True Review

True Review: Finding Fanny

True Review: Finding Fanny

by Niharika Puri September 12 2014, 10:46 am Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 55 secs

Critics Rating: 3 Stars*

Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Deepika Padukone, Dimple Kapadia, Arjun Kapoor, Pankaj Kapur

Direction: Homi Adajania

Produced: Dinesh Vijan

Written: Homi Adajania, Kersi Khambatta

Genre: Drama

Duration: 1 Hrs 45 Mins

A motley group of unfulfilled, dysfunctional men, women and a cat hop on aboard a rickety contraption of a vehicle to escape their mundane realities and seek a potentially elusive goal at the destination. Save for the feline, this fleeting summary would remind one of Little Miss Sunshine. A viewer or two may allude to Letters to Juliet as a mild plot similarity. But despite the road movie theme and the maladjusted characters, director Homi Adajania makes the genre his own, quirks and all.

Ferdie aka Ferdinand (Naseeruddin Shah) is an eager choir ‘boy’ and the solitary postman in the quaint, peaceful Goanese village of Pocolim. The quietude is shattered at night-time when he receives a letter – the letter – he had mailed 46 years ago to his beloved Stefanie Fernandes to ask for her hand in marriage. It has remained undelivered all these years, which means she never knew of his romantic intentions. Cue the braying cries of despair to shatter the equanimity and frighten the neighbours.

It is only Angie (Deepika Padukone) who is sympathetic to his woes, having been widowed on her wedding day, but struts about in low necklines and thigh high dresses because she is cool that way. She wants to help him out of his misery and get him to stop his nocturnal howling. “Keep that up and people will think you are possessed,” she lightly admonishes him. Then… with a beat asks, “Are you?”

Cheesy but true… Ferdie is possessed by his long-standing affection for the ever-evasive young belle in his imagination. For the purpose of tracking down the intended recipient of the letter, Angie ropes in former suitor and angry mechanic Savio Da Gama (Arjun Kapoor) to drive them around.

The car in question is being fixed up for volatile artist Don Pedro Cleto Colaco, who is every bit as flamboyant as the name. He hops in for the ride, because his drooping sights are set on Angie’s mother-in-law Rosie (Dimple Kapadia).


This road trip takes us through idyllic Goa, which looks subdued, untouched and mercifully bereft of tourists. There are revelations, breakdowns (emotional and mechanical), banter and little moments between characters that are strung together in a zany narrative. Everybody is driven by carefully concealed yearning under a sloppily erected facade.

The first half disarms you with some understated character charm, a hilarious cameo and a smooth build-up to the rocky trip. Unlike most films, the second half manages to hold its own, though a sudden mood whiplash into black humour and a face-palming epilogue shake off the subtle bliss of the initial scenes.

The final (paraphrased) message seems to be this: ‘If love doesn’t knock, you should. Even if there is no door.’

This greeting card corniness seems aimed to make the film more palatable to a larger audience, but might raise a few eyebrows in the bargain. However, that does not make Finding Fanny unwatchable.

The film industry could do with the envelope being pushed a little further with each outing. Finding Fanny is the film that does give it a try. Even if the fatigue of mainstream junk has not got to you yet, this film proves to be a serene break from the noise. Join the search.

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