05 June 2006

Fanaa: formula fit super-hit

Young blind drop-dead-gorgeous Kashmiri woman, Zooni (played by Kajol), travels to Delhi (from Kashmir) with her dance troupe to perform at a Republic Day function. There, she meets, is attracted to, and falls in love with an unknown machiavellian city tour guide, Rehan (played by Aamir Khan) belonging to a much lower social class. They spend time together. They make love. Zooni is heartbroken when it’s time to return to Kashmir, but Rehan rescues her from the train, cavalier-style, and they settle in Delhi.

All this happens in a matter of a few days.

Zooni informs her parents, who are overjoyed with her actions and her decision as they had always feared that their blind daughter might never find a suitable husband and settle down to a happy married life. The parents leave for Delhi to meet their daughter and future son-in-law. Meanwhile, Rehan and Zooni discover that medical science has progressed substantially in recent years and, after an appropriate operation, Zooni will be able to see. The operation is conducted immediately and Zooni is able to see.

This preposterous plot, with the formula song-and-dance routine thrown in, takes one and a half hours to unfold. But the audience is glued to the screen. For Fanaa is a fabulous Hindi film. The plot, of course, changes after that; but not the audience. The audience remains mesmerised for another hour and a half to the very end… which is amazingly similar to the 1981 Donald Sutherland and Kate Nelligan starring film, ‘Eye of the Needle’, of Ken Follett’s famous WWII book.

But this hardly matters. The formula Hindi-film seduction is now complete. Fanaa has become a super-hit.


ichatteralot said...

Well movies are about fantasy and imaginations running wild. Its about getting away from the dreary day to day life...

runawaysun said...

Point taken. Perhaps I expect too much from Hindi films. I believe all Hindi films don’t have to fit this formula of absurdity. ‘Rang De Basanti’ proved that it doesn’t have to – and yet be entertaining, besides being a big hit. Shekhar Kapoor’s ‘Masoom’ was another wonderful film.

Are Indian movies true reflections of Indian life, as movies are supposed to be? Or, has Hind-film-absurdity now become an integral part of our lives? Have we resigned ourselves to absurdity because that’s all that’s dished out to us day after day?

Half the plot of ‘Fanaa’ is a copy of ‘Eye of the Needle’ – a film really worth watching.