Film: Fanney Khan
Cast: Anil Kapoor, Divya Dutta, Rajkummar Rao, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Pihu Sand, Girish Kulkarni, Swati Semwal, Anaitha Nair, Asif Basra, Satish Kaushik
Director: Atul Manjrekar
Rating: * *
For a film that aspires to translate the fictitious success story of a wannabe professional singer through a performance-oriented live TV contest based show, ‘Fanney Khan’ has precious little melody or harmony going for it. The songs lack memorability. The treatment is loud and clueless and follows the outmoded structure of a Bollywood fantasy even though it’s storyline is supposedly rooted in reality.
Prashant a.k.a Fanney Khan, a Galli level singer performer and Kavita (Divya Dutta), who live in a chawl, bring-up their dulcet-voiced, plus sized daughter Lata (Pihu Sand) as an entitled soon-to-be-singing sensation. But the cards are not panning out as per their ambitions for her. Prashant loses his job and begins doubling up as a Taxi driver for his friend’s (Satish Kaushik) fleet and one fine day, has the current singing sensation Baby Singh (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) fall right into his ‘instantaneous’ kidnapping plan.
Adhir (Rajkummar Rao), Prashant’s friend is cajoled into abetting the outlandish idea. Now it’s only a matter of getting their ransom demand across to the right source. There’s neither tension nor relief in the telling. It’s just an elongated to-do about ambition which makes unacceptable criminal behaviour, conventional.
The scripting tries to ape the ‘Secret Superstar’ format without understanding the nuances of the byplay. Lata is shown as decidedly obnoxious to her parents who don’t ever reprimand or punish her for it. Ambition is all very well, but when coupled with arrogance and discourtesy to parents who have sacrificed their all in its pursuit, just doesn’t feel too good.
Anil Kapoor rehashes his loud but effective meter, Aishwarya appears a little too self-aware to seem genuine and newcomer Pihu Sand does well to stay clued in to the narrative demands, but it’s Rajkumar Rao, Divya Dutta, Girish Kulkarni as Baby Singh’s manager and Satish Kaushik – who manage to temper the brash overall experience with their affective presence. ‘Fanney Khan’ might be hoping to do the China trick, a la ‘Secret Superstar’, but it’s rather unlikely because this film’s hoped-for pan-India showing itself is looking altogether suspect!