When is a stable life stagnant? How do you recognise that you’re living in a trap of your own making? Ferdie discovered that the proposal he’d sent to the live of his life Stefani aka Fanny never reached her. He got the returned letter 47 years after he’d sent it. And he had never tried a second time. But he wasn’t the only one chained in, by or to their past. Everyone in this film is.
And so begins the road trip to find Fanny. After some subtle and not so subtle manipulation, Angelina (Deepika), gets the cast together in the run down car. To be fair, the script doesn’t need to do much from this point. I’d pay good money just to watch Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapur and Dimple sit and squirm in their characters. And then there’s Deepika. I suspect a lot more people will pay good money now. Alas, there’s also Arjun Kappor. (Just being nasty. He’s pretty serviceable)
Rather than revealing much more, I’d just say that there is a lot to like here. This is a concise film that doesn’t overstay its welcome. It paints a beautiful Goa, and it made me laugh and smile. Director Homi Adajania is back to doing what he does best: creating lovable eccentrics, bringing out laughs by surprising us, keeping the narrative tight and weird, and adding moments of real darkness amid all the hilarity. And he uses the music so well. I’ll be looking for a Portuguese track that played in the film.
The performances are transcendent. Naseer sa’ab wears his character with so much grace, he sometimes just disappears even though he’s in the frame. Dimple and Pankaj Kapur play over the top characters without getting shrill. And Deepika demonstrates why she’s at the top. Her character has the right balance of sentiment and practicalityIn one of her first scenes she says heartfelt and brief sorry to the chicken before she takes the first step in converting her to a delicious looking Chicken Vindaloo.
Ultimately, though this film is about freedom. Freedom from your past, your choices and your self constructed traps. Away from the stability, stagnation and decay. Looking for love, looking for meaning, looking for adventure.
I was apprehensive about this. I shouldn’t have been. This journey may not be cosy, but it is a ride.