A keenly anticipated film comes with the baggage of big expectations. And if the film happens to be FIDA, which teams Page 1 personalities [Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor] together for the first time, is directed by an immensely talented name [Ken Ghosh] and produced by makers who cut no corners while making a film [Tauranis], the expectations are not just gargantuan, but also multiply ten-fold.
So, how does one describe FIDA? And, most importantly, does the film meet the expectations?
FIDA has several things going in its favour. It has a fresh cast, is filmed at some panoramic locales of South Africa and Dubai and yes, boasts of great music.
But the lifeline of any film is definitely not its face-value or visual appeal, but its content-value. And it is in this area that FIDA weakens. Well, let?s just say, all films don?t have the perfect script? and FIDA is one of them!
The film begins with a heist. A person hacks into the bank account of an underworld don [Akhilendra Mishra] and transfers the huge sum to his account. The police is on the trail of the hacker, so is the underworld don.
Jai [Shahid Kapoor] has a vision of a girl he?s going to fall in love with and one fine day, he sees her. She?s Neha [Kareena Kapoor].
Jai woos her relentlessly, even swallows sleeping pills to prove his love. Neha realizes that not only does he love her, but is completely smitten and obsessed. She reciprocates?
Everything?s going fine for Jai and Neha, till Neha tries to attempt suicide one day. Reason: Her father, now dead, was a criminal who had taken a loan of Rs. 6 crores. It?s payback time for Neha. If she doesn?t return the sum within three days, the gangsters would settle scores with her.
When Jai learns of it, he decides to rob a bank. But Neha forewarns him against doing something drastic like that. Yet, Jai visits a bank and to his surprise, finds a man withdrawing a big sum from his account. The man is Vikram [Fardeen Khan].
Jai follows him to his plush mansion and attempts to rob him in the night, but Vikram outsmarts him and captures him. Jai tells Vikram the motive behind the robbery. Vikram strikes a deal: Tell the cops that Jai is the hacker and he?ll give him the Rs. 6 crores that he requires so desperately.
Jai agrees. He is arrested by the cops and is about to be produced in court when the underworld don?s henchmen attack. The don wants Jai. There?s exchange of gunfire and Jai escapes. He lands up at Neha?s house and is shocked to see something that shakes him up completely.
Jai?s love-life comes to a screeching halt, he feels betrayed, he seeks revenge?
First things first! There?s tremendous speculation that FIDA is a mix of three English flicks ? REAR WINDOW, SLIVER and THE TRUMAN SHOW. But it?s not. By an uncanny coincidence, FIDA bears a striking similarity with Abbas-Mustan?s flicks ? AJNABEE and HUMRAAZ. The essence is the same: A scheming couple conning an innocent guy for selfish reasons.
The film takes off as a routine love story with the boy wooing the girl with flowers, swallowing pills, then singing and dancing to romantic tracks. In fact, the first half-an-hour of the enterprise seems like any other love story.
But the goings-on get interesting the moment Kareena attempts suicide. The Fardeen-Shahid pact, Shahid?s subsequent arrest, the exchange of gunfire outside the courtroom, Shahid?s subsequent escape from cops, his landing up at Kareena?s home takes the film to an all-time high.
The interval point specifically is amongst the best sequences of the enterprise. It raises the expectations of a thrilling second half. But the post-interval portions suffer due to inept writing.
Shahid decides to settle scores and guns for Fardeen and Kareena. So far, so good. But the game of one-upmanship in the post-interval portions is a complete downer and the climax is its biggest drawback. Though the end is novel [it?s not a happy ending], the sequence of events that lead to the climax is far from exciting.
Ken Ghosh needs to be lauded for swimming against the tide, by opting for a story that defies stereotype. But writers Lalit Mahajan and Sunny Mahajan have just not been able to deliver. The writing is plain mediocre in the post-interval portions and by the time you reach the finale, you?ve already lost interest in this thriller.
Of course, the writers have come up with a few interesting scenes, but the impact that a thriller ought to make is simply missing. Even the end may not find many takers ? it does not give you the feeling that the movie has ended on a satisfying note. It looks abrupt.
Anu Malik?s music is of a superior quality and the aggressive promotion by the producers only enhances the impact of songs. ?Nazar Nazar? [Shahid?s introduction] and ?Aaja Ve Mahi? [brilliantly filmed] are the pick of the lot. Cinematography [Amit Roy] is fantastic. The film wears a posh, classy look throughout. Dialogues [Kiran Kotrial] sound fresh at times.
And now for the most important question? Do Shahid and Kareena make a good pair? Of course, they do. But more on that later.
Shahid Kapoor has all it takes to be an actor of substance. He handles his part with complete understanding. His outburst in the train, after he has been conned, is proof that the actor has the range to deliver. But, hello, why did Shahid need to ape Mr. Bachchan in the finale? In the post-interval portions too, the actor in him takes a complete backseat and the zeal and enthusiasm is clearly missing.
Fardeen Khan is fair. He has the suave look to carry off this character. But he suffers largely due to a sketchy characterization. His role doesn?t give him scope to match Shahid and Kareena?s well-penned characterizations.
Kareena Kapoor is in great form. The actress gets the best part and must say, she sinks her teeth into it and emerges with flying colours. This is amongst her finest work to date. She looks bewitching as well. Plus, the chemistry between Shahid and Kareena is electrifying.
Akhilendra Mishra hams. The character of a don looks more like a buffoon.
On the whole, FIDA has thrilling moments, but not enough to entice you completely. At the box-office, the film will find the going tough after the initial euphoria settles. Mainly a big city film, its prospects should be better at multiplexes.