No ray of sunshine, this

No ray of sunshine, this

Hindi (U/A) **
Director: Mrighdeep Singh Lamba
Cast: Ali Fazal, Pulkit Samrat, Manjot Singh, Varun Sharma and Richa Chaddha

It seems that one-liners are being converted into full-length films with increasing frequency lately. Add to that an old formula of youngsters trying to get rich or arrange for some money through some or the other short-cut, and you have Fukrey, a Punjabi word that can mean a lot of things, but is directed at describing four youngsters who do little with their lives, and somehow happen to have a lot of time on their hands. Unfortunately, what they do with that time ends up wasting a lot of the audience’s time.

But that disappointment isn’t all-pervading. The film has its moments, not the least of which is the start, which isn’t all that drawn out, and in fact only the name of the film is shown at the beginning. The customary credits are reserved for the end. By the time they roll, you almost forget this nifty little detail because your mind has had too much time to wander away. Yes, that’s how loose the entire flow of the film is.

Talking of that one-liner plot, four youngsters try to solve their money problems by banking on two of them — one who has weird dreams, and another who interprets them (Sigmund Freud must have turned in his grave) to pick out the name and number of the illegal lottery scheme that will win that day, but everything goes awry and the financier goes for the jugular. Yes, it’s that hackneyed.

The screenplay isn’t all that bad, but it needed some edge. And that goes for the dialogues too. Except for one or two songs — Ambarsariya leaps immediately to mind — the music isn’t pathbreaking, which is saying a lot when the composer is as talented and promising as Ram Sampath. One or two aspects of cinematography, like showing the passage of time by using time-lapse panorama shots of important landmarks in Delhi, are commendable.

As for the human element, the bumbling act by debutant Varun Sharma shows promise, as does Richa Chaddha’s turn as the foul-mouthed, ink-hearted underworld figure. Pankaj Tripathi playing the college guard Panditji deserves a special mention, because of the details that add to his character, like knowing all the relevant illegal contacts, or trying to rope in another man using a pyramid scheme. Mrighdeep Lamba, who had done quite a good job with Teen The Bhai, lets fans down, and with Fukrey. Wonder what Farhan Akhtar’s co-producers for films like Lakshya and Dil Chahta Hai saw in this film. Because we really didn’t!

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