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Choices - to choose between right or wrong is simple, but what defines one's life is the decision between the greater of two goods or the lesser of two evils. This is the advice that Zooni Ali Beg (Kajol) receives from her father just as she is about to venture out into the world of her own for the very first time. Little does she know that these very words will shape her life. Zooni, a blind Kashmiri girl, meets Rehan Qadri (Aamir Khan), a local Delhi tour guide and an incorrigible flirt. Her friends warn her against this good-for-nothing roadside Romeo, but she chooses to ignore them. It is now her time to discover life and love. Is this really the right choice? Rehan is fascinated by Zooni and wants her to see life as it should be seen, in its many colours. He promises her that the time spent with him will be the most precious in all her life. Zooni sees Delhi, life and love like she never has before, because of Rehan. What Zooni doesn't know is that Rehan has another side of his ...Written by
Fanaa is like reading a 19th Century English Novel
Well, if you have had that experience you will know what I am talking about. The character of Zooni is straight out of Bronte sisters' romantic novels. The strong willed, intelligent girl out to meet her prince, the supportive mother, the mysterious and charming lover, the lonely house in the middle of nowhere, the retired colonel as the only family friend who sometimes comes and shares a drink with the father; it's all there.
Fanaa is one of the most intense romantic movies to have come out of Bollywood for a long time. Perhaps, since Silsila. The pairing of two of the best actors of our generation (maybe, perhaps of all time) needed a story just like Fanaa. You need to scratch the surface to reveal the passion of this unique love story.
The director, Kunal Kohli has exploited the potential of this pairing admirably. Look at the picturisation of the song 'Dekho Na'. The camera hardly seems to move away from the two faces. There are innumerable scenes in the film where just these two faces share the screen.It is hard to think of any other actors from the present who would be able to pull off such a form of narration. Ultimately, the film belongs to Zooni and Kajol comes out with her best performance to date. Rehan asks, "KOI KISISE ITNA PYAR KAISE KAR SAKTA HAI?" and it shows in Zooni's eyes. What a role to make a come back and what a performance to make a comeback! And Aamir never ceases to surprise. He holds his own in a story primarily about Zooni and complements her character brilliantly. His performance is so amazingly understated, and yet so powerful. Rehan is one of the most complex and difficult characters played by Aamir. And it's all about the characters of Rehan and Zooni, their ideals, their emotions, their dreams and their passion. It's really like reading a 19th century English novel. It is not easy to narrate a story this way in a mainstream film and this is where the narration stumbles. The scene where Rehan takes Zooni from the train and carries her in his arms looks very cliché and awfully out of place. The tag line '.....TERE ISHQ MEIN MERI JAAN FANAA HO JAYE' is repeated to death in the film. There have been some cinematic liberties taken in the screenplay, like Rehan infiltrating the Indian Army, Zooni fumbling with the radio transmitter and speaking to the right people. The Urdu couplets, although all very good, seem to hold back the flow a bit. Also, the discussion on the political history of Kashmir at the meeting of the Intelligence Heads seems a bit off track. A better place to put that discussion would have been a friendly chat between Rehan and Zulfi (Zooni's father)over a drink.
But these are minor skirmishes in a remarkable film. The story remains true to the title of the film and if you have a liking for 19th century English novels, you would simply love this one.
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