When I met Kapil Sharma last month to talk about his December 1 release Firangi, the actor sounded confident about having made a good film. “I know what audience expects of me. They will come in to see me doing comedy but that’s not what they’ll only get. People will get to see me in a different avatar and different shades to my acting.” His director-friend Rajiev Dhingra, who has worked with him on a few projects for the small screen earlier, knew his actor’s abilities too well to take this risk. To make Firangi not just a comic caper but a dra-medy. Read my review to know what this film starring Kapil Sharma and Ishita Dutta in lead roles has in store for you.
What’s it about
Mangatram or Manga (Kapil Sharma) is a good for nothing fellow. Despite urges from family members, he fails to land a job. Without a job, there is no question of even getting married. His motivation to be financially independent and more responsible comes in the form of Sargi (Ishita Dutta), a pretty kudi from the neighbouring village whom he meets during his best friend Hira’s (Inaamulhaq) wedding. It is love at first sight but Manga knows the ‘no job, no wife’ bit. By chance, he lands a job as an orderly with a British police officer Daniel. Manga takes immense pride in his job and everyone around him now see him in a new light. Sargi’s parents are impressed too but her grandfather, a staunch Gandhian and the flag bearer of the ‘non-cooperation’ and ‘bharat chhodo’ movement in the village, feels Manga is as good as the Firangis for he works for them. To make his case weaker, a tragic event in the Sargi’s village has everyone pointing their fingers at Manga. Not one to give up hope, Manga decides to change the scenario and turn himself from a villain to a hero so that he can make his parents proud and marry Sargi with all parties on board.
Kapil Sharma, whom we have only seen as a brilliant comedian, is a revelation in Firangi. He has gone away from what was expected of him and taken a huge risk. But when you see the film and his acting chops, you understand how ambitious this small town guy, who came to Mumbai to realise his dreams, truly is. He has also proved that his conviction in the project, which he has also bankrolled under his K9 banner.
But mind you, Firangi is not just a Kapil Sharma film. He is flanked by some of the most interesting actors, most of whom are popular and loved character artistes. Just like The Kapil Sharma Show was not only about him but also various other characters that made it a complete entertainer and a laughter riot, Firangi too is a story revolving around a small group. Kapil takes a back seat from time to time throughout the narrative proving that he was not just invested as an actor but also as a filmmaker, determined to make a good product.
Ishita Dutta as his love interest looks gorgeous as the village belle but has nothing much to do as far as acting is concerned. While the story isn’t as interesting as you’d like it to be, the cinematography, performances, and the unexpected climax save it from being a drag.
Firangi starts slow and you pass it off thinking that it has been kept that way deliberately to establish the era of 1920s that the film is set in. But it kind of gets to nudge your patience when it keeps moving at a snail’s pace even after a good half an hour into it. There are a few scenes, especially in the second half, that are stretched. Perhaps to evoke laughter or just dramatise the situation, but they rather end up being a bore. The film’s editing could have been tighter.
What to do
For Kapil Sharma fans – If you to watch Firangi expecting a film version of what this comedy star does on the small screen, get ready for some major disappointment. That said, you will come back seeing a different side to the actor which is as much endearing, effortless and entertaining to ensure a good time at the movies.
For non-fans – Firangi is a sweet, simple story told my some interesting characters, set in the rustic surrounding during a winter of 1920s with performances that will warm your heart.
Verdict: India.com rating: 2.5 stars