Finding Fanny is a road trip movie. There are quite a lot of road trip movies in Bollywood, but not all stand out. The ones that do stand out, stand out remarkably well (Dil Chahta Hai, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Piku and my favorite Highway!) Finding Fanny falls somewhere between a good trip and a great trip.
Finding Fanny falls somewhere between a good trip and a great trip.
The plot is set in motion when Ferdinand Pinto aka Ferdie (sober Naseerudin Shah) receives a letter under his door. It’s a letter that he wrote to the woman he loved, Stephanie Fernandes aka Fanny. Ferdie realizes that for all these years, the love of his life never got to know of his true feelings for her. He shares the letter with Angelina Eucharista aka Angie (demure Deepika Padukone), a young widow whose husband Gabo Eucharistica (energetic Ranveer Singh) died on the wedding day by choking on his wedding cake. Angie decides to help Ferdie find the love of his life. Joining these two are Rosalina Eucharistica aka Rosie (Angie’s mother in law, played by a loud Dimple Kapadia), Don Pedro Cleto Colaco (Pankaj Kapur, a good for nothing artist who fancies Rosie) and Savio de Gama (A trite boring Arjun Kapoor, who just returned from Mumbai and at one time loved Angie).
En route, driving through some gorgeous locales of Goa, as the five are cramped up in a car, tensions run high as they deal with each other. They come to Fanny’s house which has been bought by a Russian man, who reveals that Fanny moved out 20 years ago. Gabo reveals that Rosie’s husband didn’t die but ran away and Rosie lies about it to keep her pride. Further down the road at a crossing, Ferdie thanks everyone in the group for accompanying him on this trip, not realizing that everyone, except Angie, has their own agenda on the trip. There is an interesting scene between Angie and Savio as they talk about why they didn’t marry. “You married him because he asked you,” says Savio somberly. “No, I married him because you didn’t ask me!” replies Angie curtly.
I won’t get into how the rest of the journey unfolds, but I can tell you that it involves a dead cat, a painting, a gun and a dead person all happening as hilarity ensues.
I have to admit the locations in and around Goa is such a sight for sore eyes. Goa has always been a visual delight, whether it’s in Life of Pi or Go Goa Gone, there is always something picturesque about Goa.
Acting is just about fine, and there are moments when characters become theatrical and look out of place. In my mind, Naseerudin Shah and Deepika Padukone shine the most, while others are sort of bouncing off these two.
Music is not all that memorable, in fact the songs are completely forgettable. Technically, the movie is brilliant and captured the true essence of Goa quite well.
Road trips can be a funny experience. It can liberate you to the point where you open up and rediscover something new about each other (remember Little Miss Sunshine) and it takes skill to show the progression of characters and how naturally they evolve during the journey. In the hands of a competent director Homi Adajania, Finding Fanny does a pretty decent job of it all.
Finding Fanny is a small movie with a big heart. It may not be everyone’s cup of journey, but if you are patient with it, you can be surprised how enriching and fulfilling the journey is for this group of goofy but lovable human beings. It’s off-beat, quirky and little weird, but has it’s heart in all the right places.
However, it’s the end of the movie which drives home a very profound moment and reminder: love will not come searching for you and you cannot simply wait for love but rather you yourself have to go search for love.
(If you can, watch the English version, not the Hindi version, as it makes more sense in English.)
4 out of 5