India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Ferrari Ki Sawaari: Would you please hurry up?

June 15, 2012

Towards the end of Rajesh Mapuskar’s “Ferrari Ki Sawaari“, as the protagonist and his son are re-united and embrace each other, cry and wipe the tears off each other’s cheeks, an onlooker hesitantly asks “aap jaldi karenge zara?” (would you please hurry up?). It might sound like an insensitive thing to say, but perhaps that is what someone should have said to Mapuskar as he went about making this film.

Perhaps he might have restrained himself from writing a convoluted and at times contrived script that seems to stretch on for longer than its 2 hour 15 minute duration.

But Mapuskar seems hell-bent on extracting every last tear or making the audience go “awwww” every single minute, and borrows heavily from mentor Raju Hirani’s style of feel-good tear-jerkers. Unfortunately, he cannot pull it off quite as well as Hirani does.

Mapuskar has the germ of a good idea in the story — that of an earnest, hard-working father who wants the best for his son, but cannot always provide that, thanks to his middle-class existence. When Rusy’s son Kayo wants to participate in a cricket camp which will take him to the hallowed Lord’s cricket ground in London, he has to arrange 150,000 rupees (approximately $2700).

When a wedding planner who needs a Ferrari for a marriage in the family of a small-time politician offers Rusy the money if he can get her the car, he decides to take the plunge. Since the only person with a red Ferrari in Mumbai seems to be cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, who also happens to be his son’s idol, Rusy decides to try his luck.

Instead, through a twist in the tale, he finds himself with the keys of the car and no one to stop him as he drives away. As he realises later, things don’t always work out the way you want them to.

Mapuskar does manage to create some moments that will charm you, especially in the first half, even though you might grit your teeth at how goody two-shoes Sharman Joshi’s character is. His chemistry with Ritwik Sahore, who plays his son is spot-on. Sahore looks like a mini-Tendulkar at times and plays his part well enough.

But the movie wavers considerably towards the second half. Situations seem convoluted and completely unbelievable (The fact that Rusy cannot get even a personal loan in this day and age, or that the wedding of a small-time politician’s son is being shown live on national television). While Mapuskar could have told a simple story that might have tugged at the heartstrings, he chooses to try too hard, with the result that you don’t feel for any of the characters by the end of it.

The movie also highlights attitudes towards cricket in our country — where we respect cricketers more than the sport, where centuries mean more than the team winning and where a career in cricket means moneyand riches and a ticket out of a dreary middle-class existence. Towards the end, a character tells Rusy that when his  son plays for India, he will buy a Ferrari of his own. Ironic then, that the Ferrari used in the film is one that Tendulkar was gifted and doesn’t own anymore, having sold it off.

Of the cast, Sharman Joshi is perfectly suited as the meek but good-hearted father and Boman Irani once again plays a version of the crabby old man that he has perfected in many of Hirani’s films. Special mention for actor Nilesh Divekar, whose role as a no-nonsense local politician hits all the right notes and is one of the best things about the film.

“Ferrari ki Sawaari” could have been a better film, but as it stands, it is at best an average one. Go for it if you must.

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