Reviewing the Reviews: Fukrey not quite there

17 Jun,2013


Key Cast: Ali Fazal, Manjot Singh, Pankaj Tripathi, Priya Anand, Pulkit Samrat

Directed By: Mrighdeep Singh Lamba

Written By: Mrighdeep Singh Lamba, Vipul Vig

Produced By: Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani


It would seem as if Excel Entertainment (Farhan Akhtar-Ritesh Sidhwani) have patented the buddy movie. Fukrey is a buddy movie, without the glamour associated with their films like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Delhi Belly.


Critics were divided over this Mrighdeep Singh Lamba film – there was the deja vu, of course, but also some ‘fukra’ humour and set in Delhi, where the slang is funnier and the moral compass out of order. The actors did their bit to elevate the film to 2.5 and some 3 stars. Considering that the director’s last film was Teen Thay Bhai, he could only go up from there.


Anupama Chopra of Hindustan Times was cool with its flaws. “Director Mrighdeep Singh Lamba gives us a theatre of the absurd set in East Delhi. The characters and actors are a perfect match. Pulkit embodies the over-confident charmer and Manjot looks comically sweet and bewildered all the time. But my favourite was Varun as the foolish and always-in-heat Choocha whose dreams kick-start the entire mess – he manages to be both, idiotic and endearing. Ram Sampath’s boisterous score add to the rough and tumble feel of the film. But the problem with Fukrey is that the characters and milieu are more engaging than the plot, which gets more far-fetched as it thickens. By the time we get to a rave party and drugs, the outrageousness of the story becomes exhausting. By the climax, the writing becomes slack. Anything is possible, including a financial windfall from a character who seems tacked on to save the day. But there is enough pep in Fukrey to make it pleasantly diverting. I’m not suggesting that you drop everything and get to the theatre. But if you happen to stroll in, you are likely to come out smiling.”


Rajeev Masand of IBN Live commented, “Four slackers in Delhi seeking fast cash make a deal with a ruthless don. But when things go wrong, as they inevitably do, they must pay the price for it. That familiar premise gets a fresh coat of paint in Fukrey, with co-writer and director Mrighdeep Singh Lamba putting a new spin on some old cliches. Yet, while individual scenes inspire laughs, the film doesn’t quite fly because there are too many gags and not enough plot.”


Shubhra Gupta rightly pointed out how cliched this kind of Dilli film is getting to be. “Four Fukreys which loosely translates as good-for-nothing waste fellows are let loose in the gallis of Dilli in order to a) save their skins b) earn some ill-gotten moolah c) run miles away from a foul-mouthed female goon. All of which comes down to the first point namely a) save their skins. This may be a new film, but it is certainly not madly novel. Delhi Belly had the same idea with the addition of some excrement and expletives, minus one fukra. Also minus the fun, because this combo of Dilli slackers-using very Dilli slang-doing very Dilli things already feels like a template.”


Karan Anshuman accorded it a mild rave, “There’s a lot to like in Fukrey. It sticks to the subtle and shies away from the tomfoolery and slapstick you’ve come to expect in films of the genre. It gives you an almost absurd Delhi-based love story that relies merely on stolen looks and notes exchanged across terraces on kites. In fact, it presents Delhi unpretentiously and one can tell that the details have a lived-in quality about them, the sort that Khosla ka Ghosla had. The writing often jumps time, leaving the audience lagging and playing catch-up. This isn’t always a bad thing in times of spoon-feeding viewers. Ram Sampath’s music is catchy but comes in spurts, making you long for more. Some of the film’s transitions are outstanding, the mark of a good director. However, a few shortcomings keep Fukrey from hitting the bullseye.”


Sanjukta Sharma of LiveMint sounded a bit fed-up. “The buddy movie in Hindi cinema, in surfeit in recent times, always rests on the comical charm of floozy men, and Fukrey is no different. Lamba extracts his humour from the academically challenged boys’ desperate fraudulent measures to get ahead in life. The story’s backdrop consists of corrupt and depraved ministers, thieves, money-minded teachers, and the unspoken premise that the only way to survive and rise above middle-class circumstances is to be part of a circle of cheats-the kind of vapid, humdrum thinking that abounds in our film writing.”


Saibal Chatterjee of wrote. “There is something hugely infectious about the exuberance of youth. That is probably why Fukrey, a comedy about four Delhi boys in a tearing hurry to realise their little dreams against all odds, appears to exude much greater energy than it intrinsically possesses. While the bubbly air of eccentricity that underlines the script is endearing for the most part, it tends to get trapped in a repetitive loop at times. But, in the end, its meanderings do not last long enough to mar the fun beyond salvation. Comparisons, though odious, are inevitable. Fukrey is unlikely to hold up too well against similar buddy-buddy flicks that Bollywood has churned out in recent times with such frequency that they have now begun to feel like rip-offs of each other, barring a minor tweak here and a little twist there.”


Madhureeta Mukherjee of The Times of India was the only one who punned on the title (cringe!) and raved, “Mrighdeep infuses comedy throughout, subtle and fresh. The humour is finely spun in the writing and dialogues (Mrighdeep, Vipul Vig). There’s levity in the language and some hilarious moments. The first half is slow-paced, but it rips riot soon. The story has newness, but at times it lacks the chaotic craziness that such a comic premise can unfold. Yet, the laughs are many to keep you entertained. So what the ‘fuk-rey’, go, crack up on your seats.” Indeed?


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