Friday 14 June 2013

Movie Review: Fukrey

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Star Cast:
Pulkit Samrat, Manjot Singh, Ali Fazal, Priya Anand, Richa Chadda, Vishakha Singh
Mrighdeep Singh Lamba
Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani
Music Director:
Ram Sampath

Inevitably a low-budget, non-star film like this throws up a new face that the audience instantly develops an interest in. The crowd usually responds only when that debutant actor is on the screen and more so because they find him to be original or at least haven’t seen someone like him/her before. The movie becomes a great audition tape for the particular actor, begins to work for someone at least, which is always good to know.
I remember Pyaar Ka Punchnama (2011), another movie about Delhi boys, had one of the lead actors Divyendu Sharma playing a fast talking call centre employee. We see him a lot in ads and films now. Likewise, this film has a funny first-timer Varun Sharma who plays a fat, demented teenager, better known as Choocha. He dreams up weird things at night that hold the clue to the winning lottery number the next day. His buddy Hunny (Pulkit Samrat) deciphers the dream. Together they bet and make pots of money in the illegal lottery trade. These two kids want the cash to obtain leaked papers of their Class 12 exam. At some point they are okay to bet money and share the loot with two equally needy strangers (Ali Fazal, Manjot Singh) who they’ve just met. What calls for this philanthropy, you’re not sure. Anyway, it takes a long while to get to this plot.
The film’s title is not an unfortunate expletive hurled at the greatest Bengali/Indian filmmaker ever. Fukrey, I suppose, stands for a loser in Delhi slang. The film is set in the national capital region of course. Like so many movies. The city has become a film genre of its own, and that is understandable.
While still a cosmopolitan metropolis, Delhi is also at its heart a North Indian / Punjabi / Haryanvi provincial town, known for its colourful language and oddball characters. A lot of the times the dialogues said by typical Delhiwallahs on screen just sound funny for the way they are said, rather than exactly what. The funniest Delhi film though, Delhi Belly (2011), an inspiration for many that followed, could have been set in any other city. Delhi is of course also a prime market for “multiplex” movies. Besides, a lot of the creative talents working in Bollywood happen to be from there, or at least went to college there, and their works reflect that – Shoojit Sarkar (Vicky Donor), Habib Faizal (Do Dooni Char), Manish Sharma (Band Baaja Baraat), Dibakar Bannerjee, Imtiaz Ali....
Of the four main characters here, one is a brooding struggling musician, who could have been imported from Imtiaz’s Rockstar. The other is the son of a halwai shop owner – actor Manjot Singh, who we first saw in Dibakar’s Oye Lucky Lucky Oye. These central characters get into a debt trap with the top racketeer in town (Richa Chaddha).
What follows is as much a serious test of human patience as it is a semi laudable effort for a low budget independent flick. The material bears a lot of promise. It is humorous in parts. What it lacks is competent direction, sharp editing (if there was an editor on board at all), and robust camera work, given that this isn't really a collegiate level digital/experimental film. As the promos proudly announced, it’s been made by the “producers of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.” I see quite a few people in my theatre who may have walked in quite excited because of the same promos. They would have probably enjoyed this film far more, laughing at home, watching it on television, if at all. You might too. 

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