I don’t mind movies having quirky characters. In fact, it adds quite the zing into otherwise mundane and predictable plotlines, also making the characters themselves more human and believable. While Finding Fanny sets out with that agenda, no one (and I am pretty sure that includes the director himself), seems to have any idea what direction the movie was actually intended to take
There is a good chance this movie could’ve been perceived as staying in the same spot or running around in circles had the plotline not involved a road trip with a definitive start and an end destination. That alone lends some semblance of structure to an otherwise haphazard plotline. The first half itself yields very little other than a microscopic look at the idyllic life of Goa and some seemingly desperate attempts to make you laugh. The second half isn’t much better and goes from bad to worse towards the climax. There’s some intelligent writing but such instances are few and far-between.
As for the acting, even a glittering starcast can’t rescue Finding Fanny and make the search more enjoyable. Naseeruddin Shah’s weak willed character is clearly a misfit for his strong personality and though one never doubts his versatility as an actor, he would probably have been better served with another role. Deepika Padukone is exquisite with her expression but the same cannot be said for her dialogue delivery which continues to be pretty much a monotone whether in narration or otherwise. Dimple Kapadia does justice to her character though hers too is weakly developed while Arjun Kapur is passable for the most part, save for his inexplicable and undecipherable outburst. In terms of acting, the real star of the show is actually Pankaj Kapur as the sleazy artist, who despite the glittering cast and by contrast, his own weak character, delivers flawlessly
As you would have noticed, almost all the characters in this particular story are weak and poorly developed. While in-a-jiffy backstory telling is a good technique, one hopes to be told more of the history, the incidents that shaped the character of today – especially since there are passing mentions of something having happened strewn throughout the 93 odd minutes the movie runs. However, there is no such revelation and one is left to imagine it for his/herself
Despite the short runtime the movie feels slow and you can’t wait for the end credits to roll, especially in the second half when things become more bizarre by the minute…let’s just leave it at that. While the opening credits are encouraging with the movie’s claim of some parts in the movie being true and those being the weirder parts, one would have hoped for more soul and meaning to the journey. Unfortunately, the journey ends with a message that rings even more strange and hollow since none of that is actually felt or experienced during it.
At the end of it all, its best to just conclude, that Finding Fanny was a pointless expedition, that became more and more hopeless as the journey continued and it would’ve been better if one had chosen to abandon her instead