2017 has been a disappointing year for moviegoers. Except the grandeur of ‘Bahubali 2’, claustrophobia of ‘Trapped’ and small town charm of ‘Bareli Ki Barfi’ there is hardly anything to talk about. Apparently ‘Judwa 2’ is the highest grosser Hindi Movie so far, so that sums up 2017. And that has been pretty much case with Marathi Movies as well. And then we watched ‘Faster Fene’ last week. Faster Fene (aka FaFe) brought the fun back to cinema halls.
For Marathi Mulga like me, Pro. B. R. Bhagwat’s Faster Fene books were usual picks at local library. Bhagawat gave Marathi literature it’s very own Tom Sawyer and we kids (back then) nourished on that for long. In late 80’s Doordarshan created Teleseries with same name that brought us Sumeet Raghavan in title role. Now, Faster Fene that has been read and seen in so many versions, we were curious to know what Director ‘Aditya Sarpotdar’ and writer ‘Kshitij Patwardhan’ has new to offer.
Something that Dibankar Banerjee failed miserably with ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’, Aditya Sarpotdar achieves exactly that. Faster Fene is older now, he is about to appear for Medical Entrance exam, has smart phone, and smarter thinking and relevant to today's time. Within first few minutes of movie sets his wit and quirk and brings all the characters to amply support him.
Movie adapts very little from original books but then director puts its creator (B R Bhagwat played brilliantly by Dilip Prabhawalkar) right in middle of the scene. And we have strong antagonist Appa played cringe-worthily by Girish Kulkarni. The interval scene sets for big face-off between FaFe and Appa and thankfully the curse of second half do not affect the movie.
In terms of acting, movie takes brilliant actors even in small roles, be it Sidharth Jadhav or Poornima Bhave or Chinmayee Sumit (who played FaFe's mom in movie and wife of Sumit Raghavan in real). It borrows couple of mannerisms from Nawazuddin of movie 'Kick'. Appa's laugh and FaFe's Ttok but both works cause it's done smartly. The technical department is top notch with special mention of Troy-Arif's haunting background score. Faster Fene gives us a hero without songs, no romance and who is just amongst us. Now that's what I call coming of age cinema.