Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Fukrey: Friendship and fun
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.
Mrighdeep Singh Lamba’s “Fukrey” falls in the same mould – the story of four young men who come up with a convoluted idea to get rich, so that three of them can get into the coolest college in town, knowing all too well they can’t get through on merit.
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.
Zafar suggests they go to the ‘Bholi Punjaban’ (Richa Chaddha), a foul-mouthed, hard-as-nails female don, who rules her fiefdom with an iron hand and is always looking for an investment to ensure good returns. She agrees to invest in the absurd scheme, but when things don’t work out as planned, the four youngsters have to find a way out of the mess.
Lamba peppers his film with smart lines and extracts good performances out of almost all his cast members. Varun Sharma as Choocha, the bumbling, garrulous friend who panics at the slightest crisis is particularly noteworthy, as is Manjot Singh as Lali. Richa Chadda also revels in playing the female gangster and shines in a small role.
Lamba loosens his grip on the proceedings at several places and the script does waver sometimes, wasting time in love stories and other sub plots the film could have done without. Nevertheless, it all ties up in the end and works as a film that’s fun to watch. Ram Sampath’s music also sets the right tone.
“Fukrey” doesn’t have any big stars or glamour, but it’s worth the effort.