Director: Mrighdeep Singh Lamba
Cast: Varun Sharma, Pulkit Samrat, Ali Zafar, Manjot Singh, Richa Chadha, Pankaj Tripathi
About an hour into Fukrey Returns, Hunny, one of the four fukreys, solemnly declares – sabhi cheezen samajh aayen, yeh zaroori toh nahin. I felt like he was direct messaging me. Because honestly, I just didn't get this film. And I don't mean that I missed the sub-text or any over-arching philosophy. I actually couldn't follow the plot.
Here's what I understood – we are one year after the events of the last film, the four fukreys – Hunny, Lali, Zafar and Choocha – are doing well but then the fiery Bholi Punjaban (Richa Chadha), who they helped put in jail, gets out and all hell breaks loose. There is also a corrupt minister who controls Delhi's lottery dens, a tiger and her cub, an underground khazana, a rival chief minister, two girl friends, Choocha's premonitions, an organ selling operation and a 10 crore scam that the fukreys inflict on the gullible delhi-wallas. Through all this, Ali Fazal and I had the same fixed expression – absolute bewilderment.
Fukrey Returns feels like a few good characters in search of a story. Director Mrighdeep Singh Lamba who wrote the film with Vipul Vigcreates some laugh out loud moments – mostly around Choocha, played by Varun Sharma and Pandit ji, played by the terrific Pankaj Tripathi. Tripathi's droll expression and his delivery of choice English dialogue is consistently funny. There's also some fun to be had with Bholi and her two foreign henchmen who don't understand her instructions – so she must translate mitti ka tel as oil of mud.
But this is pretty much as good as it gets. The rest of it is disjointed scenes stitched together in a haphazard fashion. The first film was a genial romp about Hunny, Lali and Choocha desperately trying to get into a cool college. Mrighdeep accurately captured a theater of the absurd in East Delhi. But Fukrey Returns offers little that is new. Because Choocha and Bholi were the most interesting characters in the first film, the second leans too hard on them. The others, except Pandit ji, barely make an impression. And the lovely song Ambarsariya, is used again.
Fukrey Returns soon dissipates into exhausting foolishness. There are scenes which Features snake bites on butts, which reminded me of another film with snake bites on butts – the singularly awful Great Grand Masti. Thinking about which made me even more tired.
But I like these characters – they are fun and endearing – and I hope Mrighdeep finds a better way to use them.
I'm going with two stars.