So, after all that hype and hoopla about the movie and all the controversy it has managed to generate – for all the wrong reasons IMHO – Fanaa turns out to be yet another offbeat-yet-mainstream bollywood flick. Surprised by the tag that I've attributed to it? I, for one, sure felt like it. Take one of the sub-nuance of Fanaa – Blind-girl-meets-flirt – is an oft-repeated theme for bollywood. The fact that the hero leaves her just when her sight is restored, is also been-there-seen-that stuff. And so is the mish-mash of Free Kashmir and the struggle for it. In fact, all the basic premises of the film evoke a sense of deja vu in the viewer's mind. But when woven together as skillfully as it has been done and peppered with power-packed performances from the lead characters, Fanaa rises to such meteoronomic standards as few hinde movies have managed to do.
The movie is all about Choices! Choosing the correct path between Good & Bad is easy. But choosing the best alternative among two equally-appealing correct paths, is what is difficult. In other words,
"… to choose between right or wrong is simple, but what defines one's life is the decision between the greater of two goods or the lesser of two evils!"
Fanaa is the story of a blind kashmiri girl, Zooni Ali Beg (Kajol) who travels to delhi to see the world and trying to charter her own life without help from her parents (Rishi Kapoor & Kirron Kher). In Delhi, she runs into Rehan Khan/Qadri (Aamir Khan) who is a tour guide and an incorrigible flirt. Inspite of repeated rejoinders from her friends, Kajol gets closer and closer to Aamir. She feels secure & complete with him and he, on the other hand enjoys showing her around but warns her that hez not a good person and is just a wanderer..moving on from one green pasture to another (sic!). But Kajol doesn't heed all this warnings…she's ready to get destroyed in Love. The first half drags quite a bit with the sight-seeing and all such stuff and the shayaraana dialogues do sometimes get on the nerves. The pre-interval portions are right outta some Ekta Kapoor flick and the 'twist' when it comes, even if it doesn't catch the viewer unwares, its picturisation & the sheer flamboyance of it all does leave an impact. Songs in the first half are situational and well-placed though Des Rangila deserved a better picturisation & setting. Chand Sifarish and Dekho Naa are easily the pick of the lot …particularly the latter, which has been excellently shot.
The second half of the movie is where the plot seems to be lost and only the lead pair's actions manage to pep up the proceedings. Not to mention the Kid who plays the Young Rehan! He livens up the proceedings somewhat. A major chunk of the post-interval portion is all about how Kajol re-discovers Aamir and how they reconcile themselves to their past and look towards the future. It drags along at a lethargic pace, prompting the viewers to wish that it would end soon! In fact, some people at the theatre did shout out loud : "Finish it maan!" The second half has a few glaring loopholes that are quite funny, if i may say so! Rishi Kapoor's death and the manner in which Kajol gets to know about it is pure bunkum! And so is the fact that Aamir carries along a Nuclear Trigger openly in his pocket for everyone to see!!! The climax comes across as the highpoint of the movie when Kajol is faced with the choices of Love Vs. Patriotism. And guess what does she choose???
On the whole, Fanaa stands out as a brilliant movie on the following counts:
- A Well-woven story about Love, Sacrifice and Patriotism, which -thankfully- doesn't preach anything.
- Bravura performances from the lead pair.
- Aamir Khan digs so deeply into the characters that one can't help but feel that it is but natural. His characters of Rehan as the tour guide and then as the soldier, are fully potent & believable.
- Kajol's comeback couldn't have been better. She delivers a knock-out performance and still looks as good as she was a few years ago.
- Music stands out as one of the high-points and the songs' picturisation & placement is spot-on.
- Cinematography is excellent. Delhi and Poland have been well-captured on screen.
On the other hand, it sure does have its share of flaws:
- The Storyline, though feels like new, is all too often seen on screen.
- Screenplay is one of the weakpoints of the movie. Some portions of the movie, both in the first & second halves could have been better-woven.
- The story drags along for quite some time in the first half and more so in the second half. Few scenes could have beenchopped off to make it evenly-paced.
- The shayaraana dialogues in the first half get on the nerves after sometime.
- The motive behind Rehan's quest for freedom and his actions – of handing over the trigger to his people and then going away from it all to settle down with Zooni – seem to conflict one another !
All in all, Fanaa can be categorised as a well-made Offbeat-yet-mainstream hindi movie with just about the right doses of everything that would spell out box-office success. The presence of two of the highly-regarded actors and their screen chemistry , only enhances the movie further. Songs are melodious, though not chartbusters. Added to it, the fact that Yash Raj is asking multiplexes to screen multiple shows in a day, it is surely going to become one of the biggest hits of the year.