By: Deepa Gahlot
Critic's Rating: 3/5
Monday 29 May 2006
Aamir Khan,Kajol,Rishi Kapoor,Kirron Kher,Tabu
In most Hindi films, the actors often rise above the dismal material they are given to work with.Bollywood stars and technicians are on par with anyone in the world; the writing and direction departments consistently let us down. However, the marketing and promotion teams of all big banners do a tremendous job of building curiosity about their products. Then, they flood the markets with prints and before word-of-mouth goes out that the film is poor, they have made their money.
Kunal Kohli?s Fanaa, produced by the all-mighty Yashraj banner, is a case in point. With that publicity blitzkrieg hitting full force, moviegoers will see Fanaa at least once. And they will probably come away impressed with the lead pair Aamir Khan and Kajol, though not so much with the film.
It is said by the industry that Aamir Khan is meticulous about script selection, and very choosy about the films he does. In Fanaa, he has the most ill-defined and unheroic character possible, yet he was tempted to do this film.
And what can one say about writer Shibani Bathija and Kohli?s politics? Rehan Qadri, the part Aamir plays, belongs to an organization that wants freedom for Kashmir, and nowhere in the film is this line questioned. Rehan is supposed to have committed terrorist acts in India, Pakistan and other counties for the Kashmiri cause. Is there any such ?neutral? Kashmiri militant group in existence?
But for the fact that it will give this film more importance than it deserves, the Indian Army and Intelligence organizations should object to their portrayal as inefficient idiots. The security at Rashtrapati Bhawan is breached in no time, when a terrorist in the garb of a cheerful tourist guide befriends the guard. A terrorist easily infiltrates the Indian army, and is posted at a sensitive spot, where a nuclear trigger is concealed, without any background checks. After this terrorist with a crucial device has vanished somewhere in Kashmir for days, it takes the Intelligence?s ?best? brain (Tabu) to figure out that why not get a sketch of the fellow made and flashed on TV! Instead of conducting a thorough search, they wait for information to fall into their laps. When, by chance, it does fall into their laps, they tell the informant, a woman and the wanted man?s wife: Hold on to the guy, we will be there by morning!
This is the kind of research and detailing that goes into a mega budget film, and is vetted by the alleged perfectionist, Aamir Khan.
But the film is actually a love story between a blind Kashmiri girl Zooni (Kajol) and Rehan. She falls in love with this lowlife, when he spouts bad poetry at her, and calls her beautiful. Despite his discouragement, she pursues him with a manic relentlessness, goes to bed with him, and, as we find out later, has his child. Believing him dead, she lives with his memories, but there is not a single photo of him taken by her whole tour group with cameras? Her blindness is a script contrivance?so she doesn?t see him initially; and when she can see, she can?t recognize him.
Her wealthy parents (Rishi Kapoor-Kirron Kher) did not bother to get her eyes treated, but the terrorist who actually benefits by her blindness, gets the simple operation organized.
Rehan lands up at Zooni?s doorstep seven years later in wounded condition, in the guise of an Indian armyman, and slowly reveals his identity, giving the excuse that he went away because of a ?mission?. She is okay with it, as long as he gives up whatever it is that he is doing, and stays with her and their (irritatingly precocious) son. When the Tabu character tells her that Rehan is a terrorist in possession of a nuclear trigger and that she must stop his escape, Zooni says, ?but he is my husband.? This after she has discovered that he has killed her father and another friend.
The characters, with their moronic ?love is all? attitude lose sympathy?Zooni for her desperate need of a ?Prince? and Rehan because he is neither faithful to his cause nor to the woman he loves.
Despite the absurdities scattered over the script, Aamir Khan and Kajol somehow manage to play their parts with so much conviction, that the film?s flaws are covered up; but think about it later, the glue of their charisma comes unstuck and cardboard quality of Fanaa is revealed.
Oh Manapenne team has replicated the magic of the original in their own way!
The film is a young adult rom-com designed in the vampire-thriller genre
Bommarillu Bhaskar's film looks interesting on paper
Director Shoojit Sircar manages to arouse patriotism in each viewer