan village Catholic families. This is a small community where their preferences, hates, love and likes are limited to each other. So are their petty politics vis-a-vis families.

Deepika Padukone who lives in the village is an orphan loved by two men, Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh who are also close friends. While Arjun plays shy, Ranveer steals a march by asking Deepika to marry him. She does but at his wedding he is so excited, he grabs a big helping of the wedding cake and gulps it down not realizing that he is also gulping down the usual decorated plastic bride and groom dolls placed on the cake. He dies of choking within 15 minutes of his wedding vows. Deepika, an instant widow, spends her life with Ranveer’s mother, Dimple Kapadia.

This is a village where there is a post office but no mail is ever sent or received. The post master, Naseeruddin Shah, is always in lost memories of his childhood love, Fanny, to whom he could never propose face-to-face. The letter he once wrote to her returns undelivered after 46 years! Best he can do is sob aloud whenever he thinks of her.

Producer:  Dinesh Vijan.

Director: Homi Adajania.

Cast: Deepika Padukone, Arjun Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapur, Dimple Kapadia, Anand Tiwari, Anjali Patil, Ranveer Singh (cameo).

The village scene has two new entrants, Pankaj Kapur, an internationally renowned artist, and Arjun Kapoor, a guy who was said to have made it big in Mumbai after Deepika decided to marry Ranveer instead of him.

They all decide to go find Fanny for Shah in Kapur’s old car which Arjun fixes up. It is Deepika’s idea because she is fond of Shah. Arjun agrees because he still fancies Deepika. Kapur agrees because he has a glad eye for Dimple. The gang of five sets out to find Fanny. The rest of the film is about trying to create funny situations or dialogue which does not happen as often as one hopes. However, the film makes up with fun quotient in the last 20 minutes or so.

There is no solid plot as the story is one line: finding fanny. The director’s enthusiasm with the theme comes alive only later in the film. The end is on expected lines but fun. The film has veterans like Shah and Kapur who along with Arjun and Dimple do well but the film’s mainstay is Deepika. And Goa locales are always a pleasure to watch.

Finding Fanny will find its appreciation in select cities at elite location multiplexes.

‘Creature 3-D’...never-ending!

We have been watching run of the mill horror films since the days of Ramsay Brothers era. Many others have followed suit. But now international films get regular exposure in India and one is not competing with the local makers; it is time to match the international horror genre.

Hollywood films have various justification for an invasion by an extra-terrestrial being; it could be from an outer planet or a scientific experiment gone wrong or just a creation of a revenge-seeking man. Here, in Creature 3D, the makers justify the creature by creating a new myth about it.

Bipasha Basu has lost her mother early but has a gem of a father and both dote on each other. Her father has a lucrative job due to which he keeps maintaining a bungalow he has inherited in South Mumbai. No, they are not in Mumbai but somewhere in North. Soon, there is a powerful builder after him who wants to buy out his South Mumbai bungalow and use the plot to build a mall. The father’s continued resistance leads to him losing his job. The frustration and feeling that follows and he commits suicide.

Sad though she may be, Bipasha does exactly what her father sacrificed his life resisting. She sells the bungalow in question to the same villains who were the cause of her father’s death and, with the monies so realised, buys a boutique forest lodge somewhere in Himachal. Her dad keeps coming in her imagination but never asks her why she gave up what he lost his life saving.

The forest lodge is inaugurated on a Christmas Eve and nothing seems to work out as her supplies don’t reach her in time, the oven in her hotel is useless and her Christmas night band is late. However, the hero, Imran Abbas Naqvi, as heroes do in all films, comes to her rescue. She mistakes him for singer first and later for another guest booked at her lodge who does not show up. He has come on a mission at this lodge which remains unexplained until the end but, instead, falls in love with Bipasha at first glance!

The Indian audience, probably, does not buy the idea of invaders from outer space. So here we have a local mumbo jumbo for the presence of this creature. This creature is a soul cursed by God Brahma and hence called Brahma-Rakshasa because he did evil deeds while being in an honourable position of a priest or some such thing! He is the second of his kind, the earlier one having been killed by 23 bullets from a single load ancient gun purified by some holy water.  

Producers: Bhushan Kumar, Kishan Kumar.

Director: Vikram Bhatt.

Cast: Bipasha Basu, Imran Abbas Naqvi, Mukul Dev.

The more recent Brahma-Rakshasa was content living on a peepal tree secured by red threads. The creature was let loose when, one fine day, a labourer decided to cut that peepal tree. Now the creature is angry and starts attacking people. It eats them up almost in entirety, maybe leaving a small part or a limb behind for curious investigators, the head of which is not interested in such cases beyond closing files soon as they are opened.

There is a village head around and hence there are also villagers. However, the creature would seem to have some grouse against Bipasha for it attacks only her guests, nobody else!

The problem is, the film takes ages bringing the creature on the screen in its full form and goes on to take eons destroying it. Where this needed to be a 90 to 100 minute film, it stretches to 135 minutes. The creature attacks get monotonous without any twists. There is no surprise element.

The computer generated creature is a triumph of Indian techies; this coupled with special effects are excellent to say the least. However this is a script of convenience with no concern to make it tight and plausible. The director being the story writer, he has no alternative but to follow his own convictions. His plus is the 3-D format which, thankfully, is not overused in this film and is usually effective. This being a T Series film, one expected the songs to be better but only one song, ‘Mehboob ki..’, has appeal because of its old world charm. The photography is very good. Performance wise, there is little that merits a mention. Bipasha is her usual self now lacking appeal for the audience. Imran fails to make his presence felt and lacks in expressions.

Creature 3-D loses its appeal as it carries on for too long. The film has limited prospects at the box office.

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