Fryday, also known as Carry On Water Purifier Salesman, is exactly as promised: the great Govinda steals the show, Varun Sharma holds his own, Brijendra Kala chips in, and the female characters stand around like pieces of furniture.

Abhishek Dogra’s Fryday, based on a story by Rajeev Kaul and Manu Rishi Chadha’s screenplay, stars Govinda as popular theatre actor Gagan Kapoor. Gagan is well-versed in the art of improvisation, which helps when Rajeev (Varun Sharma) lands up at his doorstep to sell him a water purifier just as he is preparing to get it on with his lover Bindu (Digangana Suryavanshi).

Gagan has a wife, Bela (Prabhleen Sandhu), but she doesn’t give him what he wants the most. “Once in a week is must, what about Gagan Kapoor’s lust,” groans the under-serviced husband. Enter Bindu, who is similarly fettered by the bonds of marriage (to Rajesh Sharma’s Ranpal).

A familiar device of interrupted coitus fuels much of the comedy in Fryday. Rajeev has never managed to sell a single water purifier unit, but he soon discovers that Gagan isn’t the ideal customer. Just to ensure that this movie will be categorised as a comedy of errors, Gagan and Bindu are sidetracked first by a thief (Brijendra Kala), then Rajeev, then Rajeev’s associate (Ishtiyak Khan) and finally Ranpal.

The movie is set in Delhi, and is filled with brusqueness and earthy jokes. Some of the humour lands on target, especially in the scenes with Govinda and Varun Sharma. Fryday feels like a play or a low-budget television film at all times, but at least some attention has been paid to the banter.

The dialogue includes tributes to Govinda’s unerring timing. “You are a school unto yourself,” Rajeev admiringly tells Gagan. When will you get an Oscar, Gagan is asked. At least let me get a national award, he replies. How about crafting a role for Govinda that properly capitalises on his comic talents and persuades him to shed off the anything-goes quality and tackiness of his recent films? Fryday isn’t quite a comeback for Govinda, but it will have to do for his extant fanbase.

Fryday (2018).