Before I commence, just check out the review below of Rajeev Masand. He has got it dead right again, especially what I feel about the first half of the movie, where you simply squirm in embarrasment everytime Aamir and Kajol go on their shayaraana flirting:
I can understand Aamir Khan and Kajol signing the movie basis the story. It can be considered relatively innovative for a modern-day big movie, and in the recent past, Yashraj Films have converted relatively thin and innane stories into decently watchable flicks, like Dhoom. It is a different thing how the big daddy himself made Veer-Zaara.
The movie is fatally flawed in its direction, which is absolutely pedestrian. The first-half romance between Kajol and Aamir looks so contrived and cheesy, its not funny. Besides, Kajol looks absolutely ravishing but old, especially compared to her young nubile friends (unless she plays a senior to those girls). Aamir looks fat, and apparently was asked to put on weight for that particular segment. Wonder why, as he is playing a spy in the movie, not a method actor. When the guide keeps throwing himself on all the girls (not only Kajol), I wonder why is he not reported to the police. Maybe that way they could have saved so many subsequent lives. Besides, I could not get the point of Kajol telling him constantly about her parents' principles. Maybe that was to establish her sheltered origin, mainly because of her handicap. I do not have too many comments to make on the physical disability, because the supposedly radical 'Black' also established the fact that it is impossible for a handicapped Rani to have a meaningful existence without a 24-hour companion-cum-teacher Amitabh.
Kajol sleeps withs Aamir, gets pregnant in one go, and then Aamir supposedly dies. It shows the progressiveness of her parents (Rishi Kapoor and Kiron Kher) that when their blind daughter first falls in love with a guide and then has a son before wedlock, they are enthralled. If only there are more such parents in the country, I think India would be transformed.
The movie takes a twist in the second half, to my mind remniscent so much of Kabhi Kabhie (Kashmir, illicit pre-marital relationships, and relatively shoddy direction). Here, Aamir runs into a literally-unblinded Kajol and his 7-year old son. Kids are getting cuter by the movie these days, and posssibly was needed here if one had to melt a hardended terrorist like Aamir's heart.
After some temper tantrums and then unhummable songs, Aamir discloses his real self to Kajol in an extremely unimaginative and unsentimental way. The only interesting scene in the movie happens when Kajol refuses to accept Aamir, and hence he decides to go away. Her confrontation with him, when she starts off by first slapping him and then hugging him, is possibly the only time when the true nature of their passion surfaces even remotely. What a pity that there is not a single such another moment in the entire film!
Aamir and Kajol are finally wedded by her progressive family, but then his true identity is revealed. I am not even commenting upon the terrorist angle as it is so simplistic and juvenile, but by the climax, Aamir manages to bump off all the remaining men in Kajol's life - either by design or by accident. The climax is finally a mix of Mother India (partiotic Kajol shoots Aamir) and Deewar (Aamir dying in her lap).
Performancewise, Aamir is competent like ever, but I have my reservations about his actions in the film being driven by family connections rather than ideology. Maybe his character was an extremely emotional man which somehow came across very differently, as ultimately he did sacrifice it all for a woman. In fact, I though Aamir played a far more convincing character in Raja Hindustani, a movie most have hated but I thought was a much better effort in the poor boy-meets-rich girl routine than Fanaa.
Kajol looks a million bucks and is dynamite, and her character as a woman hopelessly in love is possibly one of the finest performance in Hindi cinema since Black. To my mind, the biggest connect with Dil Se is established by her charachter's similarity with Shahrukh's in that movie. And I loved Dil Se, and SRK's acting in that flick. Kajol's comeback here shows the way to all Preity and Aishwarya ruling the roost currently as to how to project your uni-dimensional personalities on screen to still play convincing characters. I think Al Pacino is the epitome of this, when he reinvents each character he plays in his patently unique albeit repetitive style.
The remaining starcast is okay, as they hardly have much to do. And what were Shiney Ahuja and Lara Dutta doing in their cameos - it especially is criminal when Shiney has to do such roles. However, the single-biggest failing is the absolute lack of that immeasurable quality - chemistry - between the lead pair of Aamir and Kajol. And I think for a romatic film, there can be no bigger recipe for disaster. There is just one scene which I have mentioned above where the true intentsity of their relationship comes across. I guess it was this intensity and chemistry that made SRK-Kajol into what they were.
I do not think in such incompetent hands, reducing the length of the movie would have made any difference. Kunal Kohli would have still managed to botch it up. The only thing that comes to my mind afer watching this movie is that if only Kajol would have done 'Dil Se' as she was originally scheduled to, then that would have been an even bigger classic for me, and I could have rubbished 'Fanaa' even more.