The Fakir Of Venice Movie Review: It Has Its Engaging Moments

The Fakir  Of  Venice

Starring: Farhan Akhtar, Anu Kapoor,Valentina Carnelutti, Kamal Sidhu

Directed  by Anand Surapur

Rating: ***(3 stars)

In his first acting assignment  Farhan Akhtar is splendidly in  form as a  bit of jerk. He plays a  production controller who can get  a film crew anything they want, from a monkey  performing tricks , to an exotic  fakir performing  monkey tricks.

Adi is okay with  supplying anything, as  long as he gets paid.

The monkey and the monkey tricks are aptly equated  in  the  hugely  original is  ferociously flawed  script(Rajesh Devraj).When Adi is asked by a  museum  in  Venice to produce  a fakir who can bury himself  completely in sand  for hours, the narrative  brings  into play the  crass touristic  culture  of peddling exotica to the West.

Anu  Kapoor, in a stellar  performance as the spaced out alcoholic chawl dweller who  desperately needs to make money, is that  performing monkey, or a sexless gigolo  if you will, who must make the firangis  giggle with pleasure by holding his breath in  sand.

 Though the  theme is  one  of  exploitation at  the  most basic level, the plot moves in mysteriously non-toxic ways  creating  pockets  of empathy between the two men with   a languorous  equanimity. It all  comes apart after the first-half with the storytellers hellbent on force-finding a  crisis and  a climax to  round  of the quirky tale  of  the  human bandar and  the madaari.

 Farhan and  Anu Kapoor play off each  effectively. But the space  provided  for them to manoeuvre their  differences and  conflicts frequently gets crowded with  humbug.They are  unlikely companions separated by class and  culture and also by the fact that the more sophisticated  of  the two men is an exploitative so-and-so. Sportingly Farhan plays the morally compromised go-getter with conviction. Anu Kapoor is  magnificent as  the reluctant monkey,  while Jhilmil Hazrika as  Kapoor’s sister  leaves  a lasting  impression in a brief role.

The  Fakir Of Venice builds its  narrative  pyramid on a  solid  foundation of  exploitative tourism. But  the  plot falls apart  in  the third act when a  goodhearted local Italian woman(Valentina Carnelutti) intervenes  to rescue the  Fakir(with a tragic  unconvincing secret)  and even falls in  love with him.

If only the imaginative mind knew where  to stop so many  global calamities  could be prevented.

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