As Sharman Joshi’s character Rustam cheers his son Kayo from stands while Kayo is hitting the cricket ball with the new bat which Rustam has bought after putting in all his savings, your heart goes to Rusy. Kayo could not hit the winning run, as like any other honest simple middle class father of India, Rusy fell shorter by a wish, that of a better shoe. Ferrari ki Sawaari is a story that makes that little extra happen, it is about seeing the brighter side of life. If the individual style of the new age directors of Bollywood can be classified as a formula, Rajesh Mapuskar follows his mentor and attempts to build over a very familiar Rajkumar Hirani formula. It tries to create emotional highpoints where the audience gets vulnerable and then creates that emotional shift on such a highpoint; from celebratory happiness to contemplative reality or vice-versa.
And this formula is always backed by comic unrealistic but idealistic situations, whether it is that of Munnabhai getting into a medical college and trying to define a doctor’s job or a Rancho studying in a college defining the meaning of education. So is Rajesh Mapuskar able to garner the same effect? Vidhu Vinod Chopra seems to be loving production of such movies and his involvement goes deep to a level where he gets involved in story and screenplay development as well. So does this have the magic of 3 idiots and Munnabhai? Does Sharman Joshi deliver the performance he has been waiting for in his first solo? Let us find out.
Ferrari ki Sawaari is a family come sports entertainer. It is about how a man’s faith in his son and his will of making things happen for him, takes him to different places. As the name suggests Ferrari becomes an interesting story vehicle (pun intended). Rusy in all his actions takes care of becoming an ideal father to his son – “Jo dekhega wohi seekhega,” as he says. Rusy’s father has a past that makes him grumpy, sitting about in his chair struggling with the TV remote. And Rusy’s son is a dreamer. He wants to be the best cricketer – like Sachin. We idolize talented stars in any field, especially sports. But this movie is about that man in the stands who smiles back and has made it happen.
Sharman Joshi’s subtle and underplayed Rusy is at the heart of this movie. It is him and only him on whom the movie rests, and he surely delivers a performance that one would remember for a long time. It is unlike any of his avatars from Style to 3 Idiots. The movie’s best scenes are truthfully the ones that are the interactions between the father son duos – Boman Irani and Sharman Joshi as well as Sharman Joshi and Ritwik Sahore. Boman Irani proves again that he is one of the finest actors in the industry. His portrayal of old Deboo, who is bitter at cricket and his old cricketer friend Dharmadhikari (Paresh Rawal) is splendid. A first timer with a lot of responsibility, Ritwik Sahore, also fits the role and delivers a great performance. The story is interesting and screenplay has some brilliant moments. But somewhere down the line the movie gets diluted by characters it tries to create and add to the central theme.
Unlike what Rajkumar Hirani had effortlessly done in his earlier movies, Rajesh Mapuskar and Vidhu Vinod Chopra fail to create interesting and strong sub-plots. Be it of the Koliwada politician and his son’s marriage, of the Punjabi wedding planner or that of the Ferrari itself, they're not convincing and definitely don’t feel as interesting as the scenes that have interaction between the lead characters. This is also because the lead characters had hardly any strong relationship with the characters in the subplot except that of Dharmadhikari played by Paresh Rawal (which works). This makes the movie look a little stretched.
Editing by Deepa Bhatia could have corrected this to some extent. The movie could easily have been about 20 minutes shorter. Cinematography by Sudhir Palsane is different and interesting though I thought that the songs, which were anyways unnecessary in the movie, could have been much better shot. To me the biggest reason why the movie could not match the effect of the formula it followed was the background score. I still remember the music when Munnabhai hugs the old peon in the Hospital. There was no such heightened field of emotions that music assisted for. Art / production design by Rajnish Hedao needs a special mention here. Creating sets of middle class ordinary localities and making it look interesting is a challenging task and the way the house of the Parsi family and also the sports field are presented, you know that the art design has worked.
The movie isn’t a 3 Idiots or Munnabhai but it still is sensible cinema. It is marked by strong lead actors' performances and some great moments in the screenplay. It is a commendable job by the first time director Rajesh Mapuskar. For the movie goers who are looking for different, light, entertaining and meaningful cinema, the movie will serve the purpose well. Ferrari Ki Sawaari is slightly longer and has an uninspiring background score but the film covers it up with a very subtle and strong portrayal of Rusy by Sharman Joshi. I recommend everyone to watch this movie as it surely is a story with a big heart.