When Fukrey, a relatable film about four slackers from lower middle-class families in Delhi, released in 2013, not many people expected it to attain the cult classic status that it now enjoys. Slowly, yet steadily, it made its way to the silent-hits list. The film revolved around misadventures of four boys—Honey (Pulkit Samrat), Choocha (Varun Sharma), Lali (Manjot Singh) and Zafar (Ali Fazal)— who try their hand at a quick buck scheme and fail. To make matters worse, they end up high on the lady don Bholi Punjaban's (Richa Chaddha) hit list.
This time, with Fukrey Returns, Bholi makes a comeback. After washing prison toilets for months, she strikes a deal with scheming politician Babulal Bhatia (Rajiv Gupta) who helps her out on bail. But, she needs to pay him for his help, a big amount that too. She turns her wrath on Fukrey boys, whom she forces to once again use their 'unique skills' to make quick money. To help them, she brings back witty, yet sharp, college watchman Panditji (Pankaj Tripathi). But once again, the boys fail to pay her back after Bhatia cunningly tilts the balance in his favour. The boys, Panditji and Bholi get dragged in a deeper mess as Bhatia tries to use them for political gains.
The script of the film is sloppy, but individual performances, coupled with some memorable dialogues, overshadow most flaws in the storyline. While the general mood and places of action may look repetitive, the fact that film is an extension of the previous plot and revolves around people from same locality convinces the audience. One thing that stands out in the film is good cinematography. Fukrey Returns manages to capture the city in its true essence— be it chaotic residential pockets of east Delhi or plush comfort zones of the elite.
However, nothing can beat excellent performances, not only by the lead actors, but from the supporting cast as well. Pulkit Samrat as Honey, the 'man with the swag' among Fukrey boys, nails his role to perfection. His body language, dialogue delivery, and mannerisms match the stereotypes. Manjot Singh (Lali) plays his part to perfection with the ever confused, unsure look on his face for his role in their plan of action. Richa Chaddha is a pleasure to watch. How often do you see lady dons in films who succeed in striking balance between being menacing and comical at the same time. No surprises from Pankaj Tripathi who has already established himself as one of the best actors in Bollywood. Not many can compete with with him in delivering a measured comical performance with a deadpan face. He is one actor we would like to see in a much bigger central role. Rajiv Gupta, as a calculating politician, makes his presence felt in every scene. Last but not the least, it is Varun Sharma who owns the film. Sharma's portrayal of 'gifted' affable weirdo, Choocha, who is on his own trip, will leave you in splits. Ali Fazal has very little to do besides looking unsure and unconvinced.
Producers Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, with director Mrighdeep Singh Lamba, seem to have caught the pulse of audience who look beyond slapstick comedy. Fukrey Returns could be the beginning of a successful franchise.
Starring: Richa Chaddha, Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Ali Fazal, Manjot Singh, Priya Anand, Vishakha Singh, Pankaj Tripathi, Ishteyak Khan
Direction: Mrigdeep Singh Lamba
Rating: 3 stars