Fida (2004)

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Released 23-Nov-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Khakee, The Eye
Music Highlights-Song Selection
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 121:41
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (59:05) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Ken Ghosh
Studio
Distributor
Tips Films
Madman Entertainment
Starring Kareena Kapoor
Fardeen Khan
Shahid Kapoor
Kim Sharma
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Anu Malik


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Hindi Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, During opening and closing credits

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Fida (meaning 'Obsession') is a relatively recent release from the Bollywood movie production mills. It's only the second feature from director Ken Ghosh (Ishq Vishq) and stars three youngish names in Hindi mainstream cinema. Kareena Kapoor, arguably the best known face in this film, plays Neha, a woman with more to her than at first seems. Fardeen Khan, another well-known current actor, plays the 'bad guy' Vikram, whilst relative newcomer baby-faced Shahid Kapoor plays the hapless (at first) 'hero' Jai.

    I thought the film started off rather poorly, in that Jai (who seems to live a rather comfortable life without any apparent source of employment or other income...) falls so completely for Neha to the point of trying to commit suicide when she rejects him. He should have just been told to get a life and get a job...but hang on...that would be missing the point of these films! Anyway, thanks to his suicide attempt, Neha tells him she's in love with him, and his life just turns all peachy! 

    However, in a parallel plot development, viewers are introduced to an underworld godfather who has been robbed of a considerable sum of money. He's out to seek revenge and kill whoever did this to him...

    Now, back on the romantic storyline, Neha having secured the affections of the poor boy Jai (not that she had to raise much of a sweat to do so!), then reveals that she has to pay a huge monetary debt to an underworld figure or she'll be despatched to another world. Poor infatuated Jai then sets about getting hold of this money (obviously not by meeting his nearest bank manager for tea). He gets the money, which should of course further secure his love's heart and they should all live happily thereafter...but...things aren't always as they seem...

    Despite some write-ups upon the film's theatrical release proclaiming that this was 'something different' from Hindi cinema, I felt that in the end this turned out to be a rather ho-hum film. It's true that the film does have a few 'thrilling moments', as the DVD pack announces, and yes, there are certain plot twists which do add to the story. However, I felt that the director brought some of these key plot elements into the fold way too early, leaving the rest of the film very much patterned on the slick, hyper-violent tales of revenge so oft seen in Bollywood of late. The film culminates in an overly long drawn out martial artsy (Indian style) fight sequence which draws much inspiration from many Chinese films, and from The Matrix. Admittedly the eventual outcome was a little atypical of Bollywood (or even Hollywood), so it's not all that bad! Perhaps had the key plot twist been left till later in the film, the build-up might have made this a better paced film overall.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The picture on this DVD is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture is moderately, though not exceptionally, sharp and clear at at all times.

    Shadow detail is adequate, though once again not as good as other transfers of recent films. Grain is not visible.

    Colour is somewhat uneven, though this might have been the fault of the original cinematography (or the desire of the Director). At times it is rich without being oversaturated, whilst at other times it appears a little washed out. I tend to feel it follows the Director's original intent as the colour doesn't really change within a scene, it's only apparent when comparing different scenes.

    Aliasing is visible a number of times, though it's never particularly bad.

    Edge enhancement is slightly visible though not disturbingly so.

    The end credits suffer from Gibb effect to the point where their clarity is affected.

    Subtitles are available in English only. In fact they default to 'on'. These are quite accurate to the original Hindi and even provide translation for the song lyrics. A pleasant yellow font is used which I found easier to read than the white usually used.

    The layer change point is well placed at the end of a chapter at runtime 59:05

  

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The only audio track is the original Hindi Dolby Digital 5.1. This is a good soundtrack that makes full use of surround speakers and the subwoofer almost throughout the entire film.

    Dialogue is clear and in sync with the actors' lip movements at all times.

    The music is by Anu Malik, one of India's main contemporary film soundtrack composers. In this film he offers music that is dramatic when it needs to be and in general works well, though it is occasionally derivative of Hollywood blockbusters. Being a Bollywood film there are the requisite song and dance numbers, mostly pleasant, though thankfully they are limited in number.

    Surround channels are used almost throughout the film to carry ambient and directional effects. An example is at 26:30 in which a train runs from the right to the left rears which just adds nicely to the atmosphere (and gives you that self-satisfied feeling of money well spent!).

    The subwoofer, via its 0.1 LFE channel is used frequently for effects and to support dramatic moments in the music soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu Audio

    The main menu has scenes from the film playing with extracts from the soundtrack in the background.

Theatrical Trailers

    The original trailers for Fida together with extended clips of the song sequences.

Madman Trailers

    Trailers for a couple of other films being released on DVD by Madman Pictures.

Song Selection

    Lets the user select and play any of the four songs in the film.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The R1 release appears to be a full-screen version. I can't ascertain the extras as there are often not-quite-legal versions of Hindi DVDs available everywhere via the web and in small Indian grocery stores.

    However, it appears that the R4 version is the best legal option available as it in in widescreen 16x9, and comes with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

Summary

    There's plenty of over-acting by the three leads, but that somehow adds to the experience of watching these films. In fact, seasoned Bollywood fans might be a little disappointed by the occasional foray into realistic acting, at least by Kareena and Fardeen. Just very occasional, mind you.

    Some scenes, especially in the first half, look laughably like toothpaste commercials, all bright and full of shiny white teeth!

    Fida is not a memorable film by any means, for its storyline, acting, or even its few songs. If you really like the violent style of Hindi films (rather than the purely romantic ones), then perhaps you'd enjoy this, although there are plenty of better films from the thousands that Bollywood churns out. Thankfully there are only a few song and dance numbers to interrupt the flow of the story. Of course, being a Hindi mainstream film, there do have to be some, though none are particularly memorable. Another saving grace is that the film, at 120 minutes, is shorter than most of its stablemates, thus not requiring too much patience from the viewer.

    The picture quality on this DVD is adequate, considering that this is a recent cinematic release. The colour is uneven at times throughout the film, though this might have been in the original film. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is pretty good, with plenty of surround activity almost all the time. The extras are limited to the trailers for Fida and for a couple of other DVD releases.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Satish Rajah (don't read my bio!)
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-344 Multi-Region, using Component output
DisplaySony KV-XA34M31 80cm. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2801
SpeakersMain: Mission 753; Centre: Mission m7c2; rear: Mission 77DS; Sub: JBL PB10

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