Few hours away …
Update: First day first show is something special…no matter how the movie is..
Photography is too good. Background score & costume design closely follows. The new kid is cute. And, of course, there is Kads above all 🙂
But the final product is anything one can expect a Bollywood-YashRaj to churn out. Can’t believe Kajol believed the script was so out of the world to make it the choice to break the sabbatical…anyways, no one is complaining.
These are the first impressions…now back to work…will be back if time permits…. Subanallah…..

Update: Review

After mulling over it again and after getting over the initial reactions, my views about the film are still unchanged. It is not a superlative film and does not do any better than an average bollywood one.

After the success of the debut directorial effort, Kunal Kohli, falls flat on his face on the second one. His dialogues too were uncanny and he better save it for some experts in his next attempt.

Flaws in script are plenty and are unconvincing. Be it all-prepared-parents for a Shehzada (as if they had already seen the movie), immediatlely falling in love, a tiring second half[just after the screen flashes after 7 years I had guessed the rest of the film], a nagging “trigger”[have begun to hate the word…such a pitiable excuse?…could he not think of a stronger mission/ ideal ?], old book stylish drama, inconsistent flow, not at all impressive dialogues including bad taste supposed-to-be jokes (student biting ?? of teacher, kid choosing to make Rahul Dravid his father), meaningless characters(like wasted Tabu), the length etc etc. [There is advt of LG-Tataindicom phone but that can be noticed only by a clear observer!]

But there are few good things as well. Cinematography by Ravi K Chandran is one. Background score another. Child actor Ali Hajji is fine. I felt the pair of Aamir-Kajol was quite good(I mean to say, not much damage done as SRK fans will claim to…but yes, in one song I almost saw SRK instead of Aamir!). Aamir Khan does well in few parts (but is overshadowed by Kajol in others!). But there are two good reasons to watch the film – Kajol and Kajol.

She, in a role that was easy to make a mess of, breathes life, makes it natural and convincing. Her screen presence is to be seen to belive and easily overshadows Aamir. From a bubbly-jovial-all-happy-blind-girl to a mother-widow and unforgiving wife she carries it off with aplomb and ease. Add to that, her picture-perfect looks, colourful dresses – what more a fan can ask for.[I had just hoped she does not need to cry a lot and Kunal Kohli has oblized! First half is a treat anyways!]

After watching every recent movie of hers, I feel more and more convinced that even if I had entered the hall being a non-fan, there is no way to come out of the hall in the same state. If you dont believe me, check out every other reviews in the town! Her charm, screen presence, beauty and of course acting is mind boggling and it is a pity that she self-imposed a hiatus and that there is no news about her next movie.

After having turned down offers from her close buddies (like Karan Johar), if she had finally accepted the offer, it had to be a good and “different” script. Or so it was told. I entered with curiousity as to see what has made the script so special. But exited with disappointment.

It is getting undue attention due to controversies(1, 2 sorrounding it. It is watchable once. Or twice, if you are like me, a Kajol’s fan 🙂

[For all I know, this can become a boxoffice super grosser…for I did not have high views of KKHH or K3G either.]

Khaled reviews here and you can see that my views more and more subscribe to his rather than the sugar coated one at Rediff. But this one is quite ok!

Now let me address few media raised questions. “Can Kajol match Rani”..Of course this was keeping in mind that Rani played blind. Our Kajol’s character gets intelligent and “opens her eyes” (pun unintended) and does away with blindness just before the interval with a surgery! Competition over, ha!! Fun apart, it is highly unfair to compare two different roles. One can compare only if there is a remake. And to compare any contemporary actress with Kajol is unfair…Kajol was/is miles ahead of her closest competitor! And there has not been any role that has managed to do justice to her talent. Rani got lucky.(And that too, she would not have, if Kajol had not quit the arena…SLB had a soft corner for Kajol from beginning and he had apparantely offered Khamoshi to her and for HDDCS as he himself accepted, Kajol was his first choice.)

Another one asked “Can Kajol recreate the magic she created with DDLJ”. Huh! Where is the need to “recreate” it when we havent come out of her magic itself !! Fun apart, to recreate the magic you need a strong script, my friend. And apart from BigB who gets role written “for” him, nobody has been able to “recreate” the magic. But that too after a dark patch during which he appeared “lost”.

But Kajol is as flawless and as easy as if her previous movie was done just yesterday and not 5 years ago. Breathing life into a character that, to be fair, had not much to challenge an actress but was enough to be flawed if left unattended to.

