Fukrey 3: It’s Pee for Petrol in this forced comedy

Varun Sharma, Pulkit Samrat, Manjot Singh and Pankaj Tripathi in Fukrey 3. Photo: Trailer Video Grab 

The first Fukrey (2013) was pretty mundane, and did average business as its characters caught on with the people. The Fukrey franchise, however, got a boost with Fukrey Returns (2017), which was an enjoyable crime-and-comedy caper. Part 3, called Fukrey 3, however, comes more than a bit undone at the seams.

Director-co-writer Mrighdeep Singh Lamba attempts to lend a socio-political angle this time, about candidates who stand for election and their basic combination of lack of intelligence and vision mingled with corruption, and the water mafia. The Fukrey gang (the term roughly means ‘good for nothing’) is again confronted by their arch-enemy, Bholi Punjaban a.k.a. Phool Kumari Saigal (Richa Chadha), in the continuation of the story.

We get an explanatory song right in the beginning that narrates everything that has happened earlier and are then reintroduced to the well-meaning but unlucky friends—Choocha (Varun Sharma), Hunny (Pulkit Samrat), Panditji (Pankaj Tripathi) and Lali (Manjot Singh). Zafar (Ali Fazal) is not there this time, and comes in with a cameo in the last frame of the narrative, with the series promising a fourth installment.

Well, how does the third part fare? Well, the script and makers clearly are banking on the goodwill created by the first two films, and does take viewers a shade for granted in the name of humor. In terms of the plotline, the film could well have been called Fukrey 3—Crime Petrol (yes, a pun on the cult TV show, Crime Patrol!) because it deals with crime and also a new ‘fuel’ for bikes discovered by chance by the ne’er-do-well protagonists by mixing human perspiration and urine, if you please!

The story, continuing from their last situation, features the irrepressible and stupid Choocha, who gets sudden premonitions that he calls déjà ‘chu’ after his pet name, as a pivotal character who is perennially in a self-made mess. He does have a long-standing silent crush on Bholi Punjaban, who is now standing for elections, and who promises voters a Delhi free of the water mafia that prevents the city from getting proper water supply, because the latter have to run their business in water tankers.

Choocha, campaigning for her, becomes a star for the masses, as the Fukrey gang is devising a plot to outwit Bholi for the election of a local leader in Delhi. Aghast, the devious Bholi Punjaban spends a mini-fortune through her faithful black acolytes (Frank Ossy Monye and Michael Havens) to fool the gang into visiting a diamond mine in Africa so that they are away from the city during her election campaign. The man behind the water mafia, Dhingra (Amit Dhawan) has been incensed with Bhola for making her impulsive promise to the people and she has to placate him if she has to get funds for her election.

In Africa, a lot of unexpected things happen, including the African daughter, Mombasa, of a Sikh couple (!!!) falling in love with Choocha, and also the accidental discovery of the new ‘fuel’. The Fukreys come back and the fun and crimes begin!

As with the earlier parts, a lot of the fun this time is leave-your-brains-at-home mad and whacky, but there is too much, audio-visually, by way of references to human excretion. Toilet humor is one thing, but this one has toilet humor at the core and more, and I am not just talking about the ‘fuel’.

The film is also too long for the material at hand, and a good 20 minutes from the 150-minute narration could have been cut. The songs, yet again, are worth ignoring, with the end-credits track faring just a shade better while on. The technical values are good, except for the slack editing, and the cinematography especially is noteworthy.

Mrighdeep Lamba’s direction and his script with Vipul Vig rely too much on lowbrow humor when this could have been a milestone crime comedy caper. Varun Sharma has stopped being funny eons ago and is irritating, even if his character is written full of clichés and gimmicks. The silent Manjot Singh scores high with his expressions and nuances. Richa Chadha gets back into the Bholi Punjaban groove expertly but does not make anywhere near the kind of impact she did in the previous two films.

Pankaj Tripathi, as always—including in this franchise—emerges the real star with his fluid turn as Panditji. He shines even in the most moronic situations and carries his trademark effortlessness through the most genuine unfunny sequences, even lifting some to a bearable or enjoyable level. Pulkit Samrat is sincere—nothing more, nothing less. The two blacks are very likable, and Manu Rishi Chadha, are all expectedly funny in a slapstick manner.

Wish the film (to give this devil its due, I did not get bored, except in the overlong climax) was better equipped to deliver what it promised last time—crazy, even if illogical but completely enjoyable entertainment. As things stand, it just falls short of getting pass marks.

Rating: **

Excel Entertainment’s Fukrey 3 Produced by: Ritesh Sidhwani & Farhan Akhtar Directed by: Mrighdeep Singh Lamba  Written by: Vipul Vig & Mrighdeep Singh Lamba  Music: Tanishk Bagchi, Sumeet Bellary & Abhishek Nailwal  Starring: Pankaj Tripathi, Pulkit Samrat, Richa Chadha, Varun Sharma, Manjot Singh, Frank Ossy Monye, Michael Havens, Rajiv Gupta, Manu Rishi Chadha, Geeta Agrawal Sharma, Sp. App.: Ali Fazal & others



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