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'Fukrey 3' Review: Fukrey Gang Deserves a Break; Bholi Punjaban Deserves More

'Fukrey 3' stars Richa Chadha, Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Pankaj Tripathi, and Manjot Singh.

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You could add a crocodile, a fairy, even a dinosaur in the suburbs of Delhi and I would try to make an argument for creative liberty. Because chaos is something so intrinsic to human nature that it also adds to the allure of an art like cinema – the possibility of finding joy (or hope) in chaos.

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This is what, for me, makes Fukrey such an enjoyable watch. The 2013 film about four good-for-nothing friends finding a path to fortune in an unlikely miracle was both hilarious and innovative. The film understood what controlled chaos means. The third installment…not so much.

'Fukrey 3' stars Richa Chadha, Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Pankaj Tripathi, and Manjot Singh.

Pulkit Samrat and Varun Sharma in a still from 'Fukrey 3'. 

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Fukrey 3 picks up where its precursor left off – the gang (minus Ali),  Hunny (Pulkit Samrat), Choocha (Varun Sharma), and Lali (Manjot Singh) gear up to battle their adversary (a still iconic) Bholi Punjaban. This time the fight is political, as the gang and Bholi battle for a win in the Delhi legislative assembly elections.

'Fukrey 3' stars Richa Chadha, Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Pankaj Tripathi, and Manjot Singh.

A still from 'Fukrey 3'. 

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

There is some commentary about a 'tanker mafia' and water shortage in the capital city woven into the film. So far, so good right? That's why the movie's first half is pretty fun. Of course, a lot of the punches don't land but the Fukrey energy is there.

Pankaj Tripathi is still seemingly having the time of his life on set as Pandit and it reflects in the character's perfect grasp of comic timing. Hunny, Choocha, and Lali's dynamic hasn't changed.

And Richa Chadha is picture perfect as the ambitious, morally ambiguous Bholi.  The film hints at a deeper exploration of her character – it almost feels like bait. Whenever Bholi is on screen, you feel like investing again, wanting to figure out how she'll outsmart everyone this time. But Bholi seems regrettably sidelined this time around.

'Fukrey 3' stars Richa Chadha, Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Pankaj Tripathi, and Manjot Singh.

Richa Chadha in a still from 'Fukrey 3'. 

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Instead, we have a film chock full of toilet humour. It's been said over and over again and I'll say it again – humour is subjective. Toilet humour is not something I enjoy, you might. But the fact remains that here it's rarely funny even within its own mandate.

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Fukrey 3 does bring the laughs but mostly when we see the characters existing in their setting, interacting with each other and their space. Varun Sharma is still the highlight – not the brightest tool in the shade but in this universe, the most effective.

Removing Choocha from Fukrey 3 wouldn't leave much to watch.

But it's perhaps the nostalgia of Fukrey (and the magnificently toe-tapping recap the third film opens with) that still had me hoping for more. Even when the gang travels to South Africa in hopes of using Choocha's deja chu (he can predict and detect things) powers to find diamonds, I was intrigued.

'Fukrey 3' stars Richa Chadha, Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Pankaj Tripathi, and Manjot Singh.

A still from 'Fukrey 3'. 

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

It's when Choocha's urine and Hunny's sweat combined to form petrol that I finally sat back and echoed Lali's sentiments, "Yahan chal kya raha hai?"

The problem here is that Fukrey 3 is trying to do too much.

Yes, the premise is that strange things happen to the gang and these things then save them from whatever new danger their lack of basic survival skills has landed them in.

But Fukrey 3 sqaunders it's own premise.

'Fukrey 3' stars Richa Chadha, Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Pankaj Tripathi, and Manjot Singh.

Pankaj Tripathi and Manjot Singh in a still from 'Fukrey 3'. 

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

I laughed more at Bholi Punjaban's reluctance to give out her real name than most of the second half. The exchange about parathas carried out mostly via echo? Had me in splits. Lali trying to make chai and advertise his business while things are rapidly falling apart around the gang? Gold.

If Fukrey 3 trusted the precedent they'd themselves set, this movie would've been an entertainer for the ages. But as it stands, it's a middling comedy that makes me wish for Bholi Punjaban, Choocha, and Pandit spin-off to ward off the blues.

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Topics:  Pulkit Samrat   Richa Chadha   Fukrey 

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