Here's another movie about Delhi loafers. You know the kind where the characters are imbeciles, talk in that Delhi twang and have language quirks unique to the place. There's a fat one among them, the silliest of the lot - he naturally doesn't have a romantic track and is stupid enough to ask his friend for "Campa" when he is being rescued from being kidnapped.
Rescued from where? Ok.
Four characters - the Fukreys - are in need of money. Two of them (Pulkit Samrat and Varun Sharma) have a sweet scam going on. The plump guy has weird dreams in the night, the friend interprets the dream into a number and they buy a lottery ticket. They always win.
Now they need money to buy off exam papers (charming, right?). The third character, an 'artist-type' (Ali Fazal, looking like he's going to cry) with a guitar in his hand, needs it for his father's treatment. The fourth (Manjot Singh) also needs the cash for exam papers (the writer has ran out of reasons).
The influential college watchman called Punditji (Panjak Tripathi), the most interesting character in the film, is arranging the leaked papers. He takes them to the local crime-lord Bholi Punjaban (Richa Chaddha) who has 'Sinderella' tattooed on her neck.
She's ready to invest in the Fukrey's dream but naturally losing the money will have its repercussions.
As you've already assessed, the story's weak, and more unforgivably, reeks of unoriginality. At the end of the muddled finale, you think back to Delhi Belly, and wonder how many spin-offs you'll have to endure.
The humour is a surprisingly tepid. For a film with a killer title like this, that projects itself as an out-and-out comedy, this is disappointing.
For "laughs" you have the fat guy named 'Chooncha' (if that made you laugh, I guess you should watch the film), and Delhi people speaking bad English like, 'Bhai confusing mat kar'. Then you have random shots that make fun of old people and laughter clubs.
The young boys send kites over to the girl's terrace with 'Kya tu mujhse friendship karegi?' scrawled on it. And we are also to believe that these youngsters don't know the meaning of cargo pants and call it the "badi jebon waali pant" (the pants with many pockets). Is this today's reality or some fantasy that Bollywood has over the way Delhi-ites behave?
Dialogue tries hard to be witty but hardly makes you laugh. There are flat lines like, "Call for more or I'll make you dance like a mor." Speaking of mor, there actually is a peacock and lion towards the end - all costumes, of course.
Perhaps the funniest portion in the film appears in the second half, which shows an elaborate 'mata ki chowki'. At least that portion makes a point about the money-making in god's name, and is therefore hilarious. What also works for the film are the performances and the music.
But director Mrigdeep Singh Lamba (he directed Teen Thay Bhai in 2011) doesn't manage to spin this one. The jokes are flat, and more importantly, the characters don't elicit your interest or sympathy.
Why would the viewer care about four louts who want the money, essentially to cheat on their exams? Why do we root for them? This happens only when the characters are so brilliantly moulded, you cannot help but take an interest.
Excel Entertainment has made Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara two iconic bromance films. This one just doesn't measure up.
A word to all the young filmmakers out there perhaps it's time to leave Delhi and friendship alone and move to newer pastures. There are so many stories, yet untold.
Rating: 1.5 stars