Fukrey Returns movie cast: Richa Chaddha, Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Ali Fazal, Manjot Singh, Priya Anand, Vishakha Singh, Pankaj Tripathi, Ishteyak Khan
Fukrey Returns movie director: Mrigdeep Singh Lamba
Fukrey Returns movie rating: 1.5 stars
Fukrey, a 2013 film about a bunch of feckless Dilli fellows who fall afoul of a foul-mouthed female don, and some random layabouts, was an unexpected success.
To want to run off a sequel is understandable. What doesn’t make sense is to make this return such a slog. The actors are (more or less) the same. But the situations are so tired and contrived, and so relentlessly juvenile that there’s nothing that even such capable hands as Richa Chaddha and Pankaj Tripathi can do, to retain our interest.
In the original, there was at least an attempt at creating a somewhat realistic Dilli ‘clony’, with its grinning local louts, and lover-boys making eyes at neighbourhood heartthrobs across cramped balconies, ‘nonk-jhonk’ happening on terraces, and guys going by the name of Choocha (Sharma) and Hunny, not, please note, Honey(Samrat), Lalli (Singh) and Zafar (Fazal), who speak the street lingo with conviction, and who try pulling off small cons while waiting for something better. And a lovely, lilting song, which was so much better than the movie: I don’t think you can hear “Ambarsariya” without wanting to join in.
The other thing that kept the Fukrey boys from sinking was that they were endearing despite being all too familiar. There was an innocence about them even when they were being annoying. We liked them, and wished them well, especially when they fell into the clutches of the fearsome Bholi Punjaban (Chaddha), who had a motor-mouth full of abuse, and schemes to rip off the ‘aam aadmi.’
This time around, Bholi has a lot more screen time. This gives Chadda loads of opportunities to slink around wearing leopard skin leotards and deep pink hoodies. Our four fellows are up against Bholi again, but this time she has troubles of her own in the shape of a greedy neta (Gupta), who, like a good Dilliwala, has his eyes on land and cash.
If not madly original, this sequel could have been some amount of fun, and you can see it in tiny bits when Chaddha and Tripathi are vamping it up. But it starts to pall right from the start. And the crassness begins to get tiresome: bare butts are bitten by snakes, a guy peeing is both seen and heard, and everyone roams around, for some inexplicable reason, in the Delhi zoo, without a clue as to what to they are doing, patting tiger cubs (yes, that’s right), and listening to the big cats snarl.
If they could, the tigers should have sued.