After making his debut as a feature film director with a dark thriller â€˜Being Cyrusâ€™, Homi Adajania played it safe by opting for a far more commercial venture like â€˜Cocktailâ€™ as his second film. The promos of his latest venture â€˜Finding Fannyâ€™ gives you the impression that itâ€™s a quirky type (like â€˜Being Cyrusâ€™) but at the same time one expects it to be breezy, light hearted fun (like â€˜Cocktailâ€™).
Set in the quaint village of Pocolim based in the interiors of Goa, â€˜Finding Fannyâ€™ introduces us to its five major characters, around whom the story revolves. Angie (Deepika Padukone) is a young widow who lives with her mother-in-law Rosalina Eucharistica (Dimple Kapadia), the self proclaimed â€˜first ladyâ€™ of the village who tries her best to exercise control over the entire village.
Angieâ€™s best friend Ferdinand (Naseeruddin Shah) is the village postman, who one fine day receives an undelivered letter at his door step. He realizes that it is the same letter that he had written to Stephanie Fernandes alias Fanny (Anjali Patil) forty six years ago, confessing his love to her. Angie coaxes Ferdinand in to finding Fanny and asks him to just let her know how he feels about her. Angie brings together a bunch of impetuous characters, including Rosalina, erstwhile lover Savio, who is back in the village after six years and the lecherous artist Don Pedro (Pankaj Kapoor) to help Ferdinand find Fanny. They embark on a road trip in search of Fanny and discover a lot about themselves, life and love.
After the movie is over, one feels like writing a detailed essay on each of the five pivotal characters in the movie. Homi Adajania and co-writer Kersi Khambatta have written such wonderfully fleshed out characters that one canâ€™t help but get engulfed in their unique personalities, traits and their life in general. Homi Adajania, with his earlier films, has already proved that he has a keen sense of visuals and he proves it yet again with this film. He is ably assisted by Anil Mehtaâ€™s lush cinematography.
The dialogues are witty and are interspersed with humour that keeps you in splits. The pace of the film is brisk, more so in the second half. The two songs (â€˜Fanny Reâ€™, â€˜Ding Dongâ€™) could not have been placed more appropriately. Background score (Mathias Duplessy) is so wonderfully in sync with the film that it seems like being one of the characters in the film.
The major and perhaps only drawback of the film is that the plot turns out to be a bit predictable at times. However, you canâ€™t really hold that against the makers as the idea their intent was to teach a thing or two about life and love to the audience in a very simplistic manner, without being preachy.
Naseeruddin Shah delivers the best performance of the film as the timid, lovelorn Ferdinand. He brings just the right amount of susceptibility to his character. Dimple Kapadia is outstanding. She shifts seamlessly from being a stern, dominating woman to display her vulnerable side in a confrontational scene. Pankaj Kapur essays the role of the eccentric Don Pedro very well. He manages to be funny while playing a character thatâ€™s crude. Deepika looks bewitching and pitches in a decent performance. She still needs to polish her skills in the dramatic moments though. Arjun Kapoor is wonderful as the angst ridden Savio. Ranveer Singh evokes laughs in a very short cameo. Anjali Patil leaves a mark in her short role as Fanny. Out of the several other cameos, Ankur Tewariâ€™s deserve special mention. He brings the house down in that one scene with Dimple Kapadia.
The film has been made in English and dubbed in Hindi. It must be mentioned that the English dialogues are very simple and hence, would be understood by a large chunk of people. You would have no problem in understanding the Konkani dialogues as subtitles have been provided. Finding Fanny has been made for a niche audience and it does not disappoint. The fact that it has been dubbed in Hindi will help it reach out to a wider audience.