Planet Bollywood
Producer: Aditya Chopra (Yash Raj Films)
Director: Kunal Kohli
Starring: Aamir Khan, Kajol, Rishi Kapoor, and Tabu
Music: Jatin-Lalit
Lyrics: Prasoon Joshi
Genre: Drama
Recommended Audience: General
Approximate Running Time: 2.5 hrs
Film Released on: 26 May 2006
Reviewed by: Shruti Bhasin  - Rating: 8.0 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 viewers)
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Who would’ve thought that it would take a filmmaker like Kunal Kohli to bring 2 superstars of the 90s together for the first time? It’s a big fact that Fanaa is Aamir Khan and Kajol’s first movie together as a romantic pair; they previously starred in ISHQ, but not opposite each other. Either way, just that fact alone makes Fanaa a movie to watch once. Other reasons the movie got curiosity over the last few months was that this is Kunal’s third venture after his superhit Hum Tum (winning several awards and even beating mentor Yash Chopra for BEST DIRECTOR). Finally, a topic like terrorism is given the back seat as the characters are given new grounds to venture in.

Fanaa begins with the journey of a blind girl named Zooni (Kajol) who heads off for a show with her friends to New Dehli. Within the initial reels Zooni falls for the charming tourguide Rehan (Aamir Khan) who drops shayari (poetry) to woo our heroine. It may seem a bit over the top, but it got quite a few cheers from the audience. So, Zooni has fallen for Rehan, but he doesn’t reciprocate right away, as he is just in flirtation mode. Zooni is beginning to feel more alive with Rehan, and he wants to show her the beauty of New Dehli. Slowly, he begins to realize her importance in his life, although its obvious he is distant for a reason.

On the last day of the tour, when Zooni has to leave, Rehan finally succumbs to love and they both decide to get married. The first half is the typical love-song story, all is well in wonderland as Zooni’s parents, played by Rishi Kapoor and Kiron Kher, agree to the marriage and Zooni goes through a retinal replacement surgery in order to see again. However, Zooni opens her eyes to discover that Rehan has been killed in a bomb blast. It comes as no shock, as intermission is near, that Rehan is a top-notch terrorist being hunted by authorities.

We warp to 7 years later, where after a exhaustive snow chase, Rehan meets Zooni again. What happens next is the be watched as the viewer is not bored with trivial terrorism, but a real story unfolds. The ending may be shocking to many people, but it is necessary to make a significant impact to keep the movie on your mind long after its over.

Performances are top notch. Kajol looks more beautiful than ever and she acts better than some of her films in the 90s. Her facial expressions in the first half are flawless and in the second half, she still expresses volumes with her eyes. Its as if Kajol never left and hopefully we don’t have to wait another 4 years to see her again. Aamir Khan is always dependable and plays the charming terrorist with ease; he might be ruthless in the second half to complete a mission, but you feel sympathy for this character. Their chemistry is amazing on screen, especially in the Antakshari sequence; Aamir and Kajol are comfortable with each other throughout the film. Its obvious these picky stars chose this movie for a reason, only they could have essayed the roles of Zooni and Rehan.

Rishi Kapoor makes a good father figure, Kiron Kher is good as well (in a short and sweet role). Lara Dutta’s sequence is unnecessary and should be edited out to make the film more solid. Shiny Ahuja and Tabu are wasted (anyone could’ve played their parts). 2 characters named Fatty and Bobo make an impact as Kajol’s friends in the first half.

Technically, the film is like any other YashRaj films, where the production values are high. Cinematography by Ravi K. Chandran is the main highlight as we get to see the majestic New Dehli and Poland (disguised as Kashmir). Art Direction by Nitish Roy is stunning, especially in the song “Mere Haath Mein”. Story and screenplay by Shibani Bhatija tends to be a bit implausible at times, but yet, she makes up for it with a brilliant second half. On the editing side, the film needs to be trimmed, because the long length of the film tends to get tedious near the end. The visual effects leave much to be desired and look sloppy in some portions. Background score by Salim-Suleiman suits the story’s theme.

Jatin-Lalit’s music actually is better in the movie and should gain more popularity in the next few days. ‘Chand Sifarish’ and ‘Mere Haath Mein’ are both addictive and visually appealing songs in the movie. Finally, compliments to Kunal Kohli for writing dialogues to suit the main characters and make us feel their emotional impact. Also, his direction and vision is captured in a way that shows that this filmmaker has matured and he has extracted some award worthy performances from the main characters.

Based on audience response, the film will be a hit in the overseas and in India, despite all controversies, should do quite well. Overall, watch the film not for the story but for seeing Kajol and Aamir come together as the lead pair for the first time. I would recommend to watch Fanaa over The Davinci Code and X-Men 3 this weekend. Enjoy!

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