How I wish she gets a completely author backed role written “for” her. SLB, are you listening ?

PS: Looking at previous posts, there has been mostly movie talk…which is not a good sign…I feel I should take a break from watching. Post Da Vinci, I plan to take a sabbatical 🙂

Update (Final!):
More thoughts
When I think of the title Fanaa as destroyed in love, I am immediately reminded of Gangster which was better suitable for the title.

On screen Chemistry:
Lot has been talked about SRK-Kads on screen chemistry. So I had naturally expected SRK fans to complain about no-chemistry of Aamir Khan and Kajol in Fanaa.

I personally believe that on screen chemistry is a hyped subjective concept. The great proof is totally contradicting opinions about Aamir-Kads chemistry. Yeah, certain level of comfort between the actors always show on the screen but then the best actors’ job is to make things look natural on screen. In that respect, Kads and Aamir gel completely well and co-operate finely on screen. All those who are whining about no-chemistry between this pair are either SRK fans (who are plain jealous!) or had decided that this pair lacks chemistry even before entering the hall. People see what they want to see!

Traces of other movies:
Dil se / Fiza
And sadly even this did not completely utilise the buildup!

Though initially I was not very impressed with the songs, after seeing the movie (greatly due to picturisation) and after repeated hearing of the songs, I liked quite a few songs. Also when I realize that this is going to be the last movie for the “Jatin-Lalit” pair (though they will continue to compose separately), I feel bad to be missing them. One more trivia is that the “whistle” (in Subahnalla song) is from Nagesh Surve – can you believe that he is the only whistler for Bollywood from almost 35 years ? Including Soudagar (Ilu Ilu) to DDLJ,KKHH and what not, he has lent his sound (whistling!) to almost 1400 films!

My favorite songs in Fanaa are (except last, all on same rank) :
Destroyed in Love (Lounge Mix): This is a beautiful musical blend of Dekho Na and Mere Haath Mein. I feel this symbolizes “Jatin-Lalit” blend.
Chand Sifarish (For picturisation, whistle and Kailash Kher’s Subahnalla…)
Des Rangila (Had not liked this before watching movie ;-). Colourful and patriotic !
Mere Haath Mein : Super romantic; Mohabbatein flowers and Kads in red saree!
Chanda Chamke: Playing in snow! By the way, did anyone notice that this is a repeat song from Hum Tum – Yaara yaara (Don’t remember if it was shot in movie or not).

Scenes I liked : (In no particular order)
Antakshari – I felt this singing of Kajol and Aamir are better than they have sung in songs (which was news!)
Rose petal – Oh so sweet… feel like doing to someone 🙂
Rehan carrying her … damn sweet… ditto
When Zooni says, “now you are afraid”, the look on Aamir’s face was the best scene from Aamir and is enough evidence of his insuperable talent.
Opening scene – saluting to wrong direction
Opening scene between the lead pair –“Andhi hai kya” “Haan dikta nahin hai kya?” 🙂
One tight slap to Rehan from Zooni.
Another lovely scene from Aamir is the look on his face and the way he falls when he knocks on her door years after.

And I liked it everytime when a meaningful old song was played in the background. They were infact better than few filmy shayiris.

Box office collections:
As I predicted earlier (above) (My predictions about box office collections and award winnings have been right most of the times! though I don’t understand the logic behind both of them), it has made quite a good collection on the opening week. And it might as well become biggest grosser of the year (Not to forget the competition from “Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna”). This is the Box Office stats for first week:

Yash Raj Films’ latest offering ‘FANAA’ creates history at the box office. ‘Fanaa’ is the highest grossing film on the first weekend, in the history of Indian films. Fanaa’s magic has spread all around the world. All India collections (4 days): Rs. 22.79 crore – highest ever first 4 days collections (These figures are without the film having released in the entire state of Gujarat) First 4 days Worldwide figures:
USA: US$ 900,000
UK: £ 414,835 (US $ 788,187)
Australia: US$ 94,713 (2nd highest opening ever for an Indian film)
Total OVERSEAS Gross (4 days): US$ 2007688 (INR 9.33 crore approx.)
Total INDIA Gross (4 days): Rs. 22.79 crores

Some reviews

Collection of Media reviews – Sarah – the owner of this site is the one whom I can give away the title as No.1 Kajol fan. Her energy and her time spent is unbelievable.
NaachGaana, A very neutral and somewhat excellent review there

Khaled Mohammed
Subash Jha
Rashmi Bhansal
Megha Murthy
Sudhish Kamath
Great Bong

I read loads of reviews on internet and in the group, when I got free time last week and I must say I had observed most of the points. So I am finally somewhat convinced that I do not write bad reviews .I till now hesitated that there is special qualification required to write good reviews. May be I need to put little time and effort on presentation.

