Novelty is not what debut director Mrighdeep Singh Lamba’s Fukrey can boast. Four jobless youngsters who want to make a quick buck get entangled in a mad mess of drugs, gangsters and cops. Sounds familiar, right? At many points, Fukrey reminds one heavily of a better film of recent times Delhi Belly. But that doesn’t stop it from being a fun ride. The light, not-to-be-taken-seriously comedy works, mainly because of the freshness the cast offers.
Hunny (Pulkit Samrat) and his friend Choocha (Varun Sharma) desperately want to get into the best college in town. No, not to get educated or to be enlightened. But, to live a carefree life, where no one questions them about their uniforms or attendance, and where they can get to be with beautiful girls all the time. Lali (Manjot Singh), too, harbours a similar dream of migrating from his ‘correspondence course’ to the college his high-school sweetheart attends. The fourth fukra is Zafar (Ali Fazal), a struggling musician, who is waiting for his big break, with a sad family drama behind him, which unintentionally reminds one of Sharman Joshi’s sepia-tinted (and quite funny!) family bit in 3 Idiots. Money is what stands between all four of them and their dreams. So, they set out, with a little help from the resourceful college watchman Panditji (Pankaj Tripathi) to find a solution. They find themselves at the den of Bholi Punjaban (Richa Chadda), a pimp cum drug dealer cum goondi, and what follows is pure chaos.
The first half of the film is slow-paced as it tries to build a premise from which to take off from. And once it does so, it soon gathers speed with quirky one-liners and some impressive situational comedy. However, the character that demands the most attention is not one of the fukras, but Richa Chadda’s Bholi Punjaban. With her ‘Sinderella’ tattoo, broken English and her brash ways, Chadda stands out from the rest of the cast. If she was excellent in Gangs of Wasseypur, she has arrived with Fukrey. So does Pankaj Tripathi, who delivers the funniest of lines with the straightest face.
The best among the title characters is Manjot’s Lali, who doesn’t have to try hard to bring the innocence his character demands to the screen. Pulkit attempts a Ranbir Kapoor with his Hunny act, but manages to sail through the film giving an average performance. However, Fazal is a huge disappointment, considering his character is one of the few that is lucky to have been given a background in the film. All said and done, Varun Sharma’s Choocha owns the film. There are very few frames in which he doesn’t make an appearance, and every time he does, he makes sure that the audience is in splits. Even the viewer agrees to Punjaban when she wonders aloud, “Yeh cheez hai kya!”
And, maybe because he gets to play the big part, Lamba decided not to give Choocha a side story. All he has to do is to sleep and see dreams, while the rest are busy battling other problems in life. Hunny tries to woo a Dilliwaali girl by passing messages on kites, Lali tries to make sense of “Debit what comes in, credit what goes out” while ogling his beautiful teacher, Zafar is forever on depressed mode thinking of his doomed career and ailing father, and Punjaban is trying to squeeze out money from a high-profile client who refuses to make a payment.
The music by Ram Sampath deserves a mention, especially the background score that reflects the mood of the film perfectly. Although, the film moves back and forth in an inconsistent pace, Lamba doesn’t let it falter even once. He carefully places the funny moments in such a way that you do not get the time to pay deep thought to the madness unfolding onscreen. Fukrey is not without its faults, either. A tighter script is one thing that would have added to the film’s quality. It may not be the most outstanding film you have seen, but it sure is a sincere attempt to make you laugh. And, what’s more, it is hugely entertaining. Isn’t that reason enough to invest two hours of your time to watch a film?
Director: Mrighdeep Singh Lamba
Cast: Pulkit Samrat, Manjot Singh, Ali Fazal, Varun Sharma, Richa Chadda, Pankaj Tripathi, Priya Anand, Vishaka Singh