'Fukrey Returns is Hard to Hate and Difficult to Love'
Mrighdeep Singh Lamba
Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Ali Fazal, Manjot Singh, Pankaj Tripathi, Richa Chadda
Fukrey Returns is one of those rare films that is very hard to review as it is so polarizing. While I laughed my guts out in many scenes, there were also patches were boredom set in. Add to that a story that has so many angles and subplots that it becomes hard to justify them all and you have a film that is hard to hate and difficult to love. This is a film that exists only because of the success of its predecessor and that shows in the way the film is written and directed. However, what cannot be ignored are the rib-tickling situational comedy and the utterly hilarious acts of Varun Sharma and Pankaj Tripathi.
Fukrey Returns starts one year after the events of the first film. Bholi Punjaban (Richa Chadda) barters a deal of 10 crores with a minister to get her out of jail. Once out, she goes all out against Hunny (Pulkit), Choocha (Varun), Lali (Manjot) and Zafar (Ali Fazal) to conjure up a lottery number from Choocha's dream and also involve investments from half of Delhi so that the winnings are substantial to make up for the 10 crore that Bholi has to pay the minister. However, things don't go according to plan.
Fukrey Returns has all the elements that made its predecessor so popular. If you didn't like the first installment, chances are you will hate this one. It must also be noted that this film doesn't go bigger and better with its comedy or the story for that matter. I found it a tad bit underwhelming than the first one but it still had enough to keep me interested and laughing. The biggest credit for that has to be given to the performances. Varun Sharma's act is so loveable and endearing that it becomes impossible to ignore his charisma. At many junctures, it felt as if the whole film was anchoring on his comedy.
There are some hilarious situations that are envisioned just to let the man show his flair and he doesn't disappoint. The first scene where he is dreaming being with Bholi, the scene where he is rescued from the river and given mouth-to-mouth respiration by a rag picker, his every interaction with Pankaj Tripathi's character and the final scene where he tells Pankaj Tripathi the story of his birth as narrated to him by his father are all there just to en-cash on the charm of Varun's essay.
Pankaj Tripathi is my next favorite in terms of performances. What I liked the most about his essay was the amount of surprise he was able to convey through his expressions at the stupidity of Choocha. His expressions make Choocha's act funnier. Pulkit Samrat as Hunny is great and so is Manjot Singh as Lali. I felt that they could have given Manjot a little more screen time. Richa Chadda is terrific in her act. She was superb in the first installment and here she just carries forward her act from where she left off in the first installment.
Fukrey Returns will appeal only to those who find the acts of the Furkeys endearing. There is nothing more in the film to demand your attention or view for that matter. There are better comedies out there too but the comedy here works as it rides on the shoulders of the men involved. The film also makes no sense whatsoever. Hence, watch this one only if you liked the first film and are not expecting depth and drama from a film that aims at being nothing more than some mindless fun.
'A Whirlwind Adventure Ride'
Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Lily James, Jon Hamm, Eiza González, Jon Bernthal
Baby Driver is the latest offering from Edgar Wright, the man who brought us films like Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead and The World's End. Wright is one of the most exhilarating and out of the box directors as far as action films are concerned and if you already don't know that, then all you need to do is watch any of his films.
All his previous films were highly entertaining and they all had a wicked sense of humor associated with them. If you look at his filmography, each of his films are of a different genre. Shaun of the Dead was a zombie apocalypse film, Hot Fuzz a cop thriller and The World's End a semi-horror sci-fi film. Baby Driver is a heist film with a dash of music.
Baby is a getaway driver who had a serious accident when he was a kid and has since then left a humm in his ears. He listens to music all the time in order to drain that humm. He mostly reads lips to understand what he is being told. He works for a boss who is holding him for a ransom. He has one last job to finish and then he will be on his own. It is at this juncture that he meets Debora (Lily James) and falls head over heels in love with her. This relation complicates Baby's life further and forces him to take some tough decisions.
I just loved this film. Baby Driver is one of the most imaginative and well-made action films of the year. We have seen chase sequences of varied types from the superhero stuff of the Fast and Furious to the increasingly brutal action of the Death Race series to the clean and beautiful chase sequences of Gone in 60 Seconds. But Baby Driver brings something spectacularly fresh and out of the box to the table.
Like all Edgar Wright films, Baby Driver is beautifully shot. Leaving aside the action sequences which are breathtaking, even the regular scenes like the ones where they are planning the heist and the ones in which Baby is wooing Deborah are captivatingly beautiful.
Ansel Elgort does exceedingly well as Baby. The rest of the cast is just as good. Kevin Spacey is a man who can talk and talk and one could still listen without getting bored. It's interesting to note how organic his act is as he transforms from someone who forces Baby into the horrific life that he is a part off to someone who saves him. On the other hand, Jon Hamm starts off as one of the only guys who likes Baby but in the end something happens that makes him vie for Baby's blood and turns him into the principal baddy.
Baby Driver will add to Edgar Wright's long list of good and successful films. I couldn't find any problem with this film apart from the fact that its plot is pretty generic and we have seen films of this type a zillion times before. But what the film lacks in novelty, it more than makes up for in execution, performances and action. Baby Driver is a thrilling watch that deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible.