Forgive My French, But Fuddu Is A Fully Fuckall Film!
A young man comes to Bombay with dreams and even though he manages to find himself a job, and gets married, he is unhappy. Living in a room with his two brothers and their wives and kids, he is unable to make love to his wife, who ups and leaves him. Is he the ‘fuddu’ people label him o will his parrot fly out of the cage? You come away wanting to shower after watching this… This swamp thing.
Filmmakers should realise that the characters they create - no matter how small or large - need to evince empathy. So much so that the audience should feel along with the character. Laugh when he laughs, cry when he cries, and so on. But when your audience laughs at the character and not with him, when the audience doesn’t really care what happens to him, then you have a problem
This film starts out with a young lad from Benaras coming to the city with big dreams in his eyes. The dreams crash instantly when he realises that his brothers live with their wives and kids in a one room home in a chawl. And he has to stand in a queue with residents to use the public restrooms. He is not exactly a good looking young lad, but so far so good. You smile weakly at his naivete when he calls up a cell phone number (written on a wall in the public restroom) thinking that the number belongs to a popular movie star. Turns out the number belongs to the local woman cop who screams at him.
You try and understand why the filmmakers give him a job as a lingerie salesman and then have no more humor to offer. Such a missed opportunity here! No awkward sales calls, no middle-class style embarrassment. And no slapstick scenes with piles of bras falling down on his head. The office just looks vague and the people are tie-clad and working at computers.
Then we see a rival at the office suddenly turn into a friend who takes the hero to prostitutes. What? How? Why? Of course the lad is a failure here too, because he is a virgin and does not understand the lingo ‘cap’ for ‘condom’, and wears a girly hat (literally!) and stands in his undies. The prostitute laughs at him. But you cannot bring yourself to laugh at his stupidity.
Everything goes downhill after that. He gets married and his young wife moves into the room. Their ‘suhaag raat’ is very well done because they put the mattress on the floor and it feels real when the lad just rambles on about some nonsense and the young bride waits to have her veil removed, and there’s a power cut. That scene earns this film the half star offered. And then we realise he just cannot make out with the new wife because his makeshift room is between his two brothers sleeping (the oldest one sleeping with wife and kids on one side, the other older brother making out noisily with his wife on the other side). His young wife does not understand why he does not touch her and goes back to her mother’s home, her father labeling the lad, ‘Namard’ (Not a man).
What follows is a horrendous misogynistic lesson: women need to either be persuaded to put out, or be dragged by their hair and shown ‘who’s the man’. Of course he needs to haul his wife back and prove to everyone in the vicinity that he’s a man. They even sing a song about it with lyrics like: his bird has flown the cage... etc. By this time you are so disgusted, you just hope there’s no traffic on the way home and take refuge in jokes shared by your family group on Whatsapp.
(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)