Rather than coming up with clever ways for the wastrels of the Fukrey franchise to move forward, the makers of Fukrey 3 go back in time – meaning they regress. Fukrey 3 has the toilet humour beloved of eight-year-old boys, enacted by men who look like they never left the playground.

Compared to the new film, the first Fukrey, from 2013, is a comic masterpiece. The sequel, Fukrey Returns, arrived in 2017 with no other purpose except to give beloved characters a new crackpot adventure.

The stoner comedy vibe continues in Mrighdeep Singh Lamba’s Fukrey 3, but it appears that the substances that are being imbibed are terribly weak. In the latest round, Hunny (Pulkit Samrat), Choocha (Varun Sharma), Lali (Manjot Singh) and Pandit (Pankaj Tripathi) join forces yet again to take on Bholi Punjaban (Richa Chadha).

There’s an upcoming election to the Delhi legislative assembly in which Choocha emerges as an unlikely rival to Bholi. Also, a diamond needs to be extracted from a mine in South Africa. It’s little more than an excuse for a foreign jaunt, but perhaps well-deserved for the actors who work hard to enliven Vipul Vig’s screenplay.

Richa Chadha in Fukrey 3 (2023). Courtesy Excel Entertainment.

Absurdist, scattershot and slow-burning by design, the movie takes a long time to kick in. This approach worked best in the first Fukrey, which used the languid pace to set up its characters. In Fukrey 3, Bholi is defanged (Richa Chadha looks understandably bored at times), Hunny and Lali are the same old and Pandit continues to have immense fun (Pankaj Tripathi thoroughly enjoys himself). Olanokiotan Gbolabo Lucas, as Bholi’s bodyguard Bobby, has a few strong scenes to remember him by (the actor passed away in 2021).

Choocha hasn’t changed – that is his nature – which means that the joker in the pack is still the most valuable player. Varun Sharma is up for anything, which makes him a great sport and a lazily used asset.

Scatological humour abounds, much of it mercifully suggested rather than shown, but still icky enough to be off-putting. The 150-minute film, after making us aware of the passage of time, finally emerges from its stupor in the final act. The makers get so confident at their ability to create mayhem that they prepare the way for a fourth Fukrey film. Cut off their supply immediately and flush it down the toilet.

Fukrey 3 (2023).