But then, some of the reviews just made me look at it in a totally different view. Wonder how something ticks someone but fails to do that on others and realize that, that is why reviews are what they are – highly subjective 🙂

Final Verdict

All said and done, as I said in comments, movie is average except for Kajol and partly Aamir, if you ask me.I repeat, Fanaa is not a bad movie (we already had Veer Zaara) but is not a great movie either. A good chance wasted. But then, as someone said, it has its moments and it might even trigger a financial and awarding success to those involved.

And to end the post and to celebrate, here are the shayiris:

Bul karke bhi humse koi bhul hui ho to,
Bhul samjkar use bhla dena,
Lekin bhulana sirf Bhul ko,
Galti se bhi Hume na Bhulana.

Humse dur jao ge kaise,
Dilse hume bhulaoge kaise,
Hum to khushbu hai jo sanso me baste hai,
khud ki sanso ko rok paonge kaise.

Baithe hai hotho ko si kar,
pachtayengi aap,
Ishq jag uthta hai akshar,
Aisi khamosi ke bad

Dard se aankhe char kar lenge,
Hum odti me imtiha de denge,
Teri dosti ke khatir Ae DOST,
Hum bhi dushman se pyar kar lenge.

Insan ki khwaish ki koi imtiha nahi,
Do guj jamin chahi ye Do guj Kafan ke baad.

Tumhari Khubsurti ne Khuda se eik khata kara di,
kahi khud se nazar na lag jaye, is liye tumhe Nazar na Di.

Tere Dil Me Meri Sanso Ko PANAH Mil Jaye,
Tere Ishq Me Meri Ja FANNA Ho Jaye.

E Khuda Aaj Ye Faisla Karde,
Use Mera ya Mujhe Uska Karde.
Bahut Dukh Sahe He Maine,
Koi Khusi Ab Toh Muqadar Karde.
Bahot Muskil Lagta Hai Usse Duur Rehna,
Judai Ke Safar Ko Kum Karde.
Jitna Duur Chale Gaye Woh Mujhse,
Use Utna Kareeb Karde.
Nahi Likha Agar Nasib Me Uska Naam,
To Khatam Kar Ye Zindagi aur Mujhe FANAA Karde.

Tere Dile mein meri saanson ko panah mil jaaye Tere Ishq mein meri Jaan Fanaa Ho jaayea.

Ankhen to pyar me dilki zuban hoti hai,
sachi chahat to sada bezuban hoti hai,
pyar mai dard bhi mile to kya gabrana,
suna hai dard se chahat aur jawan hoti hai….

Phool hun Gulaab kaa
Chameli ka mat samjhnaa
Aashiq hun aapkaa
Apni Saheli ka mat samjhnaa

Dur Humse Jaa Paoge Kaise,
Humko Bhool Paoge Kaise.
Hum Who Khushbu Jo Saanson Mein Utar Jaye, Khud Apni Saanxon Ko Rok Paoge Kaise..

Bekhudi Ki Zindagi Hum Jiya Nahi Karte,
Yun kisika ka Jaam Hum Piya Nahi Karte.
Unse Kehdo Mohabbat Ka Izhaar Aakar Khud Karein,
Yun Kisika Peecha Hum Nahin Karte

Rone de tu aaj hamako tu aankhe sujane de
Baho me lele aur khud ko bheeg jane de
Hai jo seene me quaid dariya wo chut jayega
Hai itana dard ki tera daman bheeg jayega.

tere dil mein meri saanson ko jagah mil jaaye
tere ishq mein meri jaan fanaa ho jaaye
adhoori saans thi dhadkan adhoori thi adhooren ham
magar ab chaand poora hain falak pe aur ab pooren hain ham

30 thoughts on “Fanaa

  1. Ravibhai, you have a kajol fixation and you should be banned from reviewing "kads" movies 😉

    This is not a review, this seems more like Kajol's comeback article, . I know that the darkest hour in you life would have been when she tied the knot with Devgun!!! (LOL)

    Jokes apart (before you dispatch assasins), I am still in a dilemma whether to watch it or not. What do you think considering that I am not a die hard fan of "Kads" (the lowest tickets are a pricey 150/- + popcorn + softdrink in Gurgaon)?

