Finding Homi’s funny bone

Seeing the film’s images, he realised that Adajania was staying truthful to Goa. But magic flew off his iPad when he saw Anaita Shroff Adajania’s  costumes for the film, says WENDELL RODRICKS.

If the alliteration in the title of Homi Adajania’s film ‘Finding Fanny Fernandes’ is apt, so is the fact that the  funny side of a director known for his wicked wit is on full display. When writing the script and making the movie, Homi would call to ask me about Goan customs or pay a visit home over Goan Prawn Curry Rice and have a good laugh about his movie. His enthusiasm was infectious to the point that I actually began to make suggestions for locations. At one stage I even climbed the belfry of our village church to see how the village looked like for a certain scene he had in mind.

I am very sceptical when friends tell me that they are doing a movie on Goa. Most Goans are so serious about their state that they take offence when facts are distorted and the cliche of the Goan drunk or Goan girl in barely there clothes are portrayed. So when Homi began to tell me about the film, I was like ‘Uh oh…another Goan cliche possibly coming up.’ How wrong was I!

When I saw the images that emerged from the film, I realised that Adajania was staying as truthful to Goa as any Goan would do. At first, all I saw were the sets. But magic flew off my iPad when I saw Anaita Shroff Adajania’s costumes for the film. By then I joined the ranks of 3.5 million who saw the trailer on YouTube. Such was the success of the trailer that a ‘Finding Fanny’ spoof on YouTube quickly found its way into cyber space.

Designing costumes for a film of this genre needs the acute vision of the director and the wardrobe stylist. In this case, husband and wife found ideal meeting ground with an enviable cast of veterans and two, young successful stars. Each character is in a goofy space that makes us laugh, not at them, but with them.

Dimple Kapadia’s prosthetic hips make her lovable from the onset. She is the typical Goan Aunty who must have someone in the Gulf gifting a wardrobe of laces, polyester frocks, white court shoes and white slip peeping from coloured frocks. Anaita has pulled the look together with fascinating detail. The colours, the styling and the silhouette make for a humorous caricature that could well be drawn by Goa’s beloved Mario Miranda.

Deepika Padukone, on the other hand, wears clothing that can border on quirky chic. Despite the frilly apron and the plaid patterned or polka dot, cocoa coloured skirt, Deepika’s wardrobe in the movie may well set a trend as the print mix and colour palette are a clever mix from the mind of Vogue India’s Fashion Editor.

Which brings us to the men.

No matter what Naseeruddin Shah wears, I can’t help but be mesmerised by his emotion. Just as well because his styled look is one that blends seamlessly into the story line rather than stand out on its own. A checked red and blue shirt with a suit and bow tie with a typical Goa bag is a styling coup. Here is a thespian on top of craft, with a riveting performance that is bound to please.

Pleasing to the eye is the rather dapper look on Pankaj Kapur. His rumpled linens and snazzy accessories are spot on for the romantic role he plays. The little touches of dandiness, like the green paisley print casually draped around his neck add a Goan man’s love for sartorial flamboyance.

Ditto Arjun Kapoor. Easy separates mixed with beach flavour with all the right accessories. In one of the stills I asked Homi Adjania why Arjun has such scruffy un-pedicured feet. To which the director replied that this was the look and that he even rubbed the red mud of Goa on his chappals to stay true to character.

No wonder then that ‘Finding Fanny’ is God in the details.

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