(IANS Review) Fukrey 3: Third Time Not So Funny (IANS Rating: *1/2)

(MENAFN- IANS) Mumbai, Sep 28 (IANS) Comedy is the most difficult of all genres, and we have all seen some wonderfully amusing films that made us convulse with laughter or made us chuckle and crease up.

Kishore Kumar's films, notably 'Half Ticket' and 'Padosan'; or many of Mahmood's comic capers are hard to emulate. Priyadarshan's films, in the recent past, have had us rolling with uncontrollable laughter, but an out-and-out comedy is still few and far between.

After the two successful franchises of 'Fukrey' in 2013 and 'Fukrey Returns' in 2017, writer Vipul Vig and director Mrighdeep Singh Lamba must have thought that they could pull off another entertainer and laugh all the way to the bank.

No harm in dreaming, but didn't they know that they needed a script -- a solid one at that -- to allow fine actors to play around with?

'Fukrey 3' stars almost all of the cast of the earlier prequels and would have been a laugh riot too had there been some really eccentric characters in funny situations delivering side-splitting lines.

All it does is make use of the talent of actors in stale circumstances. With little success.

The story of four friends facing disastrously funny situations together and having each other's backs through the trenches, to make it out of a new mess each time, is a great premise to build on. Having earned the fast buck two times with the first two films, it isn't difficult to cash in on a similar themed film.

And so, Lamba's 'Fukrey 3' has no plausible storyline. All it has are the familiar characters -- Choocha (Varun Sharma), Lali (Manjot Singh), Hunny (Pulkit Samrat), and Pandit (Pankaj Tripathi) -- returning as a team to get even with Bholi Punjaban (Richa Chadha).

Bholi of course is as ambitious as ever, and is contesting the upcoming Delhi Legislative Assembly election. As luck would have it, Choocha too is an unlikely contender as an independent challenger to Bholi.

Along with what seems like a simplistic plan, there is a rather big-sized diamond for which they all have to fly all the way to a mine in South Africa. Life seems sorted for the four, who on a foreign excursion can also have loads of fun.

Choocha is the jester who everyone of the friends loves to hate. Or hates to love. With his gags that have dried up for long, he is the saviour among the quartet, who can help them earn too.

Lamba makes sure it is Choocha who gets more screen time than the others. He also gets all the jokes to crack, and since the focus is on him, a lot of the wisecracks are also directed at him.

The script centers around the four and keeps threatening to get derailed with absurd twists. One of them involving Bholi's bodyguard Bobby (Olanokiotan Gbolabo Lucas) and Dhingra (Amit Dhawan), the villain who has a thing for Bholi and has also helped her in many ways in return for which he wants sexual favours from her.

The first half is all over the place and has bizarre meaningless turns that don't head anywhere. Once in South Africa, where they have a job in the mines to find a diamond, there is some plot development but it gets completely disrupted with the silliest of jokes that revolve around pee, petrol and water.

If you are squirming, think of all those sitting in theatres having to sit through inconsequential dialogues that don't necessarily culminate into any finality.

Back home there are water issues raised for politicians to sink their teeth into. Needless to add, these have been thrown in in good measure to make the quaint and quirky look a tad digestible. Or is it the other way around?

From among the cast, for Varun Sharma as Choocha, it's half the battle won as he plays the central joker and has others concentrating on his weird plans. Chadha looks too listless in this part adventure, comedy, drama, thriller, and like the rest of the actors, doesn't really add up.

Tripathy has a lot of fun trying to make the nonsensical look believable for him. A great actor that he is, he walks away with taalis from the audience in many of the scenes.

What peps you up is the great singer Sona Mahapatra's voice warbling 'Ambarsariya...' from the first part, and 'Ve Fukrey', in which Asis Kaur's voice stands out. Amalendu Chaudhary's camerawork is nothing to write home about.

Film: Fukrey 3 (playing in theatres) Duration: 150 minutes

Director: Mrighdeep Singh Lamba

Cast: Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Manjot Singh, Richa Chadha and Pankaj Tripathi

Cinematography: Amalendu Chaudhary Music: Tanishk Bagchi, Abhishek Nailwal and Sumeet Bellary

IANS Rating: *1/2




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