  2. bro.. the movies good.. kajol n aamir superb..
    but i guess i am not an avid movie watcher like u to know bout the flaws in the script!!! can i know more bout the flaws??

  3. Bro Rosh,
    Movie is average, if you ask me. The flow, predictability, intensity, treatment of characters/story, logic, captivity, narration, convincing – are some of the aesthetic points I consider when I like/dislike a movie. On technical front there are many points which I do not know ..what I look for is that there are no major guffaws (like Rishi Kapoor's death or Tabu wearing same jacket for 8 years) and logic (again). Dialogues, picturisation, songs etc again come in this bracket but I do not have the knowledge to conclusively say something is "wrong" but I can say I "liked" or "disliked" it.
    I could have taken some examples from the movie, why I felt it could have been done much better..but I shall suggest you to read other reviews from Professional Reviewers (links will be updated or mailed to you) and better writers than me.
    I repeat, Fanaa is not a bad movie (we already had Veer Zaara) but is not a great movie either. A good chance wasted.

    He he..true that I am head over heels about Kads…but make no mistake..this is the most impartial and neutral review you can get from a kads fan 🙂 …other fans are praising the movie too…my verdict was clearcut – movie is just average, but the lead pair (especially kajol) is too good. Check out other professional reviewers (and those who are NOT fans of Kajol) and they all share the same view (Khaled Mohammed – our guru, Rashmi Bhansal, Telegraph India, Hindustan Times etc etc). I shall send you links later…

    Since it started souding more Kads-talk rather than the movie, I hesitated to put on; Thought of streamlining and editing it, but no time 🙁

    Regarding your question whether it is worth the price….I would still say yes, you can watch once…because there is Kajol..remember not often do you get to see such a beautiful and talented actress going in full flow…her previous movie was 5 years ago and next one is not known…and to watch her overshadow the best actor in India…(and I would have said this even if I was not her fan 🙂 )..see any attempt to talk about movie will divert to that of let me stop here…do watch and let me know 🙂

    Am very khush that you share the same sentiments !! More thoughts were pending to come..let me see.

  4. bro i probably was confused bout "script" n "dialogues".. the dialogues r good but theres a lot left desired in other things, as u have said.. theres no logic in certain incidents..

  5. Zooni starts walking towards the road, Rehan grabs her by hand and pulls her out of the way of a speeding car. She confesses that she likes him and thinks this is might be the way to impress a him, the way girls in their teens do for their guys. Rehan is speechless…………..

    In the rickshaw, she places her hand on his chest and says "Now you are scared". He struggles for speech.

    She says goodbye and starts walking, then stops and turns back. He is still standing there, with a lump in his throat. The timeless classic by Lata Mangeshkar "Lag jaa gale, ke phir yeh haseen raat ho na ho….." plays on.

    Arguably these couple of scenes take Fanaa to an altogether different league, reminiscent of some of the classic romantic moments of Indian cinema. These scenes also empower the character of Zooni to such an extent that Rehan's charater is overshadowed (which gave the impression that Kajol overshadowed Aamir; I beg to differ) and also reminds us how great a performer Kajol is and how badly cinema has missed her. Well, thats the browny point Fanaa earned, only to go ahead and make a royal mess of all that superb build-up post interval.

    Everyone knows the story by now, lets get into the nitty-gritties.
    The ups:
    Aamir – Nobody loses his/her heart to the Rehan's character, not just because it has grey shades, but the very fact that its a poorly etched character. I still feel that only Aamir could have pulled off this difficult act as getting into the character that had so much volatility like the Sensex was a tough job. And still showcasing his usual best, knowing the fact that at the end of the day Kajol would be on the drivers seat and walk away with much of the accolades, requires a special mention.

    Kajol – A tailor made role, the perfect comeback vehicle? Well, she rocks as Zooni. A character whom the audience will relate to and equally love and she couldnt have asked for more. She looks beautiful and acts with style. All said and done, its not fair to compare Aamir and Kajol's performance, both are powerhouses of talent and winners in their own right. This time she gets a better role, that's it.

