Every country has its own fukras, and fukrapanti is global, say the cast of Fukrey Returns, the sequel to the 2013 breakout hit Fukrey. Cast members Ali Fazal, Manjot Singh and Varun Sharma spoke exclusively with Connected to India as part of their extensive promo campaign.
According to the cast, the sequel came together at the perfect time, and was something director and writer Mrighdeep Singh Lamba had been planning even before the first movie gained a cult following. The sequel has the fukras in more hair-raising situations, with Bholi Punjaban back for vengeance and a new mystery villain being introduced.
The movie has a wide following overseas, and as Varun said, "Fukras are not limited only to India; every country has their own. They have their own language, their own situations but their fukrapanti remains the same." Fukrey Returns is set to release simultaneously in Singapore and India.
The comedy film, which was earlier releasing on December 15, got preponed and is now set to arrive early on December 8. The film has been produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, and also stars Pankaj Tripathi, Priya Anand and Vishakha Singh. Catch some excerpts from our chat with the fukras.
CtoI: Bollywood is gaining fame and recognition internationally and has a huge international following, especially with the growth of the Indian diaspora. Have you made any special efforts to ensure Fukrey Returns is popular overseas as well?
Varun Sharma: When we were making the first part as well, it was the content and situation that worked for them. It was the realism that worked for them, and even internationally, the audience loved that characters and the situations they were put in. We’ve not made Fukrey Returns keeping a certain market in mind; we’ve gone with the flow and let the characters and story shape up. The stakes are higher, and the characters are crazier in a bigger situation. Fukras are not limited only to India; every country has their own. They have their own language, their own situations but their fukrapanti remains the same. That’s why I feel people all over the world are going to enjoy it; it’s always nice to see four cute boys get tortured by one big Bholi.
Ali Fazal: My entire crew from Victoria and Abdul messaged me when they saw the trailer, and they thought it was really funny. And these are non-Hindi speaking people. There’s something about situational comedies that have a global feel to them. Especially, in part two the director has used these ploys even more; not consciously targeting the international audience, but the more authentic a movie is, the more appealing it is.
Manjot Singh: First of all, it’s a great thing that we’re getting such an amazing international response. Fukrey Returns caters to the youth the world over.
CtoI: There’s a lot more hype and expectations for the sequel, so what’s new about the characters this time around? How does Fukrey Returns build on the success of the first film?
Manjot Singh: I think the characters are the same, but the situation is different; the mess we create is different. Bholi is back for revenge after we had her jailed in the first film and had her dhandas shut down. This time, she’s out for payback against all four fukras; the stakes are higher and we’re getting tortured. There’s someone above Bholi this time, and it’s a surprise for the audience. You can call him Babbar sher (laughs) or Bhola.
Ali Fazal: The best thing is that the characters are the same. It's not like we shifted characters into something totally different for the second part; the whole point is to connect the plots. This time, there’s a new entrant, and we’re running around all over Delhi. There was this one scene where we had one take to run across loha pull (iron bridge) with 300-400 people behind us and jump into the Yamuna. We couldn’t have done it again; that was one of the scary moments during the production that shows us the magnitude of what’s at stake. It’s just a roller coaster ride this time around.
Varun Sharma: I would just like to add on that please go watch Fukrey Returns on December 8, and you’ll have a great, great time whether you need subtitles or not to understand the plot. The visuals of the movie are amazing enough to make you go crazy laughing.
CtoI: Are there any concrete plans for Fukrey 3?
Varun Sharma: That all depends on whether you shower the same amount of love on Fukrey Returns. If you do, we’ll give you a return gift and come back in a third installment.
Ali Fazal: Let this movie work first. Why not? We can spin off into Fukrey 3 or 4.
CtoI: What’s your take on the issue of censorship and the role it should play, given the uproar over movies like Indu Sarkar and Padmavati?
Ali Fazal: The more we say, the more it turns into something else, like a Chinese whisper. That’s why we’ve all been focusing on our film and hope that we’ll end the year on a fun and comedic note that will give people a little bit of a breather. We hope it’ll be something for people to enjoy; remember that movies are to enjoy or take away something from at the end of the day. Some issues have become very serious and gone out of hand; that is not within our purview until and unless everything is made clear. I have full support for all the industry people who are out there making wonderful cinema and trying to tell stories. At the end of the day, cinema filmmaking is about the times we live in, and telling the stories in different ways. So, here is us, coming out with Fukrey Returns, which is a little bit of our own madness.
CtoI: Is there anything else you’d like to tell your fans and audience, especially in Singapore and overseas?
Varun Sharma: Just have fun and enjoy yourselves on the weekend of December 8 with Fukrey Returns; have a great time and come out smiling. One of my close friends is living in Singapore and I want him to go watch the movie. Here’s me, saying hi to Shivesh.
Ali Fazal: I’d like to say the same. My cousin sister lives in Singapore, who I haven’t met in years. So, I really want her to go and watch it, and I hope she does.
Manjot Singh: Do go and see Fukrey Returns on December 8.