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Fanney Khan  : Out Of Tune, Pretty Soon
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Friday, August 3, 2018
Atul Manjrekar
Anil Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao, Divya Dutta

One would think that a satirical comedy which went to the Oscars in the Best Foreign Film category would make a substantial watch. But director Atul Manjrekar’s remake of the 2002 Belgian film Everybody’s Famous! is like an outdated reality show.  


Factory worker Prashant who dreamt of becoming another Mohammed Rafi swears to bring up his daughter to be another Lata Mangeshkar. He even names her Lata. And voila, she grows up to be as gifted a singer as Prashant thought she’d be. He has an obsessive desire to turn Lata into a superstar.


A nice storyline that unfortunately goes off-key right away, chiefly due to two reasons. One, everything about it is over a decade old. The audience and the judgesbody-shaming and booting out a supremely gifted singer with time-worn taunts is not in sync with today’s world. Two, Prashant’s daughter Lata Sharma is an unpleasant, obnoxious character who does little to endear herself to anybody. It’s not about her obvious fat which her parents seem strangely oblivious to but her general dour and sour behaviour that puts one off. Incredibly and inexplicably rude to her affectionate father right from the word ‘go’, you wonder why Prashant takes it with the body language of a humiliated peon.


It’s the same with Adhir, his colleague from the factory, whose girlfriend treats him like a lowly employee.


It’s topped with the bizarre plot of Prashant kidnapping star singer Baby Singh and Adhir pitching in to help him. A decision to ask for ransom money turns into a demand that Prashant’s daughter be given a chance to make her debut as a singer. It finally plods to a climax where Baby Singh’s manager and the producer of a big reality show capitalise on her kidnapping to up their ratings.


Despite two names in the screenplay credits and two for dialogues, Atul Manjrekar’s film is neither comic nor captivating. There are actually last millennium dialogues like Baby Singh telling Adhir that she may be a star but people want to know only Baby Singh and not Sumitra which is her real name. You sigh with her only because it’s so tiresome.


Then there’s the old-world mother played by Divya Dutta who anxiously asks Lata just before she goes on stage if she had compromised in any way to get such a big chance. Was that the time and place to air her anxiety? Couldn’t she have done it at home much earlier? 


A film about singers and music also called for chartbusting numbers which Amit Trivedi doesn’t quite rustle up.


Even a romance between Baby Singh and Adhirlooks plasticky without chemistry. The only few seconds of fun are when Rajkummar as Adhir meets Baby Singh for the first time and he says he’s a big fan.


Verdict: To some extent, the film is saved by the presence of reliable Anil Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao. Unfortunately, their skills are not matched by thewriting and narration.


For a film that falls flat, Fanney Khan gets a 2* rating.


Direction: 2.5/5
Story: 2.5/5

Screenplay: 2.5/5
Dialogues: 1.5/5

Music: 2.5/5 


Reviewed by

Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author
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