This is Lage Raho Munnabhai without Munna, though there are plenty of lowbrow â€˜Bhaisâ€™ zipping around in and out first-time director Rajesh
Mapuskarâ€™s blithe frames in search of that elusive feeling of innocence we seem to have lost in our cinema ever since Hrihikesh Mukherjee passed away.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Raj Kumar Hirani and now their associate, the debutant director Rajesh Mapuskar try to keep the tradition of Mukherjeeâ€™s mellow-mirth alive.
Ferrari Ki Sawaari succeeds in parts. The dialogues lack the punch of Hiraniâ€™s Munnabhai films. Yup, the heart is still in the right place. And the first 25 minutes of
the film where we see the women-less Parsi family of three generations of grandfather (Boman Irani), father (Sharman Joshi) and son (Ritvick Sahore) trying hard to smile
through their dysfunctionality, seems so well co-ordinated in texture mood and emotions that you are kind of lulled into believe you are watching another fine Vindhu Vinod
Chopra film on the absence of humanism and redemption of the soul.
Sharman Joshi as the clerical father trying to create an even balance between his eccentric father (Boman, crabbily credible) and his young cricketer son, reminded me in a
strange way of Raj Kapoor in Kal Aaj Aur Kal where three generations of Kapoors had played grandfather, father and son.
In Ferrari Ki Sawaari, the three actors are unrelated in real life. And yet they look so much like a family together that you start believing in the power and magic of
pop-art to create a world where human emotions can be generated through sheer evocation of authentic emotions in a cinematic language. Mapuskar gets the actors to pitch in
believable performances. But after a point the actors are lost in a maze of scenes that must have appeared humorous on paper. On screen they just about make you smile feebly.
Sharman Joshi, a very fine actor who in one brilliantly-written sequence in 3 Idiots had scored over all his distinguished co-stars, here uses his bovine smile to cover all
the pain of being a single parent with no support system, certainly not from his father who seems to enjoy sitting around at home making snide comments. You know the annoying
You know these people. This family, its problems mainly money-related, are real. And when Kayozeâ€™s cricket coach (Satyadeep Mishra, credible) announces a trip to England for
cricket coaching your heart sinks for Sharmanâ€™s character.
This is where the filmâ€™s well-intended satire on middleclass desperation begins to go seriously wrong. The harebrained scheme of stealing Sachin Tendulkarâ€™s Ferrari for a
gangsterâ€™s wedding goes as wrong within the charactersâ€™ lives as it does on the level of the screenplay.
Most of the purported giggles regarding the inglorious underbelly of gangsterism is sadly more wonky than whimsical. Here too there is a redemptive factor. Veteran television
actress Seema Bhargava (remember her on the legendary Doordarshan soap Humlog?) as the loud-mouthed wedding planner is squirmy in her cheesy machinations. You
just canâ€™t help falling in love with the characterâ€™s excessive exuberance.
Honestly, the film is hard to dislike. It has moments of immense warmth and humour. Ironically the plot betrays its own interests when it tries to blend bourgeois aspirations with
a Walt Disney brand of fantasy. So we have one song devoted to a flying Ferrari where father and son ride the clouds. Equally uninspired is Vidya Balanâ€™s lavni item song. Either
she didnâ€™t practice her dance steps. Or the choreographer didnâ€™t turn up on the day of the shoot. Vidyaâ€™s has got to be the worst item song in living history.
You tend to forgive the omissions and the sagging passages in the narration. What stays with you is the muted expressions of working-class dynamics shot and edited with a
precision that makes domesticity acquire its own unique rhythm. The actors tend to elevate the household scenes beyond the commonplace dialogues. Sharman is effective in his
scenes with both his father and son. Boman has a very effective sequence with a long-lost friend who had once played dirty and continues do so, conscience be damned.
In the sequence where the two old friends meet again after decades we can see Boman Irani and Paresh Rawal creating a history for their characters beyond what was given to
them on paper. Miraculously most of the actors in the smallest of roles seem to catch on to the filmâ€™s unstated message. Be good and feel good, itâ€™s the only to survive in a world
where the corrupt rule parliament.
This is one sweet tender sawaari, a journey into the hopes dreams and heartbreaks of a family of cricket-centric Parsis. You may miss that jadoo ki jhappi here that
made Munnabhai a household name. But you canâ€™t miss the noble intentions that underline the workâ€™s most precious moments when the Parsi family interacts in its quaint house
.Wish they never stepped out.
In a way Balanâ€™s item song symbolizes what goes wrong with the film. Too much faith in the USPs.