Fukrey review: A masala film that's truly funny
In two hours, the director packs into Fukrey every ingredient that Bollywood masala boasts of.
What works in a Bollywood film when Salman Khan, a item number starring Katrina's midriff or one song on each conceivable human mood doesn't? No, it's not Shah Rukh Khan reciting greeting card-poetry. What works is a bunch of boys doing boyish things - swearing, bunking college, chasing girls, gambling and grumbling about monster parents.
We've seen this model work, with minor alterations, right from the Jai-Veeru era. And then there was Dil Chahta Hai and its more expensive, chest-waxed and buffed version in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. There was Delhi Belly which made human excreta a star with valuable box-office weight. And most recently, we had Kai Po Che which laboriously explained Chetan Bhagat's relevance in our 'Facebook-frandship' generation. Fukrey, directed by debutante Mrighdeep Singh Lamba falls in the same category of boy-meets-boy-and-hell-breaks-loose films. And it is delightful.
Lets accept it, the Bollywood version of Delhi boys are probably the most fun to watch on screen. So, in Fukrey, we get a smart alecky Honey (played by Pulkit Samrat) and his deputy-in-crime Chucha (Varun Sharma). Honey and Chucha have flunked their school-leaving exams thrice already, but they dream about going to college because they imagine it will let them hit on girls dime a dozen.
But there is something a little odd about the duo. Chucha has weird, almost comical dreams, which Honey can decode to get a winning lottery ticket. When they're told that the final exam papers can be leaked to them for the cost of Rs 50,000, it's time to unleash Honey's inner Carl Jung. At the same time they meet Lali (Manjot Singh) who needs money to secure backdoor college admission and Zafar (Ali Zamat) who needs money for his father's treatment. A foursome is thus born.
Because none of them has the money needed for a bet that will make the returns they need, they turn to local toughie Bholi Punjaban (Richa Chaddha) for help. There's just one problem: Chucha doesn't get sleep the day before betting, so there's no dream. But he lies, leading to Honey coming up with the wrong bet and Bholi loses her money. What follows is a mad roller coaster of schemes to pay back Bholi.
In two hours, the director packs into Fukrey every ingredient that Bollywood masala boasts of - slapstick humour, wit, romance, drama and even a song or two - but it still doesn't feel like you're watching a regular Bollywood run-of-the-mill comedy. Mrighdeep spends one entire half of the film just setting up the main plot, but he never bores the audience in the process. Honey and Chucha's banter, Lali's struggle with a hollering halwai father, Zafar's quiet brooding makes the first half as engaging as the second. Yes, there are a few loose ends and a couple of unnecessary characters, but the film's greatest strength is that it's truly funny. The women in the plot might be entirely incidental, but they make the romance in the film endearing. It's almost adorable how a cocky Honey boasts about a 'french kiss' and how his lady love Priya, a high school student, worries about the grave implications of the same.
Fukrey is held together by its great acting. Pulkit, who plays, Honey, gets every bit of his character right. From the cocky swagger to one cuss a second in heavy north Indian accent, he gets the Jat act spot on. Varun Sharma as Chucha, the bumbling friend of the school stud, is adorable. And the boy from Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Manjot as Lali, is, as usual, great. Richa Chaddha too does enough justice to the female done role without quite overdoing it.
Fukrey might not be immortalised in the Bollywood hall of bromances - given it doesn't soul search in Spain and doesn't have an Imran Khan to salivate over - it'll definitely figure in the deeply satisfying list called movies that kick ass.
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