Fanney Khan: Anil Kapoor’s On-Screen Ageing Deserves a Fan Club


Fanney Khan: Anil Kapoor’s On-Screen Ageing Deserves a Fan Club

Illustration: Ahmed Sikander


tul Manjrekar’s Fanney Khan, an adaptation of the Oscar-nominated Belgian comedy, Everybody’s Famous!, inexplicably veers into a peculiar Secret Superstar meets Dangal territory. But neither does the film boast of an abusive, patriarchal father whose weekly hobby is breaking guitar strings nor is it splattered with any passive-aggressive wrestling.

Instead, Fanney Khan is a straightforward story about Prashant (Anil Kapoor), a factory worker and failed orchestra singer, whose singing ambitions are thwarted by the unfairness of life. Like Mahavir Phogat, Prashant is doubly determined to correct his failure through his daughter, who he names Lata with a touching hope. So he goes to desperate lengths, which include drugging and kidnapping a celebrity Baby Singh (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan doing another Sunehri) for a record deal, to ensure his daughter gets a shot at stardom. It’s a classic Indian parent trope that has been milked far too many times. Just like its predecessors, even Fanney Khan refuses to acknowledge the problem with parents dumping their unfulfilled expectations on their offsprings.