A decade has passed since the release of Fukrey, a film that chronicled the adventures and aspirations of two school buddies, Choochaa and Hunny, who yearned for a taste of college life. Their escapades roped in a quirky ensemble of characters, leading to chaotic yet humorous situations. Fast forward to the third installment of this franchise, and not only have the ambitions of these “fukras” (slackers) grown, but so has the film itself.
Fukrey 3 kicks off with a clever recap of the previous two films, cleverly set to a catchy tune. As the opening credits roll, this nostalgic song sets the stage for the latest antics of our beloved characters. Choocha (Varun Sharma) remains as goofy as ever, with Hunny (Pulkit Samrat) serving as the brains behind their schemes. Panditji (Pankaj Tripathi) keeps the gang united with his witty one-liners, while Bholi Panjaban (Richa Chadha) has grander ambitions for herself. Lali Halwai (Manjot Singh) might not have a clearly defined role, but he shines when brewing the perfect cup of masala chai. Fazal makes a charming cameo appearance in this group of daydreamers.
Bholi has moved beyond her criminal past and now rubs shoulders with the powerful elite. She aspires to win the Delhi Assembly elections and become a minister, but her dreams face a setback when Choocha becomes a threat to her popularity and political victory. This sparks a power struggle and one-upmanship between the fukras and Bholi, who struts around with two burly bodyguards, adding a comically serious air to her character.
Pankaj Tripathi, undoubtedly a crowd favorite, steals the show with his impeccable comic timing. Even when the dialogues fall short, his comedic flair shines through. But it’s Choocha, also known as Dilip Singh, who steals the limelight as the catalyst of the narrative. The first half of the film is packed with gags, with a mix of hits and misses. However, just before the intermission, a plot twist leaves the audience wondering if Fukrey 3 might take a more serious turn. They won’t be entirely disappointed.
The second half of the film, though with fewer comedic moments, delves into serious issues affecting the common people of Delhi. While staying within the world of Fukrey, the film highlights Delhi’s perpetual water crisis and the battle against the tanker mafia, giving these problems substantial screen time. Certain poignant scenes, such as a brave boy blocking the path of a water tanker and desperate residents storming a water amusement park with a resident alligator, shed light on the growing crisis in the national capital.
Amidst these intense sequences, Fukrey maintains its slapstick tone, heavily reliant on scatological humor. Is it a case of lazy writing, opting for the easy route to tickle the funny bone? The occasional lapses in logic and believability, though absurd, somehow manage to evoke laughter.
For a franchise that introduced us to a sassy, stylish, and intelligent female don, it feels like Fukrey 3 could have given her character more depth. Her potential for badassery, like pairing a scorpion-shaped maangtika with bridal wear, remains largely unexplored. Instead, the film predominantly sticks to the theme of “fukra-panti.”