Mrighdeep Singh Lamba’s 2013 film “Fukrey” (slang for slackers) was a fairly funny, if not particularly memorable film about four friends and their misadventures. Memory is obviously misleading, because Lamba thought his source material was worthy of a sequel.
The film picks up a year later with the four friends – Hunny (Pulkit Samrat) Choocha (Varun Sharma), Lali (Manjot Singh) and Zafar (Ali Fazal) – having apparently gotten over their encounter with Bholi Punjaban (Richa Chadha), the gangster whom they helped put in jail.
The four friends rely on Choocha’s dreams and premonitions to predict lottery numbers, running a side business that helps keep the money coming.
But when Punjaban gets out of prison with the help of a crooked politician, she rounds up the four friends and makes them pay. The film hurtles from one half-baked plot point to the other. We see CGI-enhanced tigers, Choocha’s attempts at romancing Punjaban, but none of them contribute to genuine moments of humor in the film. The only person who seems to be having fun is Pankaj Tripathi, who plays Pandit, an acquaintance of the four protagonists. Tripathi is perfect with his deadpan humor, bringing a semblance of sense to what is otherwise a tepid script from the start.
Sharma and Samrat hog all the lines, but are unable to generate a single laugh, and Fazal and Singh seem content to cower in the sidelines and hope no one notices them.
This is a dull month for Bollywood, and “Fukrey Returns” just adds to the gloom.