Ferrari Ki Sawaari (“A Ride in a Ferrari”) is a cautionary example of the importance of pacing in films. This otherwise cute family movie is doomed by unbearably slow story progress and odd song placement.
I mention the strategic placing of song-and-dance numbers because of something that happened at the showing of Ferrari Ki Sawaari I attended. The title track — an upbeat number depicting a father and son celebrating — plays approximately 110 minutes into the film’s runtime, at what seems like a natural end-point for the story. As soon as the song started, everyone else in the theater with me walked out.
The film didn’t actually end until thirty minutes later.
The story focuses on a law-abiding widower, Rusy (Sharman Joshi), who works hard to provide for his 12-year-old son, Kayo (Ritvik Sahore), and his grumpy father (Boman Irani). They have very little money, but Kayo is a well-mannered kid with potential to be a world-class cricket player.
Kayo is selected to attend an elite British cricket camp that costs the hefty sum of 150,000 rupees. Given that Rusy spent every penny to buy Kayo a new bat for 2800 rupees, attending the camp seems like an impossibility.
A neighborhood wedding planner mentions to Rusy that she needs to rent a Ferrari for a couple of hours so that a groom can make a grand entrance to his wedding. The only person in town with such a car is the real-life star cricketer Sachin Tendulkar (who does not appear in the film).
The wedding planner promises to give Rusy 150,000 rupees if he can get her the car. Rusy visits Mr. Tendulkar’s house, hoping to reason with him. But when the opportunity presents itself, Rusy takes the car without permission. He intends to return the Ferrari after the wedding, but, predictably, things go wrong.
The premise for the story is good, and so is the acting. Sahore stands out at Kayo, performing much better than what is normally expected of child actors. The morality lessons about honesty, kindness, and empathy are meaningful and don’t feel forced. If the total runtime had been 90 minutes, this could have been a great movie.
But, at 140 minutes, Ferrari Ki Sawaari is way too long. Because of insufficient material, scenes drag on. The subplot about the groom who wants the Ferrari and his overbearing politician father could’ve been dispensed with entirely.
Vidya Balan’s appearance in an entertaining item number at around the one hour mark is all that saved me from abandoning the movie entirely. I later took a leisurely trip to the restroom to reapply lip gloss during one of the film’s myriad cricket scenes. Perhaps I would have enjoyed watching Ferrari Ki Sawaari on DVD more, with the ability to fast-forward.