A 1990s orchestra singer, now on the wrong side of 50, seeks recompense for his failure to make it big. He is willing to go to any length to help his only daughter attain stardom. The girl has a fine voice but she doesn't possess the body type of a pop diva. "Dekha hai apne ko mirror mein kabhi," she is frequently asked. So much so that she herself begins to believe that popular music these days is more about seeing than hearing and that "it is all about styling".
So, for both the fat-shamed girl and her out-of-work father, a life-changing opening is a castle in the air. That is the narrative kernel of Fanney Khan, officially adapted from the Belgian hit Everybody's Famous! (2000) and given the spin of a Bollywood musical that upends the established notions of showbiz success.
Portions of Fanney Khan are a bit of a stretch: they are a touch flabby and far-fetched. But first-time director Atul Manjrekar not only keeps the dramatic core of the story intact, he also ramps it up appreciably to serve up an indigenized version that more than serves its purpose.
Of course, the film's flights of fancy do demand a willing suspension of disbelief. What undermines Fanney Khan is its inability to tap to the fullest the universal emotions inherent in the father-daughter relationship. The worldviews of the two clash frequently and the daughter sees her dad's earnest enthusiasm as more irr...