Fanney Khan Is A Heartwarming Ode To A Father’s Dream

Fanney Khan

Starring  Anil Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan,  Rajkummar Rao, Divya Dutta, Pihu sand,Girish Kulkarni

Directed by Atul Manjrekar

Rating: *** ½(3 and half stars)

 Tucked away somewhere in this father-daughter heartwarmer is  a story about Baby Singh, a lonely  exploited pop singer  played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan whose manager(played with splendid sliminess by Girish  Kukarni)  suggests that she do some quick wardrobe malfunction on  the ramp to  attrack  attention.

As if malfunction was  a bonafide function on  the religious calendar.

Aishwarya, God bless her pristine  soul, does what any decent girl would. She asks the Slimeballto drop her  off  on the road.Huffing and puffing she hops into a taxi  being driven by none other than our ‘Fanney Khan’ a wannabe Mohd Rafi who wants  to make his oversized daughter anotherLata  Mangeshkar.

 Cheers  to that. The basic thought  behind the  film is  clever and  emotionally  resplendent. But then why not  the songs  of the Nightigale instead of the absurd music that carpets  the crisis.But then the  failed Rafi a.k.a Fanney Khan decides to kidnap   the singing diva Baby Singh  with the help of  a friend(Rajkummar Rao) who  promptly falling  in  love with Baby Singh.

While Fanney grapples with the singing career  of  his undertalented oversized obnoxious daughter(the contempt that  Pihu Sand  puts in her voice and demeanour when talking to her naïve goodhearted father made me  cringe) Baby and Baba(that’s Adhir,Rajkummar Rao) romance  in a rush of ransom resplendence.

If you’ve seen the  Belgian  orginal  Everybody’s Famous you’d know plausibility was never a prime consideration in the plot. The remake hovers uneasily between the precocious and authentic, drawing inspiration from the  struggles of everyday life in a dream-driven chawl,but pinning the to situations that are at once absurd and  audacious.

It helps that Anil Kapoor is  a natural as a caring doting Dad, and that Divyas Dutta as  his wife looks every inch the middleclass Maharashtrian housewife and mother. Aishwarya Rai Bachchanis every bit the pampered diva who treats the  besotted kidnapper (Rajkummar Rao) like her  per poodle.

All this would have qualified as  satire on middlecass yearnings.  But the joke  on   the Stockholm Syndrome would probably not work even in Denmark.

What works is the film’s integrity, its intentions are  fully bonafide. The daughter’s ridicule at  a musical reality show has a ring of truth about it.So does  the  furious disdain the daughter shows towards her father . Eventually if you  sit through the  ordeal of watching Rajkummar Raoromance the stunning MS Rai Bachcchan in an abandoned  industrial factory with only her pet dog for company, Fanney Khan is a heartwarming ode to life,Lata Mangeshkar, Mohd Rafi and ShielaKi Jawani. Effervescent and  emotional  it is an effective antidote to the pain of existence.

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