“ Genre: Bollywood / Theatrical Release: 2006 / Suitable for 12 years and over / Director: Kunal Kohli / Actors: Kajol, Aamir Khan, Tabu ... / DVD released 2006-07-17 at Prism Leisure Corporation / Features of the DVD: Colour, DVD-Video, Import, PAL „
Fanaa is a Bollywood (Hindi language) film which was released in 2006 starring two of Bollywood's big stars Aamir Khan and Kajol. The word Fanaa mean "annihilation" in Arabic.
The story revolves around Zooni who is a blind girl from Kashmir. Zooni is in Delhi with a group of friends without her family and meets Rehan who is their tour guide. He flirts shamelessly with her and she falls hard for him. She ends up having sex with him just the once before her parents arrive prepared to get her married to the man their blind daughter has fallen for. Zooni is operated on to regain her eyesight and news is received that Rehan has been killed in a terrorist bomb explosion. Unknown to Zooni and her family, Rehan is actually a terrorist and has decided to fake his own death to avoid hurting Zooni. Unfortunately he doesn't know that she's fallen pregnant. Seven years later he turns up on her doorstep seriously injured and gains entry to her home where she lives with her father and son, Rehan Jnr. What happens from then on is the story of Fanaa.
This was Kajol's first film after her 5 year hiatus from the film industry after getting married to the lovely Ajay Devgan. Kajol is a superb actress and her role in this film was no disappointment, proving that 5 years away from the industry had done nothing to diminish her acting prowess. She plays the role of sweet innocent Kashmiri girl turned single mother flawlessly which in turn put her firmly back on the map as one of Bollywood's finest actresses. Kajol won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress and the Zee Cine Award for Best Actor - Female.
Although I'm not a staunch fan of Aamir Khan personally I can't deny that he is a good actor. He really shows his ability to be versatile in this anti-hero role in Fanaa. I couldn't feel any empathy for most of his choices throughout the film to be honest. Terrorism is terrorism no matter how justified the terrorists make out their cause to be. The sorrow Zooni feels when she finds out her lover has been killed in a terrorist is the real sorrow that people feel when losing a loved one in an atrocity of this kind. The film doesn't glamorise terrorism. It's more of a love story in parts but also encompassing a crime thriller. The ending of the film was quite surprising but also quite satisfying for me personally.
Tabu appears as an intelligence agent out to capture Rehan and his cohorts. Tabu is another actress I have a lot of respect for and even though this was the first time I saw her in a role of this sort, I felt it suited her well. Rishi Kapoor, himself a big Bollywood star of the 70s through to the 90s appears as Kajol's father in a very amicable role.
I feel the leads were well suited in Fanaa, Kajol and Aamir Khan had extremely credible on screen chemistry which helped make this an even more watchable film. I can't say I found fault with any of the leads or supporting cast in the film.
Fanaa has a fabulous soundtrack with several of the songs becoming rather big hits. Chand Sifarish is a beautiful track by Shaan and Kailash Kher which has a memorable haunting melody. Mere Haath Mein is also a beautiful song by Sonu Nigam and Sunidhi Chauhan with voiceovers by Aamir Khan & Kajol. It's a lovely lullaby with a superb backing score. I also really enjoyed Dekho Na by Sonu Nigam and Sunidhi Chauhan and Chanda Chamke by Babul Supriyo and Mahalakshmi Iyer. I can't really say I disliked any of the songs in the film; they were all worth listening to again. Shaan won several awards for male playback with lyricist Prasoon Joshi collecting a few too.
The cinematography in Fanaa is by Ravi K Chandran and is so breath-taking that it made me want to visit Kashmir, even though I know it's a politically dangerous place to go to. The film was banned by Gujerat on release due to Khan having said some things that the Chief Minister took offence at. This was rather shocking as it shows that freedom of speech doesn't really apply in India. Khan didn't actually say anything offensive, in fact, he was supporting the rehabilitation of poor farmers but this made the whole state of Gujerat ban the film and when one brave theatre actually deigned to show it a protestor actually set himself alight in protest, dying of his burns a few days later.
Fanaa stars Aamir Khan and Kajol in the lead roles with Rishi Kapoor, Tabu, Kiron Kher, Shiney Ahuja, Satish Shah and Lara Dutta in supporting roles. The film was directed by Kunal Kohli, who directed other successful films such as Hum Tum, Mujhse Dosti Karoge. The story and screenplay were by Shibani Bathija with Yash Chopra producing the film. The music was by Salim Merchant, Jatin and Lalit Pandit. The film was released in 2006 with a run time of 170 minutes and a 12 certification.
The DVD is available from Amazon.co.uk and extras include film, scene selection, song selection and English subtitles but sadly no cast or crew interviews which would have been a nice inclusion.
My rating of Fanaa is top score of 5 out of 5.
Fanaa came in with huge expectations because:a. Aamir Khan and Kajol cast opposite each other for the very first time.b. Kunal Kohli had proved to be one of the better directors with Hum Tum couple of years back. I was very excited,as usual with any Aamir Khan starrer!
Fanaa tells the story of Zooni(Kajol),a blind girl who comes to Delhi for a few days where she meets their tour guide Rehan Khan(Aamir Khan). Rehan is the typical charmer you get to see in indian films or atleast thats how he looks like from the outside! Zooni's admiration and love grows for Rehan who succumbs to her love and stops her from leaving Delhi only to disappear a few days later right when Zooni undergoes an eye surgery.Zooni's world is shattered into bits as there was a reported bomb blast which killed Rehan. Fast forward a few years and it is Rehan who comes in to Zooni's doorstep,drenched in blood and found in an army uniform. So where was Rehan all this years?Will Zooni recognize Rehan since she never knew how he looked? What secret does Rehan hold? Why did he disappear? What was more important than living his life with his beloved Zooni?
The first half belongs to a more typical romantic genre,there are plenty of light moments which will make you laugh. The chemistry between Aamir and Kajol is visible from the very start. Delhi's visuals never looked more lovely and the first half couldn't have been more entertaining.
The second half is where the film really digs in. Personally I love the whole concept, it feels like it has transpassed the genre barrier and such a film has never been tried in india atleast. The chemistry between Aamir and Kajol is nothing short of magic. I can go on and on about the scenes they share inside the house; the director focusses on the two characters only and such fantastic actors deserve such screen importance! The film has a terrorism/crime angle which doesn't really work much because it seems a bit half baked. Yes, the film has a lot of commercial trappings and would have probably been a better film if the film was realistically pitched. But above all, the film has amazing emotional quotient and the fantastic performances from both the actors carry a lot of depth and intensity.
Fanaa can be criticised by many,some might say the script has loopholes but it is one such film which I enjoy watching every time. The fire between the two characters is worth watching several times! On that note I think I will start watching it again!