The Extraordinary Journey of a Fakir Movie Review: Bollywood Masala from another country

Updated: Jun 21, 2019, 14:51 IST | Johnson Thomas | Mumbai

The Extraordinary Journey of a Fakir Movie writing is so unremarkable that you'd need to trick yourself in order to laugh at the pitiable antics displayed here.

The Extraordinary Journey of a Fakir
The Extraordinary Journey of a Fakir

The Extraordinary Journey of a Fakir
U/A: Comedy, Drama

Cast: Dhanush, Bérénice Bejo, Erin Moriarty, Barkhad Abdi, Gerard Jugnot, Ben Miller, Abel Jafri, Amruta Sant, Hearty Singh
Director: Ken Scott

A marriage of styles between Hollywood and Bollywood, this English language film, parroted as south superstar Dhanush's International debut, is largely a lacklustre, thankless affair. A mixed masala offering, the narrative has Dhanush essaying a big-dreaming Ajatashatru Lavash Patel, son of single mother Sriringh(Amruta Sant), a washerwoman in one of the dhobi ghats around Mumbai - attempting to break away from his poverty by performing street magic, Fakir stunts and hoping to fly away to Paris. The 'Slumdog Millionaire' format may have caught the fancy of many a foreigner filmmaker but one really doesn't know why director Ken Scott had to make this silly attempt at fanciful imaginings so hackneyed and uninspiring.

The movie, the framework for which was Romain Puertolas novel, doesn't even stay true to the original's intent. Instead we see an Indian conman flying off to Paris on a fake passport and a fake 100 Euros note, getting into situations that most fish-out-of-water wouldn't dare to. He visits his favourite IKEA store, pours out his mother's ashes into one of the store's jars and promptly falls asleep in the wardrobe lined up for transportation to England. Once he is in England, he gets mistaken for a refugee and is sent to Spain. Thereafter it's about turning back with yet another series of unreal twists of fate. It's an outlandishly fanciful set-up and leaves little room for believability. Even the romantic track comes across as unlikely. There's zero chemistry between Dhanush's Aja and Erin Moriarty's American-in-Paris, Marie, and to think they traverse continents to be with each other, based on an imminently forgettable, unremarkable peck on the lips, is truly confounding. The writing is so unremarkable that you'd need to trick yourself in order to laugh at the pitiable antics displayed here.

Watch The Extraordinary Journey of a Fakir trailer

Berenice Bejo as Nelly, the Star who helps Aja find his riches, doesn't leave much of an impact either. Even Barkhad Abdi, the hijacker from 'Captain Phillips', who plays an out-of-luck Somalian refugee who gets opportune help from Aja, also has too brief a role to make much of a difference. Neither the performances, nor the treatment match-up to an entertaining whole here. In fact the only time the tempo picks up beat here is when Nelly and Aja break out into a Bollywood dance to the tune of a peppy Hindi song. It's a bizarre sequence but it saves the film from becoming a flat out bore!

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