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Film Review: The journey of this fakir is indeed extraordinary
The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir is based on a novel by Romain Puertolas titled The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe. The film begins with young Aja (Hearty Singh) living in Worli with his mother Siringh (Amrutha Sant) and a cow named Mohini.
Aja’s father, a French man, leaves his family back in Mumbai only for Siringh, a daily wage worker to save money and meet him on top of Eiffel Tower on a Sunday. Years pass by and Aja grows up to be a low-key magician performing on the streets of Mumbai and sometimes doing petty thefts along with his cousins. His mom passes away and to fulfil her wish, he takes her ashes to Paris to try his luck in meeting his dad. These scenes account for the first half an hour of the 97-minute film and makes us laugh heartily. The story starts unfolding when Aja lands in Paris and visits a furniture store, where he meets Marie Riviere (Erin Moriarty) and gets attracted to her. The adventure begins when he dozes off inside a wardrobe and gets transported to London. He meets a few Somalian refugees and is taken to the embassy. Despite having a passport, the officer confiscates it and deports him along with other refugees to Barcelona. Hereon, his travel adventures in a suitcase from Barcelona to Rome and then a hot air balloon and a ship to Tripoli provide us a feel-good-factor despite lacking logic in a few places. Aja finally makes his way back to India with good memories.
It is Dhanush’s humour and Vincent Mathias’ camera work that take us close to the adventures of Aja and locations like Eiffel Tower in Paris and Trevi fountain in Rome. Unlike other international films, one of the biggest pluses of The Extraodinary Journey of the Fakir is that the film doesn’t speak about slums and poverty in India. The story completely revolves around one character just like the Life of Pi, where you have the narrator and a listener in front of him. Also, we feel sorry when we see artistes in an international film dancing to the tunes of Bollywood numbers. Otherwise, The Extraordinary Journey... is a good watch and will make you contemplate on backpacking.
The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir
Cast: Dhanush, Berenice Bejo, Erin Moriarty, Barkhad Abdi, Gerard Jugnot, Sarah-Jeanne Labrose and Amrutha Sant
Director: Ken Scott
Music director: Nicolas Errera and Amit Trivedi
Synopsis: After his mother’s untimely death, Ajatashatru sets off on a journey to Paris to meet his estranged father but destiny takes him on an adventure he could have least dreamt of
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