Film Name - The Fakir of Venice
Lead Cast - Farhan Akhtar, Anu Kapoor, Kamal Sidhu
Director - Anand Surapur
Producers - Oktober Films, Phat Phish Motion Pictures
Co-Producers - CrimsonCobalt Media
Music - A. R. Rahman
Background Scores - Michael Galasso, Mathias Duplessey
Length - 98 Minutes
Shoot forma - 35MM
Locations - Bombay, Banaras, Bhuj, Ladakh & Venice
Censor Certification - U/A
Date of Certification - 28/11/17
Annu Kapoor - The Fakir
Sattar Ali is a forty-year old street guy who’s had a hard life. Orphaned when he was ten, he learnt to perform the burial act on the beaches of Bombay, as a way of making a living. He’s done it all his life. Adi sees him at first as a naïve innocent soul. But all the time spent underground has made Sattar an obsessive, secretive person.
The hardships of his life have pushed him further into himself, & his drinking habits don’t help either. On the whole, he’s an unlikely candidate for swamihood. As he struggles to come to terms with death, Sattar becomes more & more unstable & unpredictable, jeopardizing Adi’s schemes & making his task even more daunting.
Farhan Akhtar -The Con Man
Adi Contractor is a thirty-year old production coordinator who handles shoots for foreign crews in India. A glib, smooth-talking hustler who can think on his feet. If you’re stuck in the middle of the Thar Desert with a script that requires a parade of pink elephants, Adi’s the guy to call.
As a South Bombay Parsi, he is in many ways a typical member of India’s westernized elite. Indifferent to Indian reality, he has only one ambition - to make enough money to leave the country for good & attend the film school in New York.
Anand Surapur - The Director
A graduate of Film Academy – New York University (NYU), Anand has national & international exposure of over 18 years. He launched Phat Phish Motion Pictures in 2001 & has worked then on to do exciting & path breaking work. Anand is also the creative mind behind several popular music videos such as ‘Saamne Yeh Kaun Aaya’,
Bally Sagoo’s ‘Noori’, Kailash Kher’s ‘Teri Deewani’ & Rabbi Shergill’s ‘Bulla Ki Jana’ – which soared to all music charts across the country & hit the No.1 position & stayed for 16 consecutive weeks. One of the most well known faces in the media & entertainment industry, he has directed 400 commercials including path breaking TVC’s like Hamara Bajaj, Thums Up Taste the Thunder, Dominos, Surf Excel & many more. And last but not the least, he is credited with creating many popular characters & shows for TV – Udham Singh, Quick Gun Murugan.
The Fakir Of Venice Reviews
In the wake of the overwhelming success of "Slumdog Millionaire," the global movie market is ripe for Indian content -- as it was following the considerable success of "Monsoon Wedding" -- but a problem remains: Indian producers still do not think globally when they conceive projects.
Indian films might go out day-for-date in India and around the world, but these are aimed almost exclusively at Indian moviegoers. This market sufficiently has rewarded producers that few are willing to challenge the formulas of rote characters and situations or slavish imitations of Hollywood fare bordering on theft of intellectual property.
"The Fakir of Venice," which opened the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, offers a hint of how creative Indian filmmakers might widen their audience. The film does not look or act like a typical Indian film, whether it be mainstream masala movies or regional art house films. And it's not because the setting is mostly non-Indian; it's because the characters, whether Indian or Italian, are fresh and original, and the challenges they face are universal.
Put it this way: A con artist is a con artist whatever his ethnicity. There's more to it than that, of course, but writer Rajesh Devraj and director Anand Surapur have taken what apparently is a true story and developed and embellished it so that it plays to anyone.
The impact this foreign city has on the two visitors varies in the extreme. Adi sees the whole experience as a way to advance in the Western world and to sharpen what are really his skills as a hustler and a louse. Sattar takes to drinking even more heavily than is his norm as he feels lost and confused in all the foreignness. He is an object of curiosity but, unable to speak English or Italian, grows homesick and isolated. It also is soon clear he is very ill.
"Fakir" is one of those rare, rare instances where a third act is superior to the second. All the repetition of action and introduction of sundry characters suddenly pay off for a highly emotional ending. Thus much of those 20 minutes could come out of that second act without seriously damaging the third.
Adi (Farhan Akhtar) finds instead a poor laborer, Sattar (Annu Kapoor), who has performed this act in the past to earn coins from tourists. So the two con men fly to Venice to perform this installation by a man who is little more than a con man himself.
Each man in his own way is confronted with choices about what purpose any of this serves beyond promised money. These choices range across a broad spectrum of artistic, spiritual, political and cultural ramifications. And the characters they encounter -- the entire film is brilliantly cast, by the way -- deeply impact those choices.
Akhtar, a producer, director and writer making his film debut here as an actor, is talented and handsome enough -- and with looks that could translate into any number of ethnicities -- to have a huge career ahead of him. Kapoor is a veteran actor who delivers a brilliant performance as a humble but determined man whose motives remain secret until the climax.
Surapur's directorial hand is steady and assured throughout. While being overly fond of the fisheye lens, which gives wide-angle distortion to too many shots, he can be forgiven this one affectation because of the control he exerts over the rising emotions and the interplay of characters who sometimes cannot even understand each other.