10 May 2009

Confession No. 4



Yes, I loved Fanaa. It blew me away. It was one of the very first Bollywood films I ever saw, and I had never heard of the Hindi film masala format where a light-hearted romp with a naïve(ish) blind girl on vacation with her friends and a scarf-wearing rascal(ish) tour guide could suddenly turn into an action drama of the type it turned into, namely

[SPOILER ALERT - highlight the blank space to see]


a terrorism action drama, with the romantic hero of the first half becoming the villain of the second half; or if not the villain, then at least a conflicted bomber-type person in love.

What? Who knew that was going to happen? Obviously not me.


I saw the movie in the theatre, so there was a proper fifteen-minute intermission, and I can still remember how boggled I was at the turn it took right before the end of the first half (as well as how the intermission chai and samosas tasted, too, mmm. I can smell the cardamom now).  Maybe it's just me and I am an idiot about not paying attention to what's going to happen next; I can usually be easily surprised at plot twists in films because I like to let the movie happen without trying to think too far ahead about how it will come out. And maybe if I had seen other films like it before, I would have had some idea what was coming, but at any rate, I was not prepared.

Oddly enough, though, I was prepared in one tiny area: I had seen the website of the film, which was quite fancy and high-end (lots of Flash) in preparation for seeing the movie, and it drilled the soundtrack into my head. And I also somehow knew that this film was Kajol's big comeback after six years away from films to have children (even though I didn't have any previous knowledge of who Kajol really was)

Fanaa 1 Kajol

and that the buzz was that Aamir Khan was thought to be a little too old to be playing that particular hero, or not as good-looking as he would have been several years earlier (I don't know, I didn't see any problem at the time, but now I can kind of see their point, sort of).

Fanaa 2 Aamir Khan


My experience with Bollywood/Indian films up to that point consisted of Monsoon Wedding, Bride and Prejudice, and a couple of Aishwarya films, neither of which had the clearly enormous budget that had been lavished on Fanaa. The fancy movie website! The "Des Rangeela" dance number in the outdoor amphitheatre with the packed audience! That huge beautiful cabin in the mountains! I was totally smitten. And boggled.   


  1. Hi Cheryl! Its Nida from the "South Asian Cinema Society" ;)

    I have my own confession to make--I loovved "Fanaa" too. The plot twists, though perhaps a tad cliched, were deliciously fun. This was my very first Aamir Khan film, too. And its funny--I didn't find him attractive at all in the first half, but thought he was hot in the second and have had a crush on him ever since. :)

    You said you saw this in the theaters? Is it still playing (in India?), or was this awhile ago?

  2. Hi Nida!
    I saw it when it first came out (I think it was 2006). There used to be an organizer who would bring a one-time showing of a new Bollywood movie to my local art-house theatre every once in a while, but I think they've stopped because it was too complicated and/or expensive for them to keep doing it. I really wish they would bring it back.

  3. Hi Spygirl! First time checking out your site - not sure why, it's great! I'll have to add you to my blogroll. Anyway, I also really enjoyed Fanaa and was surprised by the twist. The only other Aamir film I'd seen prior was Taare Zameen Par, which was fantastic, but this one solidified it for me! Also, I totally agree with Nida about Aamir's looks. I think, though, that his in an unconventional look that tends to grow on you more and more with each film.

    Anyway, I'm going to go check out more cool stuff on your blog. Have a great day!

  4. Hey, thanks, Shell! I don't have my own internet access so I don't post that often, but I try to keep up with it.
    I think Aamir looks better in some movies than others and Fanaa probably wasn't his best, but I still liked him. I really liked Taare Zameen Par too. But his clown getup in that one scene was kind of freaky, I have to say.

  5. Its funny how the two actors in the film have changed with time. As one who spent my teenage years crushing over Aamir and disliking Kajol, I've now done a 180 degrees to finding the latter quite pretty (I actually wanted Kajol's skirts from this film - and I've never been impressed with her fashion sense) while I can no longer see Aamir's charm!

    I liked parts of Fanaa - the songs and the part where Aamir and Kajol meet for the second time (soooo romantic) - but the twist in the end was just too melodramatic and un-engaging and pretty much destroyed the rest of the movie for me.

  6. i fine kjol should have look 4 a better looking husband she is too nice for him