Director: Romilla Mukherjee
Cast: Ava Mukherjee, Master Zain Khan, Ankur Nayyar, Simran Singh, Shweta Gulati
Storyline: A granny, a cheerfully divorced daughter, her two brats, a dog and a young couple are the freaky neighbourhood’s Secret Seven.
Bottomline: Elementary, my dear Watson. This one’s made for TV.
Some mysteries can’t be solved. We can only hazard a guess.
1. What’s common to Sherlock Holmes and Detective Naani?
Holmes is a product of Baker Street. Naani is a half-baked product.
2. Why does the film feature a 70-something heroine?
Blame it on the pace. Apparently Ava Mukherjee was seven years old when she sat for a narration. By the time, the makers finished telling her the story, she was seventy-something.
3. What’s the best kept secret in Granny Smarty Pants a.k.a. Detective Naani?
As per the original ending, the camera actually zooms out of the apartment set as it morphs into an old haunted building. The camera does a slow reveal… It’s Nurse Ratched straight out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest giving Naani her medication. No kids, no cheery divorced daughter, no dog eating biscuits she’s been tossing, no corpses, no men in hoods getting killed while trying to tip her off. It was all in A Beautiful Mind of a schizophrenic retired librarian who had an overdose of the detective novels in the kids section. This scene was deleted on grounds that Indian Cinema wasn’t ready for Awesomeness.
4. So, is this film for kids?
That’s part of the mystery. There are kids in the film. But, there are also at least three corpses. There’s also mention of drug use. And Viagra. One minute, there’s an animated song sequence with a girl post-make-over dancing in a mini in the middle of a “You’ve Got Yahoo” subplot and the next, you have an eerie Piano-based background score associated with B-grade Hollywood thrillers. It tries to be light like a comic book, it tries to be dark and moody like a thriller and realises it has to be cute because it has kids and realistic because it has a Granny and scary because it has bad guys.
5. What’s a good time to watch this?
To be fair to the sincerity of effort and the core idea behind the film, maybe it’s best seen on TV on a lazy afternoon. But if you don’t care much for cutesy detective stories or kids and dogs, you could still catch it on TV with drunk friends.