Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Fatso: Insipid slice of modern life
The modern Indian youth has it easy. Very easy. They party, they romance, and they make marriage plans without ever having to worry about their careers and how they would pay their bills. Or at least this is the version Bollywood has been trying to shove down our throats since “Dil Chahta Hai“.
Rajat Kapoor’s “Fatso” is no different. Nandini (Gul Panag) and Naveen (Purab Kohli) are an urban, handsome, young couple. They are also very modern. Their modernity is depicted through public displays of affection, sex before marriage and English dialogue.
They party, wear fashionable clothes and eat out at chic restaurants. But somehow, they never have to worry about money. For them, life is one smooth, work-less ride.
It’s also a very boring one — a word that more or less sums up the entire movie.
But our perfect couple’s relationship does hit a speed bump, when the carefree and athletic Naveen is killed in a road accident just before his marriage to Nandini. Unfortunately, authorities in the limbo between life and after-life have goofed up. It was not Naveen, but his best buddy, ‘fatso’ Sudeep (Ranvir Shorey) who was supposed to die in the crash. Naveen, whose body has already been cremated, is given a chance to return to earth via Sudeep’s body, so he can sort his love life.
The on-screen couple’s chemistry is as smouldering as a doorknob and the dialogues, especially the ones in English, are stilted. The story, which seems loosely inspired from the American TV series “Drop Dead Diva“, is insipid and unfocussed.
Gul Panag’s expression remains unchanged through joy or sorrow, and Kohli is cute but fails to gain the audience’s empathy. Shorey is the only saving grace in this flat, unexciting project. He effortlessly portrays the awkward, self-effacing ‘fatso’ — but the movie doesn’t really dwell on his obesity or its embarrassing implications, making the audience wonder why the film is named so.
Still, Shorey’s performance is not enough to instil life into “Fatso”, which even at 100 minutes seems long and drawn out. Even the life-after-death scenes, innovatively depicted like an Indian government office — the stereotypical bundles of files, never-ending queues, incompetent officials and chaos in general — fail to engage for long.
This one is strictly avoidable.