FUKREY | 15 June, 2013

Excel Entertainment’s Fukrey (UA) is the story of four young boys, all of who try to make fast money. Hunny (Pulkit Samrat) and Choocha (newfind Varun Sharma) are studying in their last year of school and are waiting to go to a prestigious college mainly with the intention of romancing girls. They both are dull in their studies. Choocha has weird dreams which Hunny deciphers in his own style the next morning and arrives at a lucky number. The two then buy lottery tickets in the series of the lucky number so deciphered and invariably end up winning the lottery. The two want to stretch their luck and are on the lookout for a person who can invest big money to fund their dream scheme. They want to make a lot of money as they need it to buy leaked question papers for their final examinations so that they can clear them and ultimately gain admission in the prestigious college.

Hunny and Choocha soon befriend Lali (Manjot Singh) and Zafar (Ali Fazal) who are also in need of money. Zafar has an ailing father for whose treatment he needs a lot of money. As for Lali, he is a weak student who also dreams of going to the same prestigious college to teach his ex-girlfriend, Shalu (Divya Phadnis), a lesson. His erstwhile girlfriend, he feels, has ditched him because she studies in the prestigious college and has made new friends there. Lali needs money to get admission in that college by unfair means.

Aiding Hunny and Choocha lay their hands on the leaked question papers, and Lali to surreptitiously get admission is Panditji (Pankaj Tripathi), the security guard of the prestigious college.

Panditji introduces the four boys to Bholi Punjaban (Richa Chaddha), a dangerous young lady who runs a brothel and supplies girls to ministers and others. She agrees to invest money in the dream-lottery scheme, described by the boys as fail-safe, and share the profits with the foursome. But she is clear that she would want her money back under any circumstances. As security deposit, therefore, she takes the property papers of the restaurant run by Lali’s father (Majinder Singh P. Kareer). Calamity strikes when the boys go wrong and don’t win the lottery. Since Bholi Punjaban’s investment was huge, she asks them to sell drugs for her at a rave party in progress. The four boys have no choice but to agree. Bholi Punjaban asks three of them to go with the drugs while asking Choocha to stay back with her.

Things go terribly wrong when there is a police raid at the rave party. Lali gets caught by the police after a long chase but the unsold drugs he was carrying can’t be found on his body.

Bholi Punjaban is now breathing fire. What does she do? And what do the four boys do? Why had Bholi Punjaban asked Choocha to stay behind? Where did the drugs which Lali was carrying, disappear?

Vipul Vig’s story may be based on a weird premise (of someone deciphering his friend’s dream to arrive at a lottery number series) but it, nevertheless, has a fun element which makes it entertaining for the audience. Vipul Vig and Mrighdeep Singh Lamba’s screenplay is very funny and has a lot of comic elements and scenes. Of course, the comedy is over the top but it is very entertaining, especially for the youngsters. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that the comic screenplay is so effective that it evokes laughter right from the start till the very end. Complementing the screenplay just too brilliantly are the dialogues which are also penned by Vipul Vig (with additional dialogues by Mrighdeep Singh Lamba). Of course, one section of the audience may find the comedy loud but the youth will enjoy it.

Even this comedy may have had limited impact had the performances of the actors not been as good as they are. In other words, the actors have heightened the effect of the script with their splendid acting. Pulkit Samrat looks very handsome and acts excellently. He has all that it takes to be a big star because he is a reservoir of talent and extremely easy in front of the camera. Newfind Varun Sharma is extraordinary with his poker-faced comedy. He makes a truly brilliant debut as his innocent looks go very well with the character of Choocha he plays. Manjot Singh shines with his wonderful sense of timing and natural acting. Ali Fazal acts ably. Richa Chaddha is superb as Bholi Punjaban. Her characterisation is lovely and her acting deserves distinction marks. Priya Anand gets limited scope in the role of Priya, girlfriend of Hunny, but she acts well. Vishakha Singh is dignified in the role of Neetu Singh, tuition teacher of Lali and girlfriend of Zafar. Pankaj Tripathi proves yet again that whatever the role, he can do the fullest justice to it. He leaves a fine mark as Panditji. Ashraf ul Haque stands out as Smakiya. Majinder Singh P. Kareer is first-rate as Billa Halwai, father of Lali. Sukhwinder Chahal evokes laughter as the passerby. Shrikant (as minister’s PA), Divya Phadnis (as Shalu), Anurag Arora (as the narcotics officer), Ajay Trehan (as police inspector Khanna), Altaf (as the constable in the car) and Bhagwan Kaskar (as the constable in Neetu Singh’s house) lend formidable support. Special mention must be made of Smarty (the young boy in gurudwara), Raj Sharma (music composer), Pooja Kalra (fat woman in bus), Radha Khandelwal (Bholi Punjaban’s neighbour) and Jatinder Bakshi (jagraata singer).

Mrighdeep Singh Lamba’s direction is praiseworthy. He has made a lovely entertainer and has extracted great work out of his entire cast. Credit to him on two more counts – he does not let the comedy appear contrived even once, and he does not bore the audience by letting the film’s pace become slack. On the minus side, the drama is quite uni-dimensional. Ram Sampath’s music is very appealing. ‘Ambarsariya’, ‘Rabba’, ‘Kar le jugaad’, ‘Beda paar’ and ‘Fukrey’ are interesting and entertaining songs. Munna Dhiman, Vipul Vig and Mrighdeep Singh Lamba’s lyrics are very nice. Choreography (Feroz Khan, Bosco-Caesar and Rajeev Surti) is alright. Ram Sampath’s background music is exceptionally good. K.U. Mohanan’s cinematography is very nice. Action scenes (Parvez-Feroz) are appropriate. Sets (Mukund Gupta) are authentic. Editing (Anand Subaya) is truly sharp.

On the whole, Fukrey is an entertaining and enjoyable fare for the youth. It may have started slow but it is bound to pick up on the strength of positive word of mouth. It will do well in the cities and multiplexes. It must be mentioned here that the investment of the producers in the film (more than Rs. 20 crore) is a bit too high for a film with hardly any face value. Incidentally, not many know the meaning of the word ‘Fukrey’, which has also adversely affected the opening.

Released on 14-6-’13 at Regal (daily 3 shows), Eros (daily 2 shows), New Excelsior (daily 1 show) and other cinemas of Bombay thru AA Films. Publicity: very good. Opening: dull. …….Also released all over. Opening was okay at some places, and dull at most others.