Farhan Akhtar set the bar really high with his directorial debut Dil Chahta Hai and it may not be entirely incorrect to say that the remarkable coming-of-age film spawned an entire generation of films that exploited similar themes with varying degrees of success.
So when you have endless expectations and it comes as a mild disappointment when a film co-produced by Akhtar, a film that looked so promising on paper, fails to deliver.
Fukrey, (a popular colloquial term in Delhi used for street-smart, good-for-nothing young guys) directed by Mrigdeep Singh Lamba, is not a great effort — the star cast includes Ali Fazal, Manjot Singh,Richa Chaddha and Pankaj Tripathi .
Then there are other running gags popularised by films in this genre – adolescent men unapologetically curious about sex, the senior citizens’ club that meets in the park every morning for laughing exercises, the perpetually grumpy father who curses his son without the slightest provocation – which Fukrey checks off of its list.
However, we get a sense early on that they have been incorporated because that’s supposed to make viewers laugh and not primarily because they anchor the story in any way.
Hunny (Pulkit Samrat) and his friend Choocha (debutant Varun Sharma) are class 12 students who eagerly want to experience freedom from the routine school life and just want to taste all that college has to offer.
Lali (Manjot Singh), a commerce student studying via correspondence course, makes regular trips to the Gurudwara – he is eager to migrate to his supposed girlfriend’s college – and contributes in his father’s catering business.
Zafar (Ali Fazal) is a unsuccessful musician who freaks around the same college the three youngsters are eyeing because his former girlfriend (Vishakha Singh) teaches there.
Destiny gets all of the four together.
The foursome look for making easy money, Pankaj Tripathi as Pandit — the enterprising watchman of the college — keeps things and conversations going with his effortless performance. Especially noteworthy is the way Tripathi, in his eastern UP accent, drops random English words when you’re least expecting them.
The proceedings actually gain momentum with the explosive arrival of Bholi Punjaban (Richa Chaddha) on the scene. Despite repeated viewings in the film’s promo the introductory scene doesn’t seem stale despite repeated viewings in the film’s promo.
Of the four protagonists, Pulkit Samrat comes across as the most confident and upright towards the end fails to lure the audiences while debutant Varun Sharma is sluggish for the most part, which can be tiring and irritating to watch.
Ali Fazal, unfortunately, wears a dazed expression throughout the film while Priya Anand, as Hunny’s love interest Priya, has limited screen time.
The film’s title alludes to the four male protagonists but save for Hunny, none of the others really qualify as Fukrey
If you absolutely have to watch this film, look out for Pandit, Bholi Punjaban and the gorgeousness of Zafar’s face. Farhan Aktar could have done a better job. Still you can kill your time on a lazy weekend with Fukrey !!