FATSO: a well-rounded film

By Nandita Dutta • Published on May 5, 2012

Director: Rajat Kapoor, Writers: Saurabh Shukla, Actors: Ranvir Shorey, Gul Panag, Purab Kohli, Brijendra Kala

In an industry of slapstick comedy and crass humour, Fatso is one gem of a movie to look out for. It works wonderfully as a light-hearted satire on the world and the afterworld. It can tickle your ribs and evoke emotions at the right moments.

Nandini (Gul Panag) and Navin (Purab Kohli) are a doting couple preparing for their wedding. Sudeep (Ranvir Shorey) and Yash (Neil Bhoopalam) are Navin’s friends. The three of them are out for a long drive when in an accident, Navin loses his life and enters the afterworld. But the catch is that it was Sudeep who was supposed to die. Navin’s death is a sheer mistake of the afterworld volunteer (Brijendra Kala).

The afterworld is innovatively portrayed as a maze of red tapism, worse than any passport or municipality office one must have encountered on the earth. The dead have been standing in long queues for years waiting for their turn to seek redemption. But time has ceased to exist for them. They had all heard about God, but don’t know where he/she is. Navin is stuck in afterworld bureaucracy to reclaim his life while his body has been cremated on earth. Now he has only one choice: he must be reincarnated as his friend Sudeep. Sudeep is a fat and clumsy man who rides on an obsolete scooter, hogs like a pig, can’t shake a leg and has never slept with a woman.

When back to life, Navin is disheartened to see Nandini making an effort to move on. So much has changed with time while he was stranded in a timeless zone. These are a few evocative moments in the film which show how the dead must feel if they were watching us from somewhere. But Navin must set things right and seduce Nandini all over again as Sudeep. The film doesn’t go on to give any message about how fat people should be treated or not made fun of. It, in fact, presents an archetype of a fatso, hinting at the natural inclination of people towards the shapely while dismissing the fat as ‘cute’ friends.

The end of the film might seem a bit hurried and a bit too dramatic. But the concept is original, and performances are natural and far from over-the-top unlike other comedies. Ranvir Shorey, who has gone to the extent of putting on 20 kilograms of weight is endearing as Fatso Sudeep. Brijendra Kala grabs attention in the small role of an afterworld volunteer. The dialogues in the film are crisp and witty, if not outright hilarious.

Fatso is essentially about being true to oneself and enjoying life. Go watch it!

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