Verdict - An enjoyable and heart-warming musical with great performances by the entire cast.
What does it take to be successful in today’s day where the internet and media control our perceptions? As a performer is talent enough to propel you to stardom or do you need image management to transform you into something that is a ‘package’ of good looks and style while substance can by manipulated by Auto-tune or Photoshop? Fanney Khan explores this question in a heart-warming musical.
Prashant Kumar aka Finney Khan, a factory worker is popular as an amateur local singer in a band. He seeks to fulfil his unfinished dream of becoming a successful singer through his daughter Lata. She sings beautifully but is plump which leads to her getting body-shamed in the different contests she participates in. Disgusted, she decides to give up but not her dad. He embarks on a hare-brained scheme that involves a popular singer Baby Singh. Does his crazy scheme work?
The first half of the movie is spent in introducing the various characters, establishing the back-stories and getting them all to connect. This at times seems a bit slow but a few good songs keep you entertained. In the second half, the pace really picks up as the story is finally ready to move forward. There are a few things that somehow don’t add up such as the fact that a famous singer lives alone with her dog without anyone at home to look after him. But you ought to easily let go of these little glitches given that the overall story has a slightly fairy-tale-ish air about it that invites you to suspend some of your cynicism.
The relationships are what make this movie work well. Each relationship: husband-wife, Fanney and his friend Adhir, the two teenage friends, father-daughter, star and agent are natural and realistic and make the story simple and believable.
It also works because of the chemistry between the entire cast that comprises all my favourite actors and Ash. I am a huge Anil Kapoor fan and as Fanney Khan he delights. Anil Kapoor does the optimistic, simple person well as we know and he channels this personality once again into his Fanney. Rajkumarr Rao has a smaller role but provides a light touch to Adhir. Diva Dutta as the mom is dependable as always. Ash as the rock star Baby Singh looks amazingly young and energetic in her song sequences. She is pretty relaxed and sure of herself here and plays the role of the celebrity with ease. I guess it’s not that hard to play oneself. Karan Singh Chhabra who plays Baby Singh’s manipulative agent adds the right touch of villainy without being evil.
The person who really stands out in this movie is Pihu Sand as Lata, the young daughter who tries to get over the fact that she is not conventional star material. Her teen angst when dealing with her dad, her bravado and her innocence and her despair when she breaks down will make you want to reach out to her. You will love her dancing in the infectious toe-tapping ‘foo-bai -foo’ song.
Amit Trivedi provides us with a brilliant musical score that will grow on you like all his other songs. Of course, foo-bai-foo will be the star of the upcoming Ganpati festival I suspect.
Fanney Khan is a movie that makes you believe in optimism, faith, hard work and the fact that sometimes luck can just favour you in the craziest of ways. You will enjoy this one.