Sunday, June 17, 2012


Release date:
June 15, 2012
Rajesh Mapuskar
Sharman Joshi, Ritvik Sahore, Boman Irani, Seema Bhargava, Paresh Rawal, Satyadeep Mishra

It’s a concept brimming with possibilities … a pre-teen cricketing genius in Mumbai needs money to train for his beloved sport, but cash is in short supply when your father is an impeccably honest RTO official and grandpa is a grouch who hates the game. Now if only skeletal storylines could carry a film through... Sadly, in the journey from concept to fleshed-out screenplay to full-fledged film, Ferrari ki Sawaari falters and splutters too often to be a memorable ride.

On the surface, director Rajesh Mapuskar’s film has everything going for it. It’s produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra with writing credits shared between Mapuskar, Rajkumar Hirani and Chopra, and Hirani stepping in as “creative producer”. Just when you think it can’t get better than that, Chopra and Hirani (the team that gave us the humungously successful 3 Idiots and the Munnabhai films) are joined by the ever-reliable Sharman Joshi and Boman Irani in the cast.

The film’s three leading men share a pleasant chemistry. The interactions between the little cricketing wizard Kayo (Ritvik Sahore) and his father Rusy (Sharman) are particularly interesting – it’s not that the boy does not have wants, but that he also understands his dad. Their relationship is what leads to some of Ferrari ki Sawaari’s most convincing scenes. It’s also nice to see a Hindi film in which although the leading man is from a minority community (Rusy’s a Parsi), a big deal is not made about his religion – it just happens to be what it happens to be, and if any inferences are to be drawn from it, they’re thankfully not spelt out.

Yet, Ferrari… is not a compelling film. The reason lies primarily in Rusy’s characterisation. The film seems to want to project him as a simple man, but too often he comes across as being slightly stupid. And while an acceptable series of coincidences lead to Sachin Tendulkar’s Ferrari coming into Rusy’s hands, it defies reason that a man so painfully honest would retain possession of the vehicle beyond a fleeting moment of weakness. Keep in mind that he’s the sort of chap who, when he jumps a traffic light, goes in search of a policeman to pay a fine because none were around when he committed the offence. With the Ferrari-related situation lacking believability, the use of Sachin’s name and famous car feels more like a gimmick than anything else. Worse, the entry of the vehicle into the picture sets off a chain of highly improbable events that rob the film of what felt like a realistic sheen until then.

Considering the track record of the Chopra-Hirani writing team, it’s surprising that they disappoint not just in the development of their lead character, but also on the dialogues front… There’s nothing particularly wrong with the lines being delivered by the various players in the film, but there’s nothing particularly right either…no “jaadoo ki jhappi”-type flash of brilliance, nothing that leaves a lasting impression. That’s pretty much what I’d say about the songs too: Ae mere mann is nice because it comes to us clothed in the lovely voice of young Shyamantan Das, but the title track is not as catchy as it’s trying to be, the brief Good night song filmed on Kayo’s late mother is actually slightly irritating, and the much-talked-about, sexified Mala jau de featuring Vidya Balan as a Lavani dancer seems completely out of sync with the tone of the rest of the film. On a different note altogether … If you’re paying a tribute to the greatness of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, then the Ferrari is hardly the symbol to choose considering that the proposed waiver of Customs duty for the billionaire cricketer’s luxe car is one of the few unsavoury controversies of his entire career.

Still, if you do choose to watch Ferrari ki Sawaari, watch it for the bond between Kayo and Rusy; for Sharman who deserves better than Bollywood seems to be offering him; for Seema Bhargava’s neat cameo as a wedding planner who pushes Rusy to bring her Sachin’s gleaming red automobile simply to fulfill the whims of a rich client, in exchange for which she will pay the Rs 1.5 lakh needed to send Kayo to a training camp at Lords. But most of all, watch Ferrari ki Sawaari if you will for the talented young Ritvik Sahore who just happens to have the face of a little Sachin and – far more important – who seems to get each of his scenes and emotions just right. There is such warmth between Kayo and Rusy. The film though is lukewarm fare.

Rating (out of five): **

CBFC Rating:                       U

Language:                              Hindi

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I had exactly the same thoughts about Ferrari ki Sawaari! Got off to a promising start but then the irritating stupidity of Rusy's character just killed it.. I really liked the kid and I did keep thinking how much he looked like Sachin!