Pocolim, a quaint, fictitious village in Goa symbolizes what FINDING FANNY is all about. Far away from the maddening crowd, unhurried languid pace, the meaning of 'competition' doesn't exist in their dictionary and the inhabitants are kings/queens of their own sweet-sordid world. It won't be fair to judge FINDING FANNY with the same barometer as the regular commercial fare doled out by Bollywood. Writer-Director Homi Adajania has dared to break all conventional rules and manages to serve an absorbing and entertaining story that keeps you interested all of 93 minutes of the run time. It will surely appeal to the target group of a discerning audience that values sensible entertainment. Yet, one can't deny that it has a very limited appeal as the idea of film entertainment for most people in India isn't intellectual artistry.
Homi Adajania and Kersi Khambatta's writing is attention grabbing. The dialogues (in English, with a smattering of a Goan dialect) are intelligent, ironic and very funny. You'd love to read them again and again once the novel (from which the screenplay has been culled) will release next year. Even though the duration of the film is one and a half hours, the narrative is never hurried. There's no eagerness to reach anywhere, it's the eventful journey that takes you for a joyous ride. Love can be gloriously, subtle and enriching whether you are or aren't looking for it. Lust is always fascinating. No two ways about it. The search for Stephanie Fernandes has its share of adventure, conflict, rediscovering love, germination of 'Art' and the redundancy of the 'subject' post 'climax'.
Pankaj Kapur's [Pedro] delicious lecherousness is the big highlight of FINDING FANNY. He is a magician of an actor. You don't want to miss anything he says or does. He has some of the best lines in the film. When he addresses Ferdie [Naseeruddin Shah] as 'Casanova of Konkan', and the manner in which he says it, one bursts out laughing. He shamelessly woos Rosie [Dimple Kapadia] making no bones about the reason for his 'interest' in her. Dimple looks stunning for her age (though the much hyped prosthetic bum doesn't add any visual value, it rather hinders her movement to an extent). She brings the house down at several occasions with her straight faced rejoinders or one-liners. The scene where Pedro makes a portrait of Rosie is a laugh-riot. Pankaj Kapur, take a bow sir!
Deepika Padukone [Angie] looks exceedingly pretty and effortlessly merges with the brilliant trio of Naseer, Pankaj and Dimple. It's criminal to imagine her as a widow. After the much publicized ping-pong with the Censor Board, the 'virgin' element doesn't make sense when Angie tells Savio [Arjun Kapoor] post making love, that "there'll be many more times and he could get better ..." For someone who has never 'experienced' sex before, to tell the man that he could get 'better', sounds presumptuous. Arjun displays his angst-and-anger. Naseeruddin Shah as Ferdie, like a chameleon, turns a different colour. His unsure composure, incorrigible romanticism and the propensity to exaggerate his own affliction is captivating.
Background music score [Mathias Duplessy] is an intrinsic character in itself. Like the film, it doesn't have a conventional sound. The moody mind bursts into songs that the heart sings wafting away in the collective memory of viewers for posterity. 'Shake Your Bootiya' [Sachin-Jigar] is the only so-called commercial element in the film and that too has been done in a classy manner. The music video of 'Shake Your Bootiya' has been put together highly creatively. Masterly camera work [Anil Mehta] is stunning. There is nothing dramatic about the shot taking. It seems the camera is enjoying sneaking into the lives of crazy souls capturing their odd moments from several angles. Editing [Sreekar Prasad] is spot on. It's a taut film leaving no scope for undue details. Sound design [Nakul Kamte] makes this journey come alive. You hear what you must hear and superfluousness doesn't exist.
FINDING FANNY is Homi Adajania's baby all the way. He, along with Kersi Khambatta believed in the idiosyncratic world of Pocolim giving birth to odd characters each aching to narrate their respective stories. Homi never compromises on giving vent to his crazy vision. 'Cocktail' wasn't a film he must have been totally satisfied with, but FINDING FANNY is almost exactly what he must have visualized. The five odd characters offer lots of intelligent entertainment but again, the characterization and the reasons for their actions may seem bizarre to a wide section of the cine going public in India. The attempt to tie lose ends at the end doesn't augur well for a film that revels in taking risks.
On the whole, it is commendable on the part of Fox and Dinesh Vijan to have diligently backed this project. With a big name like Deepika Padukone getting associated with this film and then Arjun Kapoor (scoring well at the Box Office) bringing in eye balls too, FINDING FANNY has enough curiosity around it. If you're tired of the nonsensical fare doled out by Bollywood week after week and have a palate for Unusual-Entertainment, then FINDING FANNY will fill your heart with joy.