HEADLINES:
August 21 2018
‘Fukrey Returns’ review: Slacker of a comeback
08 December 2017

The novelty and freshness of sleeper hit ‘Fukrey’ wear down drastically in the sequel

The shadow of its Fukrey hangs too heavy on Fukrey Returns, right down to the summing up of the predecessor in the opening titles and the lovely Ram Sampath melody, “Ambarsariya”, that keeps playing in the background. Unfortunately, they weigh things down for Mrighdeep Singh Lamba’s new outing. The music, for one, is just not in the same league and the novelty and freshness of the prequel wear down drastically here. Even the Delhi lingo and its middle and lower middle-class colonies, where the film(s) are set, feel a yawn now.

The quirky characters and their oddball humour is again the mainstay even as the thin plot gets stretched to its utmost limits. You want the things to come to a closure fast even as they drag on and on with one laboured situation piling atop another. One year later not much has changed for the four slackers-Honey (Pulkit Samrat), Choocha (Varun Sharma), Lali (Manjot Singh) and Zafar (Ali Fazal). They again get involved in a quick buck scheme, unsuccessfully at that.

Meanwhile, the lady Don, Bholi Punjaban (Richa Chaddha), uses a politician Babulal Bhatia (Rajiv Gupta) to get out of the lock up that she had been sent to one year ago, only to find herself, and the rest, getting used by him in turn. There is a tiger in the zoo, her cub and a treasure in one of Choocha’s many premonitions to make things more convoluted.

Fukrey Returns
  • Director: Mrighdeep Singh Lamba
  • Starring: Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Ali Fazal, Manjot Singh, Richa Chaddha, Pankaj Tripathi, Vishakha Singh, Priya Anand
  • Run time: 141 minutes
  • Story line: The four Fukreys again get involved in a quick buck scheme, unsuccessfully at that. A politician plays the villain with a tiger and her cub in other key roles.

As in the previous outing, Varun Sharma as Choocha plays to the gallery and gets to be the focus of everybody’s attention. The two heroines and Ali Fazal have barely anything to do; they may as well have not been there at all. And you would have wanted more of Richa Chaddha’s feistiness and Pankaj “Panditji” Tripathi’s witty last words to balance out the sub par hilarity with some punch and bite. Unfortunately, scatological humour about human bums and snake bites and juvenile gags dominate at their expense.

The film, at the start, also tries way too hard to find humour in contemporary issues, too many at that-vegetarianism, caste, live-in relationships, beef ban, organ harvesting, animal trading. But the jokes, in an effort to seem smart, actually turn out lame and pat.

The only takeaways then are “Ambarsariya” in the background-it’s still playing in my head-and Pankaj Tripathi’s great, deadpan comic timing. Someone make a comedy centred on him now.

 

 

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