Finding Fanny is like Chicken Curry

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This is the story of how five people from a fictional village called Pocolim in Goa set off to find the love of Ferdie’s (Naseeruddin Shah) life. Apart from Ferdie, there are the two widows Angie (Deepika Padukone) and Rosie (Dimple Kapadia), Don Pedro (Pankaj Kapur) and Savio De Gama (Arjun Kapoor). Since there must be a reason for the other four people to be present on this road trip, Homi Adjania manages to bring out whim/airheadedness (Angie), driving skills (Savio), unsuccessful prevention of intercourse (Rosie) and car ownership/ass-lust/artistic inspiration (Don Pedro). This search party sets off to find Stephanie Fernandes (Fanny). This is a unique name, especially in Goa and therefore they have no problems finding her original as well as relocated address.

As if the beauty of Goa wasn’t reminder enough, there’s an alcoholic Russian to remind you where exactly this is happening. There’s humour in the film too—after every joke, there are a few seconds given for the audience to register the joke and laugh. Although it did seem like these were brief moments of silence at the tragedy of this film calling itself a satire.

Don Pedro’s obsession with Rosie strips naked in front of you because otherwise you might not notice. In a completely shocking twist, we realise that the artist was only interested in his muse till he created his piece of art. This leads said muse to have feelings for Ferdie, the only other single person of her age in the village. To give depth to the characters and justify why they’re going to pair up together, there are glimpses of their past lives.

Since Don Pedro’s utility is quickly diminishing, he’s conveniently shot in the forehead and discarded into the ocean without anyone even realising that. Now, I do not have a problem with such conveniences for scriptwriters. But usually, filmmakers are decent enough to provide an explanation for it, by mentioning Sajid Khan’s name in the credits.

When the remaining four finally find Fanny, Ferdie assumes that she would look the same as she did forty six years ago. This is one of the many clues that Pocolim is in fact, not a regular village, but a special one for slow humans. He then realises that Fanny has died, but quickly gets over her when he sees how fat and promiscuous she had been. He then turns his attention to the next best thing: his friend’s widowed (estranged) wife, Rosie, who was had been living a short walk away from him.

After everyone is convenienty hooked up, Angie decides to ignore the voice of reason and enforces the conclusion upon us that true love is worth finding. The actual conclusion is that people don’t look the same after forty six years. Also, if you want to hook up with people from your neighbourhood, just go for it instead of devicing elaborate road trips.

This is not to say that there are no redeeming qualities in the film. Naseeruddin Shah, Dimple Kapadia and Pankaj Kapur gave brilliant performances. Deepika and Arjun gave mediocre ones but looked great doing those. What was missing was a story to hold it all together. That is why, in many ways, Finding Fanny is like a chicken curry with an ideal combination of flavours. Only, the chicken is undercooked.

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