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FALTU  : Not quite faltu
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Friday, April 1, 2011
Remo D'Souza
Jackky Bhagnani, Pooja Gupta, Arshad Warsi, Riteish Deshmukh
Richie rich producer Vashu Bhagnani springs a surprise with his second attempt at turning son Jackky Bhagnani into a hero. Quite unlike this week’s tame-shame Game, FALTU takes on the education system in a breezy, irreverent manner that will connect with the young audience.

The plot: Goa beckons more enticingly than exams and that sets the tone for easygoing Ritesh (Jackky) and two of his pals, Pooja and Nanji (Pooja Gupta, Angad Bedi) who score somewhere at the bottom of the class and can’t get into any college. On the other hand, there’s brainy Vishnu (Chandan Roy Sanyal) whose successful upper crust dad (Akbar Khan) is a strict disciplinarian and isn’t over the moon that he has fetched only 94%. Vishnu naturally gets into the best college in town while his three backbencher friends drive their well-meaning parents to tears. That’s when a bright idea hits Ritesh. With the help of Googlebhai (Arshad Warsi) and Baajirao (Riteish Deshmukh), the friends set up FALTU, an acronym for Fakirchand And Lakeerchand Trust University. The fake college with a real-looking website which was begun as an eyewash to temporarily appease their parents, backfires on the group when real students who’ve been turned down elsewhere turn up, having enrolled online. Ritesh undergoes a change of heart and decides that his ambitions of becoming the next Mukesh Ambani will begin right here on this campus with practical training in management. Ritesh’s father (played with exemplary skill by Darshan Jariwala), a small-time businessman who picks up thrown-away rejects and restores them, gets it right when he discovers the truth about FALTU but backs his son for also picking up rejects and bringing out their true worth.

The good: Okay, laugh as much as you want but ALL the performances fit right in, from a pleasant  Ritesh (great dancing there, Jackky) to a brilliant Vishnu who finally stands up to his dad (take a bow, Chandan) and of course, Arshad Warsi and Riteish Deshmukh who are the veteran pillars out here. The first half is light and keeps you grinning and at least two numbers, ‘Char baj gaye’ and ‘Fully faltu’ (music: Sachin, Jigar) are youthfully animated. Choreographer Remo Fernandes sticks to a consistently linear script and his last winning dance item is brilliantly composed.

The bad: Fine, the whole film is a lift from the English film Accepted and the easily-forgiven stance by a Minister (Mithun Chakraborty) towards the illegal FALTU is too pat. Also, the last number on stage which is so well choreographed should have had a far more winning musical composition to make it memorable.

Overall: Don’t go looking for 3 Idiots just because this one too, is on strict parents, children’s true ambitions and the education system, and you won’t be disappointed with FALTU. Given its reasonable budget and Bhagnani’s marketing skills, FALTU will be money-back and more.
–    Bharathi S Pradhan

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