    The onscreen chemistry – It was amazing, a real treat to watch. Take both of them away and Fanaa sinks deep. Shahrukh, watch out!!!:-D

    Rishi Kapoor and Kirron Kher were too good and so was Sharad Saxena.

    Music – Its sad to know that this was Jatin-Lalit's last movie as a music director duo. The guys who gave us some timeless hits (who can forget "pehla nasha") has called it splits. Their swan song is nevertheless rich in content. "Chand Sifarish" is one of the best songs of the year (reminded me of "kehna hi kya' from Bombay), absolutely rocking. The title track is another winner. Prasoon Joshi has penned some great lyrics (thank god, he didnt make a mess out of good songs like the way he did for "paathshaala")

    Background score – haunting and adds a lot of punch to the scenes. Dialogues and shayaris, are good, though at times "filmy".

    Cinematography and visuals are a treat to watch, the detailing was good (Aamir's wounds were visible till the end) but passing off Poland as Kashmir was, well ……..

    The downs:
    Kunal Kohli – He must be feeling at home after returning back to his "Mujhse Dosti Karoge" roots! All the textbooks on direction were flung out of the window after intermission. What was the reason to stretch the movie beyond the comfort levels and worse, adding songs at the wrong places and time to kill the remaining patience? I wont say that the first half was great (barring a few scenes) with a very "filmy" touch given to the proceedings, nevertheless enjoyable.

    The transition from a fun movie to a serious one was done in a very sketchy way, with Aamir Khan asked to do everything from a:

    1.flirty shayar
    2.confused guy stuck between love and duty
    3.Ethan Hunt (a la MI:2)
    4.Soldier/ villain
    5.unemotional father
    6.At last point no: 2 revisited

    Talented actors like Satish Shah, Shiney Ahuja and Tabu are totally wasted.

    To wrap it up:
    Fanaa could have been a "watchable" film with some crisp editing and a smoother flow. It banks heavily on the performances of the lead pair thus exposing its weakness with content, script and direction. Take the stars, the glitter and the hype away and this is "fun-naa".

    -Arun (As posted on

  6. Rosh,
    Glad you got !
    Good review…ur best so far I feel.

    As told earlier, I have updated few links can check if interested.

  7. Dude…with that kind of review u can actually write a book on Fanaa …..I like Kajol but then I think ur in luv with Kajol…….I mean who on earth writes such big reviews and then actually goes through all the other reviews available on the net…….I am too stunned to say anything else….


  8. "After the success of the debut directorial effort, Kunal Kohli,…." thought his "mujhse dosti karoge" bombed bigtime.
    On an entirely different note, I expected something better from "chalo cinema" guy.

  9. Sarvadamana,
    I am wrong..I meant to say, "after success of HumTum…"
    Wrt to second comment, dont we know that it is easy to sit and criticize but it is a hell of a job to actually do it. Fiza was a classic example.

    Glad to see your comment…your site is beautiful.

  10. "dont we know that it is easy to sit and criticize but it is a hell of a job to actually do it…". exactly. kunal kohli should have known this 🙂

  11. I love this movie very much. Falling in love with Aamir and falling in love with Kajol too if I am a guy 🙂 Love the songs too … the songs keep playing inside my head ….

    I like reading your review especially the scenes that you like 🙂 I agree with you … I like the looks of Kajol and Aamir when they said "now you are afraid" It's so good !

  12. Sarvadamana,
    U R right
    Bombay Addict,
    Thanks. Sure will…I know it is helluva effort which is why I never sat down to do it even though I had planned to.
    Pradeep, it..yes entertaining. This film is a reviewer's/blogger's delight (next to Kisna and RDB of course!)

  13. :shock:a disastrous movie with cheap shairi and poor story.the movie is a huge shock for the fans of kajol n amir doesnt have any fan so wat goes for him.kunal n aditya advised to make a better film in future inspite of this fatigue.

  14. Hi …i'm looking for the song that was used as a background music while amir and kajol in fanna were traveling in car..any clue of that song? is that taken from an old movie ? I liked that and need that very much..I'll be very happy if someone would help me out ..thankz in advance..please email me…with info..@

  15. Aamir Kajol shared such rare chemistry – both are brilliant actors – they carry Fanaa on their 'above the rest' acting poweress – you are right.

    Try give Fanaa to Saif & Rani whom are probably the next best things Bollywood currently have in ACTING dept (well, there is Konkona, but still new) the film would have bombed faster than Thodi Pyar Thodi Magic!!