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F.A.L.T.U.

With a title like F.A.L.T.U., you can’t really expect much, can you? Encouraging you to enter the auditorium with zero expectations is where the film scores. When you leave, you’re guaranteed to emerge with a smile.

The basic premise of F.A.L.T.U. is faintly reminiscent of the moderately successful Hollywood film, Accepted (2006). But as long as you’re not looking for anything faintly cerebral, you’re guaranteed to be entertained.

Though the proceedings are enjoyable – except for the chunk post-interval and pre-climax – you can’t help but feel that had the film not been written by so many people, the outcome would have been much better. But even though this is a classic case of too many cooks, this film still manages to serve up an enjoyable fare.

F.A.L.T.U. is a take on the educational system but it’s far from preachy. It tells the story of a group of friends who are considered, well, faltu. Due to their pitiable grades, Jackky Bhagnani, Puja Gupta and Angad Bedi don’t get admission in college. So, with the help of Arshad Warsi and Riteish Deshmukh, the group opens a university – Fakirchand and Lakirchand Trust University. Every F.A.L.T.U. student believes in having a good time but Jackky tries to change all that. How he manages to do this with the help of his friends, forms the crux of the film.

Apart from having too many writers, the makers have also taken too many cinematic liberties. If the basic idea of losers starting a university is difficult to digest, the way it is projected deserves applause. Since the film is a fun ride and aimed at the youth, you tend to overlook the loopholes in the screenplay.

There are a lot of things you are willing to overlook, like why parents would send their kids to F.A.L.T.U. and what they’re up to. Jackky’s sudden realisation about life is unconvincing. And although Riteish and Arshad are student mentors, they have very little to do. Sure, they make their presence felt but they fail to come up with any solutions.

Also, some more dialogue-baazi between Arshad and Riteish would have injected more humour into the goings on. Then, the students claim they had enrolled with the university via its website and that they had paid the fee. Who collected the money? Where did the money go? Also, where are they getting so much money, to live their lives and to party? Though you enjoy the film, it’s hard to shake off these questions. One more thing. The video interviews make you feel the film is venturing into documentary territory and it gets a tad preachy.

However, the major highlight of the film is definitely its foot-tapping songs and energetic choreography. These two elements alone make it a fun ride. The film starts well and it picks up pace immediately. But the momentum drops post-interval, when it begins to drag. However, the song sequence at the pre-climax is outstanding. So if post-interval, you start losing interest, the pre-climax song makes you fall in love with the film all over again!  Though Jackky Bhagnani is playing the leading man, the other three actors have been given equal screen time.

Director Remo D’Souza (he’s already made a Bengali film earlier) makes a confident debut as far as Hindi commercial cinema is concerned. His goal seems to be, entertain the audience and make a paisa vasool film. And he succeeds. Also, his choreography (especially the final song) is outstanding and a major highlight of the film. This film is a treat for music lovers, especially the youth. Four songs deserve mention – Bhoot aaya, Chaar baj gaye, Fully faltu and Le ja tu mujhe. Cinematography is fantastic.

Performance-wise, it is difficult to say who’s better among the three young boys. Jackky looks confident in his second release and he delivers a captivating performance. Chandan Roy Sanyal is fantastic. Angad Bedi is very funny and is very good. Puja Gupta is all right. Riteish Deshmukh as the university principal is outstanding. Arshad Warsi is superb. Akbar Khan is all right. Darshan Jariwala makes an impact. The others lend adequate support.

Verdict: The film has taken a good opening and judging by the response, it will prove to be a safe bet at the ticket window. Word-of-mouth will help boost business further.

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