Fanaa revisited

"To choose between right and wrong is simple, but what defines life is the decision between the greater of two goods or the lesser of two evils." -- Zooni Ali Baig

This last sentence of the film offers much to learn from, does it not? Revisited Fanaa (2006) last night. Talk about fantastic performances by two of the best ever! Definitely two of my all-time favorites, Aamir Khan and Kajol. The film also starred Rishi Kapoor, Kiron Kher, Tabu, Lara Dutta, Jaspal Bhatti, Master Ali Haji (remember the kid in Partner (2007)?), and a host of Kajol's friends, several of them capable of being future prospects in their own right (wasn't Shruti Seth as Fatty just fantastic?).

A few notes:

1. What dialogs throughout the film?!!! There isn't one in recent memory in which I recall such tremendous emphasis being on the delivery of the dialog. And what a cast that delivers!

2. There are few films that have a combination of an excellent plot, a great complementary soundtrack, and production results that made one feel as if they were indeed an extension of the setting (watch this on a wide-screen HDTV and you will understand me).

3. Add to that a cast including Aamir Khan, Kajol, Tabu, Rishi Kapoor and Kiron Kher, and you have an unrivaled surplus of talent.

4. Yes, I do believe that Aamir and Kajol together are better than Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. No doubts in my mind about that. Rehan and Zooni were absolutely fantastic together.

5. How stunning did Kajol look? Too good, cementing her status as easily one of the best. I was just glad to see her and Tabu in the same film, although Tabu's role was very minor in comparison.

6. Aamir Khan's acting, from Rehan to the terrorist, back to Rehan and the father, and ending with 'Rehan jitna aap se pyar karta hai, utna pyar aap Rehan se nahin karte'. Splendid.

7. How cool was Zeenat (played by Lara Dutta) in that one scene at the dhaba?

8. Rahul Dravid's name came up a few times in the film. Crazy to see how forgetful some of us can be, huh? Dravid was the best one year and in the next, half of India is glad to see him dropped. Ridiculous, and hardly even close to what Dravid deserved for his long-term service.

Overall, Fanaa was among the top three movies of 2006, if not among the top two (I would rank Rang De Basanti as the best of 2006). Kajol rightfully won all the awards she did, so clearly deserving them for her performance in the film. Aamir Khan, on the other hand, continued to be ignored, which does not bother him or his fans (including me), for we know that he has hardly anything to prove. As Shah Rukh Khan would say, Aamir's competition is only with Aamir himself. But Aamir has more class than that, so you won't hear him say that ever. Oh well.

Overall Rating: ****1/4 (EXCELLENT)
One of the best films of 2006, and easily one of Kajol's best performances, which is saying a lot, given her phenomenal track record). Aamir Khan's performance showcases his amazing versatility. Definitely recommend to those who have yet to watch this one.

Music Rating: **** (EXCELLENT)
Jatin-Lalit (music) and Prasoon Joshi (lyrics) are a heck of a duo. So are Sonu Nigam and Sunidhi Chauhan. Shaan steals it though with Chaand Sifarish, which must be the song of the year, based on the number of wedding videos from last year with that song as the title song!

My Classification: PG-13 (Only reason for this rating is the nature of the plot. However, most of the content is clean. Language is very clean.)


Anonymous said...

Wow, you've touched on nearly everything I love about this film!

First off, "Fanaa" was oh, probably my 7th Bollywood film, and I absolutely loved it! The dialouge had to be engaging for me at that point because I wasn't entirely accustomed (or completely in love with) Hindi films yet. But this one was an instant fave.

Kajol was the first performance I fell in love with in the first few scenes...up until we see Rehan fighting his growing feelings for Zooni(In the scene where she is almost hit by a car on their date). This was the first time I sat up and took notice of the amazing Aamir (and also, this was the first film I'd ever seen him in or even heard of him, for that matter). Aamir contined to steal the show for me, though this is not to take anything away from Kajol...she was awesome as well, quickly shooting to top of my short list of favorite actresses. But Aamir...oh, Aamir.(**SPOILER**) In the scene when Rehan reveals his identity to Zooni after all these years, I remarked out loud, "This is a very talented man. Wow." Then after that, when Zooni chases down Rehan in the snow after he is leaving the house, both of them had a mix of emotions running through my veins. They were just phenomenal. (***END SPOILER***).

As far as the chemistry goes, I think "Dekho Na" and even "Mere Haath Mein" display just how steamy this couple can be. I loved this pairing, but as I stated in my post, I thought it was very different than the SRK-Kajol chemistry. I go back and forth with it when comparing the two--When watching "Fanaa" I'd say hands down, Kajol and Aamir are the winners, but then I pop in "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" and I go, well, I don't know...But either way, Aamir and Kajol were outstanding in the romantic scenes as well. On "Koffee with Karan" Kajol remarked how different it was to "share space with Aamir" as opposed to "sharing space with Shahrukh"--saying it was like "north pole and south pole". I don't know what exactly she meant, but thought it was an interesting comment.

I didn't know who Tabu, Lara Dutta, Lilette Dubey and Rishi Kapoor were at the time I saw Fanaa, but all of them were so memorable that I instantly recognized them when I came back to them in my film watching.

Lara as Zeenat was an excellent choice! I thought she was so charming in a vixen-ish type of way. A memorable scene!

Agree that Kajol was looking more beautiful than ever (though I didn't have much to compare to at the time). Especially in "Mere Haath Mein",no?

I loved all the songs in the film and played the soundtrack on repeat for weeks after my first viewing. I still break it out occasionally. "Chand Sifarish" was a great intro, I thought. And the picturisation of "Mere Haath Mein" was one of my favorites, even now.

This is an excellent review on an excellent film, Bollywood Fan!:)

theBollywoodFan said...

Hi Nida: Thanks for your comments and wonderful notes. I really enjoyed your review at this link too!

Glad you enjoyed the film. That it was among the first few films you saw must've made it extra-special!

Agree about 'Dekho Na' and 'Mere Haath Mein'. LOL at the Kajol comment on Koffee with Karan. I haven't seen that episode, but will try to now.

(Aside: I think the biggest difference between Aamir and Shah Rukh is the approach they take to acting. Aamir is more of a thinker/preparer, and this guides the films he does and his acting.

Shah Rukh seems to rely on his gut feelings a lot more, and relies on the glitz and glamor quotient. This guides his films and acting.

I don't know if there's one right approach. They have both earned phenomenal success, which I think they thoroughly deserve. I just think Aamir's approach is more suited to the long-term. And given his work ethic and conviction, I cannot help but look upto him. We'll see how this fall goes for the two!)

The supporting cast was really very good in Fanaa, considering that most can run a film on their own.

And I agree with your thoughts on the music, and the picturizations. Beautifully done, and except that one tongue-twister, I liked all the songs, including the remixes.

Thanks again for stopping by! Take care.