THE FAKIR OF VENICE movie review is here. If everything would have gone in their favour, THE FAKIR OF VENICE could have been Farhan Akhtar’s debut as an actor before things started to ROCK ON for the actor, singer and filmmaker. The movie has finally seen the light after ten years and has had a reasonable run at film festivals. Let’s find out how is the debut of Farhan Akhtar as an actor and Anand Surapur as director in THE FAKIR OF VENICE movie review
What is THE FAKIR OF VENICE all about?
Interplay of characters, a debate on how real and fake art can be.
What is the plot/story of THE FAKIR OF VENICE?
Adi (Farhan Akhtar) is a production guy who can deliver anything on sets, from pink monkeys to white elephants. Adi is a fixer an Indo-Anglian who wishes to settle abroad and leave India. Adi gets the opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful cities in the world Venice through an Italian art gallery for a requirement of an Indian sadhu (saint/sage) for an exhibition in Venice. Adi hunts for his sadhu takes him to the ghats of Varanasi to the beaches of Mumbai here he meets a less privileged and victim of communal violence Sattar (Annu Kapoor) who has the unique ‘art’ of burying himself in sand for hours – a feat impossible for normal human beings. A plan is made and a deal is struck. What follows is interplay of perceptive, a conflict of ideas, between these two different individuals representing different worlds, united by need and greed and how these two characters learn from each other.
Anand Surapur’s movie even after ten years seems apt in its concept. The brilliant Cannes Palme d'Or (2017) knock out THE SQUARE by Ruben Ostlund’s showcased the mockery of art in today’s world had some seeds of this idea which got brilliantly explored and it penetrated into other levels as well. Anand Surapur’s THE FAKIR OF VENICE is interesting and paradoxically quirky in its title. A smart one which acts a metaphor somewhere that reminds of William Shakespeare ‘s THE MERCHANT OF VENICE which has nothing much to do with the masterpiece, but helps in changing the perception as the movie ends. The intelligence in commenting on the adage that certain art needs to be explained is smartly used. Farhan Akhtar fits perfectly in the role of Adi and Annu Kapoor gives another example of his brilliance.
Right in the middle, the writer Rajesh Devraj and director Anand Surapur struggle to maintain the satirical hook and start searching for the ‘fix’ like the character of Annu Kapoor who goes mad for his craving for alcohol. The picturesque paradise of Venice is hardly explored, budget might be the constrain but it harms the concept as it stops the forming of layers. The idea could have travelled further and commented on religion, spirituality as well but it seems to be happy in showing the conflict between Adi and Sattar. The popular 90’s veejay model Kamal Sidhu is wasted.
THE FAKIR OF VENICE may not have been able to exploit the universal appeal it had in its concept – the debate on how fake and real art can be with an insight on humanity, religion and spirituality. Anand Surapur sticks to an interesting interplay of characters to say a story that can mostly appeal to the Indian niche audience and not the global aficionados worldwide. Still THE FAKIR OF VENICE which could have been the debut of Farhan Akhtar as an actor and Anand Surapur as a filmmaker is steady and assured in its believe which does opens the gate for a debate.