Sunday, 14 September 2014

Finding Fanny (2014)

I would state that it is an unfortunate title but I also get the feeling the film-makers know exactly what they're doing with it (as a double entendre). Indeed, if you took away the bit about some guy looking for his ex-lover (called Stefanie Fernandes - nick-named 'Fanny'), the title still kind of fits.

Moving on... 'Finding Fanny' is, as briefly mentioned, about a guy looking for his old lover. This is after he finds out a letter he sent to her over forty years ago was never received. He is encouraged by a local girl, Angie, to go out and seek her. And so a road trip commences as we follow this dysfunctional group (also consisting of a bossy woman, a pervy artist, and a stroppy friend of Angie's) as they head to their destination. Only things don't go as smoothly as they'd hope.

It's an Indian film but one that is almost entirely in English (as in 99%, thankfully. The subtitles didn't seem to be functioning properly, so having it mostly in Hindi would have been awkward). It also, unlike other Indian films I've seen at the cinema, under two hours (it's 100 minutes) and doesn't include any random song and dance scenes. In fact, this came off as a generally assured film that doesn't indulge itself with much irrelevant padding. I didn't know too much about the film going into it (other than basic plot details, etc) and was surprised (in a good way) to get what I did (I was expecting something worse).

The film appears to be, predominantly, a comedy with brief bits where it'll cut to romance or drama. The drama was the generic stuff you'd expect from this kind of road-trip film (with some meaningless preaching on love and life thrown in) and the romance was inevitable and forgettable. However, the comedy did work from time to time. Some came across as too forced, obvious, or not handled carefully enough but there were some funny moments (some silly, some darkly comic, some both). I suppose it helps when you go in expecting some soppy, pathetic romance film (that was the impression I got looking at plot details) and you get something more preferable.

Yet the 100 minute runtime does feel a little long. The film dips into dullness a little too frequently, usually during times when I think there is narrative aimlessness parading as character exploration. However, there was enough in the film to keep me surprisingly occupied.

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