Whatever happened to family-friendly entertainers? The kind that parents would happily take along their kids for good, clean fun? And those that might even sneak in a bit of a, dare I say it?, feel-good, uplifting message? It’s amazing how the “M” word sends screenwriters and filmmakers these days in a tizzy. Sure, there are those cringe-worthy, preaching-from-the-pulpit kind of movies that are terribly off-putting. But what about those with a subtle moral-of-the-story kind of inbuilt message that lends weight to a well-done entertainer?
A recent release, Ferrari Ki Sawari (Ride in a Ferrari) is a delightful little tale of our times done with panache and includes a nifty little moral. It reminded me of the fun-filled entertainers of the Seventies, the ones that filmmakers like Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee excelled in. Lots of laughter, some hankie-wetting moments, but the happy, feel good ending always came gift wrapped with a little moral of the story. Which in no way diminished the fun quotient of the story.
FKS takes a leaf from the Mukherjee-Chatterjee school of humour: gentle, story-driven and no sexual innuendo. In fact, the scriptwriter of FKS is Raju Hirani, who has made it his mission to bring back message-driven films that are entertainers to boot, to cinema halls. Hirani’s directorial outings, the Munnabhai franchise and 3 Idiots, have been in this genre and have minted money at the box-office. So much so that Lage Raho Munnabhai even managed to make Mahatma Gandhi and his values hip and cool with young Indians.
FKS has a simple enough plotline — an upright middle class father wants to give his talented cricket-playing son one shot at making it to a prestigious cricketing event but doesn’t have the money to fund it. So he agrees to doing something dishonest — “borrow” a Ferrari for a few hours to help a wedding planner meet her client’s demand. Cricket, comedy, tears and values…. it’s a package that works brilliantly for a fun-filled joyride.