Banners: T-Series Films, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures, Anil Kapoor Film & Communication Network
Producers: Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Anil Kapoor, PS Bharathi, Rajiv Tandon, Kussum Arora, Rakeysh
Omprakash Mehra, Nishant Pitti, Virrendra Arora
Director: Atul Manjrekar
Cast: Anil Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao, Pihu Sand, Divya Dutta, Girish Kulkarni, Satish
Kaushik, Barbie Rajput
Writers: Atul Manjrekar, Hussain Dalal, Abbas Dalal
Music: Amit Trivedi
For a country that loves its music, we don’t see many films based on music and musicians. Fanney Khan is set to change all that. Atul Manjrekar makes his directorial debut with the film, which is the official adaptation of the Oscar-nominated Belgian film Everybody’s Famous!. The film stays true to the original in terms of the story, but there has been an effort to make it into an emotional melodrama.
Prashant Sharma aka Fanney Khan wants to vicariously live his dream of being a famous singer through his daughter Lata. ‘Main toh Mohd Rafi nahin ban saka, tujhe Lata zaroor banaunga’. This is the aspiration on which the entire film is based. But a society in which looks are more important than talent, Lata is subjected to words like ‘moti’ and ‘bhaari bharkam aawaz’. The fact that she is a wonderful singer is lost behind her appearance.
She finds a lot of encouragement from her mother, Kavita. Her father is her biggest fan but Lata doesn’t appreciate his love and attention. She looks at him as a failure and wants to do everything to not end up like Fanney Khan.
Lata worships Baby Singh, the top singer-performer in the country. She wants to dress like her, be a star like her. Though she loves her singing talent, faced with ridicule and rejection, Lata feels that it is all about appearances. Fanney decides that he will do anything to make his daughter a singing superstar. His chance encounter with Lata’s idol Baby Singh, changes the course of things. He kidnaps Baby with the help of his friend Adhir. Fanney hopes that Baby can help make Lata a singing superstar. Do things go as planned? That’s what the rest of the story is all about.
The film is well paced and engaging. The writing hits all the emotional notes in terms of the dialogue and scenes. But there are some aspects that are unsettling, for example, the relationship between Lata and her father Fanney. She is always at loggerheads with her dad and there is no explanation given as to why she is so angry with him all the time. A little bit about Fanney’s musical struggles would have also helped us connect with the character better. This being a music-driven film, the songs should have been at the forefront. But except for Tere jaisa tu hai, the others songs don’t impress much.
Performances-wise, Anil Kapoor captures the angst of a father well. In the emotional scenes, especially whenever his daughter rebukes him and in the climax scene, he makes an impact. Pihu Sand as Lata is a delight. She renders her character perfectly and in the climax she holds her own with Anil Kapoor.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is her best in the sweet and funny scenes with Adhir, played with aplomb by Rajkummar Rao. Rao proves that regardless of the length of the role, he will impress. As the simpleton who is taken advantage of by his girlfriend to finally becoming the guy who gets the girl, he leaves his mark in every dialogue and scene.
Divya Dutta is fantastic. Girish Kulkarni as Baby Singh’s scheming manager, Kakkad is delightful. Satish Kaushik as Fanney’s friend and Barbie Rajput as Lata’s friend are adequate.
Verdict: It’s a decent film but will find it tough to survive for long at the ticket counter.