NEW DELHI: Indra Kumar followed a simple formula for success back in the 90s. Typically, the first half of his films would be based on comedy whish guaranteed uncontrollable laughter, while the second half would be a tear jerker. Mrigdeep Singh Lamba’s Fukrey has mirrored the style established by Raju Hirani. There are multiple moments in the film where you have not fully recovered from your laughter when a new development in the story leaves your mind reeling with emotion. Having said that, like the predecessors of this method, Fukrey is primarily a comedy film, something like Delhi Belly with a Punjabi touch.
The ‘Delhi film’ has become somewhat of a trend in Bollywood. You have smart dialogue, actors speaking in a Punjabi accent and chase sequences in the bylanes of old Delhi.
Fukrey, will offer yet another take on friendship. This time around, they will take you to East Delhi, where the story — the camaraderie between four fukras — unfolds.
Says Ritesh, “Though Fukrey is about friendship and bromance at its core, it has a simple premise. It is a fun film about four boys who are fukras. They need to secure admission in a college, but know that they cannot make it on merit. So, they do some jugaad.” The turning point is when that gamble goes wrong.
Pulkit Samrat and Varun Sharma play Hunny and Choocha, two friends who would rather spend hours plotting how to get their hands on leaked high-school exam papers than study for it. They find a willing accomplice in Panditji (Pankaj Tripathi) who promises to get them the papers, provided they cough up the money.
Hunny and Choocha also meet Zafar, a melancholy musician who broods over his stagnant music career and love life, and Lali, a spunky Sikh boy who also wants to join the college.
The foursome decide to cash in on Choocha’s absurd dreams, which Hunny interprets to come up with a lucky number that signifies that dream. They bet on that number to win money. The formula hits bulls-eye each time but the hitch is they don’t have the capital to invest in the scheme.
David Dhawan followed a similar approach for films like Dil, Ishq and Shola aur Shabnam. Karan Johar with his Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham improvised on the same formula. We can find similarities with Priyadarshan’s brand of humor as well. Then, on the turn of the millennium, Raju Hirani took this method to a whole new level. In both his Munna Bhai films as well as in 3 Idiots, Raju took the audience through an emotional roller coaster ride where there was no plausible interval between comic sequences and emotional drama. One moment, his audience would be laughing non-stop and the next moment they would be overcome by heartfelt sentiment.
The four protagonists of the film are also well-selected. While Ali Fazal as ‘Zafar’ is relatively unimpressive, the other three leads are hilarious. Pulkit Samrat, being the smart wizard, reminds you of ‘Amar’ from Andaz Apna Apna or ‘Raju’ of Hera Pheri – good at heart but willing to make easy money through shady means. Pulkit’s comic timing is spectacular and his chemistry with ‘Choocha’ is excellent. ‘Choocha’ on the other hand is a cross between ‘Zach Galfianikis’ of Hangover and ‘Babu Bhaiyya’ of Hera Pheri. He is spectacular when it comes to dreaming the lottery results but a certified idiot in all other respects. Still, he surprises you when it comes to his survival instincts. His scenes with Richa Chadda are utterly hilarious. Manjot Singh is also enjoyable in his role as ‘Sardar Ji’. He portrays a nice guy who does not want to charge people who eat at his father’s shop yet wishes for admission into a college without having to study for it. He swears that he will teach a lesson to his cheating girlfriend but ends up waving and smiling at her.
In the first fifteen minutes of the film, I thought that Fukrey will offer several smiles but fall short of making me laugh. I spent the next hour and a half laughing uncontrollably at the characters’ antics. I highly recommended watching Fukrey!