Movie Review: Fukrey (2013)

fukrey0.5 Stars (out of 4)

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There’s a fundamental problem at the root of Fukrey. The story is about a couple of guys: one who has prophetic dreams, and another who interprets those dreams to pick the day’s winning lottery numbers. The guys run into trouble when they borrow money from a mobster and can’t pay it back.

Here’s the problem: with this infallible gambling system, why do they need to borrow money? Why aren’t they already rich?!

That the writers missed such an obvious problem is indicative of just how shoddily organized Fukrey is. As a result, the movie is a boring waste of 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Nothing occurs in a succinct or timely fashion in Fukrey. The prophetic dreams aren’t even mentioned until thirty minutes into the movie, and they don’t become relevant to the plot until the fifty-minute mark. The guys don’t get into trouble with the gangster until 75 minutes have passed, so nothing of consequence happens until the movie is half over.

All the time up to that point is spent establishing the characters as total morons. The dreamer, Choocha (Varun Sharma), and the interpreter, Hunny (Pulkit Samrat), are horny high schoolers eager to get into college so that they can score with chicks, or so they say. They grab each other and make kissy faces while they talk of future romantic conquests. They ogle every woman they see, so much so that it seems like overcompensation, especially in Choocha’s case. He seems to be quite in love with Hunny.

Meanwhile, Hunny is completely obnoxious in his pursuit of Priya (Priya Anand). He pops his collar and lies about his experience with French kissing (unless he’s been practicing on Choocha). Hunny lingers outside Priya’s house, posing with his best Derek Zoolander “Blue Steel” expression. He does everything that would turn a real-life woman off, but Priya falls for him because Hunny is the hero, and movie heroes always get the girl.

For some reason, writer Vipul Vig and director Mrigdeep Singh Lamba decided to make this about a quartet of guys, rather than keeping the story focused on Choocha and Hunny, the only two characters germane to the plot. Lali (Manjot Singh) would like to get into college to spy on his cheating girlfriend, and Zafar (Ali Fazal) hangs around campus playing guitar. Lali’s only contribution to the plot is that he puts his family’s restaurant up as collateral in the gambling scheme. Zafar is a superfluous mope.

Richa Chadda plays the mobster, Bholi. Her gang consists of a bunch of musclebound black men who operate a diversified crimeΒ  portfolio of drug peddling, extortion, prostitution, and even a telemarketing scam. The race of Bholi’s bodyguards is only significant because, at one point, Choocha refers to her gang as “the Chicago Bulls.” Shortly thereafter, Hunny wears a polo shirt sporting a Confederate flag patch. Not content to just be boring, Fukrey has to be racist, too.

The movie might make a little sense if Bholi had heard about Choocha’s prophetic dreams and decided to exploit his abilities for her own gain. But why do Choocha and Hunny need to go to her at all? The first time they won the lottery, why didn’t they save a little of their winnings and do the same thing the next day? That’s how gambling works: you win a little bit, and you keep playing hoping to win even more.

Since Hunny and Choocha know their system works, why haven’t they been exploiting this system for years, amassing a huge fortune? Just how dumb do you have to be to screw this up?

It’s not possible to care about characters this stupid. I hoped that Bholi would get sick of these morons and kill them for kicks. She doesn’t, so there’s really no good reason to see Fukrey.


31 thoughts on “Movie Review: Fukrey (2013)

  1. Karthik

    Hi Kathy, I discovered your blog a few days ago and have become a big fan of your reviews. have been reading the past ones as well. πŸ™‚

    I was eagerly waiting for Fukrey to release here in my place, but it didn’t. looks like I did not miss much. The two additional characters, by the way, are to add religious balance to the cast. A sikh and a muslim character. This is a familiar device used by Indian movie makers.

    1. Kathy

      Hi, Karthik! Good point about the casting. Lali’s Sikh faith plays a large role in his character’s story, but there’s nothing to indicate Zafar is a Muslim beyond his name. It would have made more sense for either Hunny or Choocha to be rewritten as a Muslim. I don’t know enough about local politics to know if that’s socially possible, but it would’ve helped to tighten up the script.

  2. Keyur Seta

    Hmmm. Let’s agree to disagree again, Kathy πŸ™‚
    With Fukrey, I have loved and respected a Bollywood movie after a long time. Won’t even mind watching it again.

    However, I fully agree with Hunny and Choocha being too desperate.


    1. Kathy

      If your review is available online, please post a link here, Keyur. I’m interested to read it. πŸ™‚

      1. Keyur Seta

        It’s not available online, Kathy. I will have to write a different one for my blog but I don’t have that much time. So I will mail you the review I wrote for the magazine right away πŸ™‚

        1. Kathy

          Thanks, Keyur. Based on your review, I think that Fukrey is a movie that doesn’t translate well from Hindi to English. I didn’t find it funny, but more so, I wasn’t sure what lines were meant to be funny. There was no one else in the theater with me, so I didn’t even have the laughter of other audience members to clue me in to what was supposed to be humorous. I’m glad the movie’s getting a good response in India, but I think this is a “skip” for audiences abroad.

          1. Keyur Seta

            I think it is better to reply to your mail here so that there can be a room for discussion.

            After reading your mail, review and comments over here, I recalled the humor in the film and realized that it can never be enjoyed in sub-titles. People also need to be well-versed with the typical style of speaking of Delhi-ites to enjoy such films. Yes, it is a skip for the audience abroad.

    1. Kathy

      Thanks for linking to your review, Mohammad! πŸ™‚ The movie is inconsistent about the details of dream process. Hunny scolds Choocha for not remembering his dreams, but they must play often because the lottery dealers recognized them. It’s another case where I think Vig and Lamba weren’t detail-oriented enough. A lot of actors and filmmakers state that comedy is much harder to do well than drama, and I think Fukrey proves that.

      1. Mohammad Farooq

        Yes, that’s an interesting point you raised there, with the lottery dealers knowing them. But then, these are Fukraas, one have to leave it at a doubt πŸ˜›

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  4. vinayaksharma1987

    Hi kathy,
    I can understand what you went through after watching the movie. I saw it Last night with english subtitles, its totally different from the original dialogues and thats why it looses its charm and humour… Questions raised by you are genuine but i believe that while watching indian movies one should leave brains behind. Also FUKREY translates to SLACKERS in english…

    1. Kathy

      Thanks for the comment, vinayaksharma1987. It’s tough when I’m watching a film and can tell that I’m not experiencing the movie the same way native speakers are. Subtitle writers who are good at transliterating material from one language to another are totally underrated.

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