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What happens when dreams remain unfulfilled and you try to make them come true vicariously through your kids. Well, that is what Fanney Khan aka Prashanth Sharma (Anil Kapoor) tries to do as well. He works in an ironworks factory (with Adhir played by Rajkummar Rao) now but as a young man he had dreams of becoming Mohammed Rafi and sang on stage. Unfortunately, he never made it and when his daughter is born he names her Lata (Pihu Sand) after Lata Mangeshkar and vows to make her a big singer. But life has its own plans. Lata is a talented singer and dancer but being overweight she is constantly ridiculed and body-shamed and no one pays heed to her talent.
The young teen is traumatised by this and constantly lashes out at her dad whose one goal in life is to make her a star. Lata aspires to be like India’s top singer Baby Singh (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) but she knows that the path to finding that fame is filled with thorns. At every turn, she meets failure so Prashant comes up with a plan to produce a record for her. He and Adhir lose his their jobs and Prashant starts driving a cab which is when he meets Baby Singh. And life takes another turn and he and Adhir end up kidnapping Baby Singh. Does Prashant make an album for Lata? Does Lata become a successful singer? What happens to Baby Singh in the midst of this?
This movie marks the debut of Pihu Sand and she stands out in the film for her performance as the vulnerable, young girl who is desperate to make her dreams come true despite the body shaming she faces. Anil Kapoor as the middle-class Fanney Khan delivers the goods with his earnest performance as the father who goes all out to make dreams come true. Rajkummar Rao is a good addition to the film but he doesn’t have great scope to perform as his role is limited. Meanwhile, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is the glamourous singing diva who feels like a money-making doll in the film – she looks gorgeous but sadly, her role is not well etched-out and there are logical loopholes. And Divya Dutta is perfect as the mom as she underplays it.
The film is entertaining in parts and the first half coasts along but the second half starts to drag. Anil as Fanney Khan and the interaction between Adhir and Baby Singh are very engaging. The climax is quite melodramatic but on the whole the script is not strong. As far as Amit Trivedi’s music songs go, they add a nice touch but nothing that really stands out.
The movie carries the message that you can make dreams come true and also takes on bodyshaming. But how the message is conveyed is shaky.