Varun Sharma and Pankaj Tripathi are the main attractions of a franchise that, despite its youthfulness, continues to deliver a good performance, albeit partially.
“Jaako raakho chhucha, bacha sake na koi,” one of the three Fukras, Lali, talks about Varun Sharma’s titular character in the third instalment of the unexpected hit franchise. Almost a decade since the first film, Fukrey has carved a niche for itself as an unabashed, humour-driven series. In its third outing, it revolves around an unexpected gift that transforms coincidences and unwavering faith in both camps.
In this third instalment, all the madness turns into a political battle for the heart of Delhi. And though Fukrey 3 occasionally, and disappointingly, meanders into a somewhat incoherent comedy, it ultimately stays true to its slapstick, old-school ideals. Is it for real?
Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Manjot Singh, and Pankaj Tripathi return as the inept group of misfits who, despite the maturity of the previous film’s climax, find a way to mess up another promising opportunity. They run an electronic store on the streets of chaotic Delhi aimlessly. Kshitij Dhumal looks lost, Disha Atal is directionless, and Choocha, the sole provider of empty time and blind superstition, is a kind of progress with backward ideals.
When played by Richa Chadha, Bholi Punjaban decides to contest local elections; she assigns the group to assist in her campaign. Choocha, the fool whose dreams and premonitions inspired the franchise, takes centre stage once again. This time, at least for the first half of the film, it’s his raw, unnatural attraction that provides an unwelcome foil to the Punjabi bombshell. Popularity and celebrity fickleness get a sly comment when the soldier questions the character’s dependence on Varun Sharma’s idiocy. Nevertheless, Choocha still carries the torch for the Punjaban and articulates it theatrically as ever.
Choocha and Punjaban face off in a political showdown where Choocha seems to be tilting in his favour. It’s a flimsy argument – popularity – but the franchise’s confidence in it depends largely on Varun Sharma’s foolishness. Nevertheless, Choocha still holds the candle for the Punjabi and articulates it theatrically, as ever. And although everything boils down to a fitting social message in the end, Fukrey 3, sometimes frustratingly, but ultimately satisfyingly, adheres to its slapstick, old-school ideals. Is it real?
Directed by Mrigdeep Lamba, Fukrey 3 is exceptionally exciting thanks to its merits. It may rarely indulge in restraint, perhaps because its mild comedy pushes the boundaries of acceptability. Urine and sweat come together in a magical production of fuel, perfect for the franchise’s constant exploration. Indeed, its most hilarious part comes when it questions its clear, absurd existence.
This quality is always wholeheartedly embraced by Lali (Singh), who can’t help but comment on the series of farcical events that have put Choocha in the spotlight, completely bewildered. He’s a red herring, a unicorn who disrupts the script and erases all signs of a broader narrative.
Pankaj Tripathi provides a serene reflection on the anarchy that could otherwise be deafening. Singh and Samrat are capable of supporting acts.