Saturday, May 27, 2006


By now the sms rounds have revealed the story and the end of Kunal Kohli’s Fanaa, and actually got it right. But assuming there are some who don’t know, the film is about a blind Kashmiri girl who falls in love with a terrorist, under the impression that he is a tourist guide.

To reveal more of the plot would spoil the little suspense there is—though any Hindi film regular would be able to predict each plot twist, not just the end.

The love story between Zooni (Kajol) and Rehan (Aamir Khan) sparks because of the two actors’ charisma. As far as the writing and exposition goes—and this part of the story takes up the entire first half of the film—the love story hits a false note. Why would an educated and wealthy girl like Zooni fall in love with a loutish tourist guide (Aamir reprising his Raja Hindustani and Rang De Basanti act here), just because he quotes some excessively trite poetry at her, and flirts with all the roguishness of a tapori.

He admits that he is a womanizer and not interested in love, but she chased him like he were the last man on earth, and it’s not even as if he reveals some hidden nobility or poetic soul to her.

How come, her parents who live in a palatial mansion don’t bother to take her to an eye surgeon and Rehan does. How come it never occurs to her to ask where he got such a large sum of money from.

Why do women in today’s movies, like women in 5Os films, spend their lives in mourning or waiting for absent/uncaring lovers. Why is it that a woman who lived by herself for a long time, suddenly lose the ability to do simple tasks when a man is around – like hammer a nail and bathe her kid. Why are kids in our movies so insufferable?

When there is a terrorist at large, with a deadly weapon in his possession, why does the Indian army sit twiddling their thumbs, and not do a door-to-door search. If the snow storm is the excuse, then how do characters manage to sing ‘family’ songs out in the show under clear skies?

We have seen and laughed at this scene in countless films – a character who has discovered another’s secret, will not quietly go and call the cops, but will hold a gun and make threats, so that the gun can be snatched and used to silence him!

Kohli’s political stand—such as it is-- is even more inexplicable as his love story. Kasmiri militants want to destroy Delhi, and Rehan justifies it as an action for freedom of his people. Then he and his writer (Shibani Bathija) actually expect us to smpathise with Rehan, because, what the hell he really loves Zooni, so what if he killed thousand of people.

The two lead actors, the ferocious Tabu (as an army intelligence officer) and the charming Rishi Kapoor (as Zooni’s father) finally come to the rescue; and of course Ravi K. Chandran, who along with Aamir Khan and Kajol, makes the screen glow, so for a few seconds at a time, we forget that unpalatable blend of romance, thriller and soap opera is not working.


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