Written by Shibani Bathija
Directed by Kunal Kohli
Running Time: 2:45
Fanaa featured two talented actors in a film that missed the mark almost completely.
***SPOILERS - It is almost impossible to tell the story without giving away a major plot point - SPOILERS***
Zooni is a blind girl who is unsure if she'll ever find love. Rehan is a tour guide who happens to love all women. They find each other and soon fall for each other. But on the day Zooni gets an operation to regain her sight, Rehan is killed in a bombing. Or is he? As it turns out, Rehan is not who he says he is. He's actually a Kashmiri militant whose goal is an independent Kashmir, through whatever means necessary. Years pass and Zooni is living in the middle of nowhere with her son and her father. Through random chance, Rehan is injured during a mission and ends up on Zooni's doorstep. Since she had never seen him before, she doesn't realize who he is. They fall in love again and Rehan reveals himself to Zooni. But he still has his mission, which would involve a plot to set of a nuclear bomb over Pakistan and/or India. Zooni must decide which is more important; love, or saving the world.
Bollywood films can be sort of hit and miss. Some of them are rather entertaining, and then there are films like Fanaa, which are made without much thought. They take two big stars, including Kajol who hasn't appeared on screen in years, and throw them on screen and formulate a story around them. Whether the story makes sense is an afterthought. The first half of the movie, while Zooni is blind, was typically long and boring. Yes, they like each other, we get the point. While there is never any real reason for why Rehan would like Zooni (because she's blind and therefore, likely untouched?) we accept that he likes her, because she's Kajol. Zooni likes Rehan obviously, because a guy has never liked her before, so why not. The fact that they end up in bed together is a whole other issue. I will admit, I did not see the plot twist coming too far in advance, so that was a nice touch. But then the movie heads off in another direction for about 20-30 minutes.
It starts as a love story, then turns into a spy story with Rehan becoming a sort of anti-James Bond. He's infiltrated the military, riding snow mobiles while getting shot and shooting down helicopters. And after a lengthy action sequence, it once again turns into a love story, as a now sighted Zooni takes Rehan to tend to his wounds. Oh yes, and of course there is the son they have together. A son, also named Rehan, who has the strange quirk of referring to himself in the third person. I have no idea what the point of that was. Anyway, then the two leads start to fall for each other when Rehan (the elder) announces who he really is. Zooni is upset, but forgives the fact the he disappeared for no reason. She then also seems to still love the man who took advantage of her while she was blind, after she realizes he killed her father.
I guess the thing about Fanaa is, it just wasn't very entertaining. There was nothing in the movie that hadn't been done a thousand times before. The music wasn't very special, and certainly won't have a hit coming off of it. The actors are good - I've always been a fan of Aamir Khan - but there was really no one else but them to carry the film. And after a while, that wasn't enough. I'm not sure what would have made the movie better, beyond a complete overhaul. I never did figure out what side the filmmakers were taking on the whole independent Kashmir issue. Did they like the idea, just not the way the people in the film were going about doing it? Did they want India to have control? Pakistan? What was the ultimate point of the movie? I never did figure it out, but more importantly after a while, I stopped caring.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, Fanaa wasn't one of the good Bollywood films of recent years. The actors are good, and the plot twist was interesting, but considering it took place less than halfway through the film, there was a lot more time to fill and nothing worthwhile to fill it with. The bottom line is, there is nothing memorable about Fanaa.
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