FUKREY

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 clichés. Yet, while individual scenes inspire laughs, the film doesn’t quite fly because there are too many gags and not enough plot.

 
Hunny (Pulkit Samrat) and Choocha (Varun Sharma) badly want to get into college so they can ditch classes and ogle girls. Lali (Manjot Singh) is fed up of working at his father’s eatery, desperate to “migrate” from his correspondence course to a campus. Meanwhile, brooding musician Zafar (Ali Fazal) sports a guitar and a permanently sad face, with neither aspirations nor inspiration in sight.
 
 
They’re interesting protagonists, but the makers invest too heavily in them and not enough in the story, taking almost an hour before introducing the film’s most delicious character, a tough-talking crime boss in high heels, Bholi Punjaban (Richa Chadda), who bankrolls the boys’ harebrained plan to crack an underground lottery.
 
Unlike the far superior Delhi Belly, the writing in Fukrey is never consistent. There are laughs to be had in the verbal sparring between Hunny and Choocha, and a running joke involving Lali being robbed each time he parks outside a gurdwara is sheer genius. Although many scenes work on the strength of sharp dialogue and spot-on performances, they don’t always fit cohesively in the film’s narrative thread. The solemn interludes with Zafar stick out like a sore thumb, and the anti-drug message in the end is just pat. Similarly, Hunny’s romantic track with a simple girl from the neighborhood feels gratuitous at best.
 
A tighter script and more screen time for the excellent Pankaj Tripathi, as enterprising campus security guard Pandeyji, might have helped turn this moderately entertaining film into a rollicking good caper. I’m going with two-and-a-half out of five.

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