INTERVIEW

‘Fukrey Returns’ is a natural extension of the 2013 cult hit, says Mrighdeep Singh Lamba

The original cast members from ‘Fukrey’ (2013) reprise their roles in the sequel that will be released on December 8.

No one at Excel Entertainment had expected their 2013 release Fukrey to become a cult success. The idea of a sequel too did not emerge immediately. It was only when Fukrey’s characters (Choocha, Bhoji Punjaban, et al) became household names after repeat telecasts on television that its makers decided to give Fukrey Returns a shot. Writer-director Mrighdeep Singh Lamba and his writing partner Vipul Vig set aside all their other ideas and got down to writing Fukrey Returns by the end of 2015. The film will be released on December 8.

Fukrey Returns brings back the Delhi boys – Hunny (Pulkit Samrat), Zafar (Ali Fazal), Lali (Manjot Singh) and the clairvoyant Choocha (Varun Sharma) – in a new setting. Crime queen Bholi Punjaban (Richa Chadha), who had been arrested by the police at the end of the first film thanks to the boys, is out of jail and she means payback. Chaos ensues, which involves among other things, a tiger, and Choocha’s new-found ability to see into the future which he calls “Deja-chu.”

“We did not expect Fukrey to become so loved by the audience,” Lamba said. “We realised that people had begun to love Fukrey’s characters. They would want to know what happened to them next. Fukrey Returns has the same kind of flavour as the first film. Nothing has been forced. It’s a natural extension from Fukrey. We just hope that the audience loves the second film as much as the first.”

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Fukrey Returns.

The first film, set in Delhi, emerged out of the writers’ experiences as teenagers. Lamba met Vij through actor-writer Manu Rishi Chadha. Their initial idea was to write a film about two boys aspiring to get into college. After brainstorming and several drafts, a slice-of-life story became a comic caper with strong autobiographical elements drawn from Lamba and Vig’s lives.

For instance, the arc of Lali, who studies through correspondence and wants to get into a regular college, is Lamba’s own story. Lamba’s memories of spending time with his brother became a part of the film. Most of the action is set around East Delhi, which is where Vig grew up. Bholi Punjaban is a fictional take on the real-life Sonu Punjaban, the criminal jailed for running a sex racket worth crores. The detail regarding the illegal lottery business that plays a part in both the films, however, came out of research.

Barring Manjot Singh as Lali, the rest of the headliners in Fukrey had to audition for their roles. Casting Choocha, in particular, took a lot of tests until Varun Sharma was finalised. Even Chadha, who had earned critical acclaim the previous year for her work in Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur, had to audition for Bholi Punjaban’s role. All the actors of Fukrey reprise their roles in the new film with few new additions to the cast.

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Fuk Fuk Fukrey, Fukrey (2013).

Lamba’s association with Excel Entertainment goes back to 2003, when he worked as an assistant on the Delhi schedule of Farhan Akhtar’s Lakshya (2004). A film school graduate, Lamba worked on advertisements, made short films, and was part of many independent productions in Delhi. The ambition to work on bigger features made him move to Mumbai. He worked on Akhtar’s Don: The Chase Begins Again (2006) as the second assistant director. In 2011, his directorial debut, the comedy, Teen Thay Bhai, opened to lukewarm reviews and was quickly forgotten.

Lamba met Vig soon after. They approached Ritesh Sidhwani, Akhtar’s partner at Excel Entertainment, with a fresh screenplay, and Fukrey was born.

Lamba is content after having delivered the sequel as envisioned. He has not had time to process the feeling of having completed the new film, let alone contemplate working on a third part. “All I can think of now is looking forward to showing Fukrey Returns,” Lamba said. “Now, everything depends on the coming Friday.”

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Tu Mera Bhai Nahi Hai, Fukrey Returns (2017).
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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.