Like the general elections, a new Fukrey film comes around every five years or so. And, like politicians, they tend to take the public for a ride. The enjoyable first film had a simple hook: Choocha (Varun Sharma) dreams, his best friend Hunny (Pulkit Samrat) interprets those dreams, they get rich with a little help from Lali (Manjot Singh) and Pandit-ji (Pankaj Tripathi). The second film augmented this idea with a concept called the ‘deja choo’. Now, in the third instalment, preternatural psychical abilities have been matched with physical ones. Scatological lunacy abounds. This is a film about sweat, spit, piss and poop.
Fukrey 3 (Hindi)
Director: Mrighdeep Singh Lamba
Cast: Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Manjot Singh, Richa Chadha, Pankaj Tripathi
Duration: 147 minutes
Storyline: As Bholi Punjaban runs for office, best chums Choocha and Hunny hit upon a new superpower and solve Delhi’s water crisis
We begin, as always, in East Delhi. Bholi Punjaban (Richa Chadha) is contesting elections, and floating her campaign on the pressing civic issue of water. She is secretly backed in this endeavour by the city’s nefarious tanker mafia, who could use a plaint minister in office. The fukras, initially drafted in to help with her campaign, end up messing with it, prompting Bholi to devise an elaborate plan and pack them off to South Africa. There, after a chain of events including an escape from a diamond mine and an electrocution in an amusement park, Choocha and Hunny make a new discovery in their ever-deepening bromance: their piss and sweat makes petrol.
You read that right. This is the absurdist conceit — a stroke of genius from director Mrighdeep Singh Lamba and writer Vipul Vig — that Fukrey 3 attempts to sell us on. Strangely, that’s not even the weirdest thing about the film. Choocha, returning to Delhi, contests elections against Bholi. They get married. Hunny, consumed with sudden patriotism, says, “I won’t let India become Syria, and Delhi… Baghdad”. He and Choocha ride a tank into town. You may recall Fukrey Returns being just as unapologetically bizarre. However, that was still recognisably a slacker film. Fukrey 3 has no genre commitments as such. It’s a slapstick comedy, a sci-fi (almost), an adventure film, a political satire, an eco-conscious thriller and a crocodile-based B-movie all rolled into one.
The crocodile is funny. One cannot say the same about the rest of the cast. Pulkit Samrat has made a career of clenching his jaw and stroking his chin; it makes him look thoughtful. Richa Chadha sleepwalks through most of her role, so does Pankaj Tripathi. Varun Sharma is suitably daffy as the guileless Choocha — the heart, soul and exposed gut of this franchise. I was proud of Ali Fazal, who’s made some evident headway in his career, giving this instalment a miss (he spoils it with a cameo).
When the first Fukrey released in 2013, it stood out for a number of reasons. Hindi slacker comedies up until that point were glib, urbane affairs. Many were set in Mumbai. Lamba, on the other hand, came versed in the argot of East Delhi… or Jamnapaar. There were pockets of listlessness in the action that were fascinating. Choocha, though overblown, felt like a character you knew back from school. ‘Ambarsariya’ was a soothing, lovely little ditty. None of these positives can be attributed to the sequels. It is a sad progression for our comedy cycles. They get dumb and dumber.
Fukrey 3 is currently running in theatres