Friday, June 14, 2024



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FILM: Finding Fanny
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Dimple Kapadia, Pankaj Kapoor…
DIRECTOR: Homi Adjania

Now here’s the thing. Finding Fanny has a dead cat in a traveling car that the cat’s owner know to be dead and towards the end, a dead painter-artist whom nobody cares whether he’s dead or not.
Between these two points of mortality shared by the script lies a huge unshared joke about life and shows it screws you up when you aren’t watching. Watching this weirdly wonderful ode to a long-forgotten anthem of love, I felt like a person who receives a really costly gift which is of no use to him.
“Really? This is for me? Wow! But what do I do with it???”…..
You know that feeling of holding a precious parcel which you can’t tell the right-side-up from the wrong-side-down? That’s “Finding Fanny”. Homi Adajania’s world of insulated eccentricities invites you into its languorous folds with a yawning casualness. These characters, so fastidiously crafted to appear utterly adrift, couldn’t care less whether we like them or not.
That’s what make them so deliciously appealing. They are a gallery of weirdos content to be perceived as such, as long as they are allowed to lead their lives the way they want. There’s the very engaging Dimple Kapadia playing a prosthetic-ridden, bum-happy mother-in-law to the widowed Angie (Deepika Padukone). The two beautiful actresses, one unnecessarily fattened in the wrong places for satirical emphasis, had earlier been seen together in Adajania’s “Cocktail”.
The frisson between them remains delectably unidentifiable even when their on-screen definition is specifically re-defined towards the end of the film when the placid Goan village’s resident postman Ferdie (Naseeruddin Shah) is close to finding his lost love.
Does Ferdie finally find Fanny Fernandes? Nobody really cares by the time the long 93-minute film draws to a close.
There is a helluva lot of self-indulgent self-pleasuring in the narration. Director Adajania loves his characters as long as they remain true to their soporific state of existence. The search for “Fanny” is a metaphor for the pursuit of that element of unconditional surrender to self-indulgence where you tell yourself nothing matters except your personal happiness.
Every character in “Finding Fanny” is supremely selfish, although some like the incandescent Angie (Deepika) and the surly Savio (Arjun Kapoor) pretend to care for what happens to others. Angie and Savio will make up and make out before the film is through. “It will get better, right?” Angiel asks Savio – hopefully about the sex.
For us to sink into the narrative’s discomforting folds, we have to wait for the guffaws to settle down. And who can tell when Adajania’s characters will actually stop laughing at fate and start laughing at themselves? You really can’t trust these unhinged emotional marauders who take off in a jalopy.
The car has seen better days, just like the time-ravaged characters. Naseeruddin Shah’s wizened features suggest more wisdom than his character of the awkward over-the-hill love-struck lover-boy is capable of feeling. Pankaj Kapoor, on the other hand, is bang-on as the smug self-serving painter who loves the ravaged Rosie (Dimple) with or without her ample derriere and finally insults her so hard, you want to knock his bloody teeth out of their roots.
Among them Naseer, Pankaj and Dimple manage to keep the narrative’s fire aglow. These are people whose lives can splutter to a halt any moment, just like the car they are traveling by. A lot of the film’s perverse brilliance hinges on the way cinematographer Anil Mehta shoots the relation between the characters and their Goan home-life. Mehta shoots the travelling trio of love veterans with an endearing edginess.
Goa seldom seemed so windswept and soporific in our films. At its votex is the tragic Angie. Deepika’s Angie is a sexy half-widow who seems to have abandoned her widow’s weeds in pursuit of a more sensual life. (IANS)

FILM: Creature 3D
Cast: Bipasha Basu, Imran Abbas and Mukul Dev …
DIRECTOR: Vikram Bhatt

Son of a gun! The big fat wicked monster in “Creature 3D” does have good taste. He attacks our very lovely Bipasha Basu. Nudging us into a rude awakening to a time when monsters, ghouls and other evil forces in Hindi horror films chased the likes of Huma Khan and Asha Sachdev.
Yup, a raga of refinement runs in the new-age terror flicks specially those directed by Vikram Bhatt. He sure knows his monster primer. More than the fear component, which is ample here, what I appreciated in Creature 3D was its honest intentions.
Bipasha plays a holiday-resort owner in a scenic sanctuary whose clients have more to complain about than room service. The monster is a menace that won’t be shooed away. She knows she is up against an adversary who can knock the socks off King Kong…well, in theory at least.
Blame it on the ‘Puranas’. But the monster that attacks the very attractive Bipasha on Bhatt’s new scare-fest is inspired by our mythology, which says evil is inevitable in a world that craves for perfection. And perfection, as we all know is not a tenable target in our life or in our cinema.
Creature 3D moves confidently enough through its expected motions of fear and horror. The love breaks are annoyingly intrusive. Pakistani star Imran Abbas is as decorative to the goings-on as the leading ladies used to be in Amitabh Bachchan’s action era in the 1980s.
Though Bipasha succeeds in making him look comfortable in their love scenes together, the script I am afraid, doesn’t share the same comfort level with Imran’s character.
Bipasha shoulders the film’s heroic requirements with ample aplomb. She gets terrific support from the cinematography by veteran Pravin Bhatt, which makes her look vital, vulnerable and yet in control of the crisis.  The peripheral characters needed to be better fleshed out though. The talented Mukul Dev could have done a lot more for the plot. If only wishes were horses instead of monsters.
The scenes featuring the monster on the rampage are heart-in-the-mouth.
The sound design and the 3D effects complement the storytelling to the extent that there is no contradiction between the film’s intentions and the audiences’ expectations.
This is the third time around for the supernatural combo of Bhatt and Bipasha.
“Creature 3D” is scarier than “Raaz” and “Raaz 3”. If you like your scares to be anything but scarce this is just what the doctor ordered….unless you’re weak-hearted. (IANS)


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