Bholi Punjaban returns with her Fukrey boys

Fukrey was not an unexpected hit but nobody really expected it to become a cult film. Unlike other sequels however, Fukrey Returns actually continues the story of the four boys with the infamous Bholi Punjaban, donned by Richa Chadha. The most commercial of all her films, it seemed that the tag of Bholi Punjaban has stuck sometimes. It became something so popular that it became somewhat of an identity for Richa, at least, initially.

When I sat down to speak to Richa over the phone about this one, one of the first questions I had for her was what it felt like to get into the skin of Bholi Punjaban once again, and that too, after three years. “It was great fun,” Richa says, “because, of course, it was a surprise hit but it was a strong script and a clean comedy, it was not one of those double meaning films that seemed to be doing well during those times. I think the key is that the family audience is comfortable with a film like Fukrey…that is a big reason why the sequel’s trailer is getting so much love. It’s the four boys everyone loves and this time there is a tiger as well.”

But was it natural to come back together with the same cast some three years later? “It was very natural. We did workshops and spent time together. Our director is so specific so it didn’t seem like a task or a chore at all. It didn’t take time to get into it at all.”

The trailer looks fantastic but the expectations are high. Richa says, “the second part is a lot of fun. But yeah, none of us expected the first film to be such a huge hit so yeah, the expectations now are very high and people seem to really be looking forward to this film.”

Part of the reason I’m looking forward to the film is the kinds of promotions all over social media show the four boys and Richa pulling each other’s legs, poking fun at each other like real friends. Is that what it is really like? Richa laughs and answers, “Yeah…honestly, everyone is so fun and the boys as well. It’s a lot of leg pulling, like the boys are just crazy. Just to hang with them, it makes me very happy. That kind of reflects on screen and in the interviews as well. The pulling of the legs comes very naturally.”

But I find that even in the interviews,  Bholi Punjaban seems to run the show. Again, “it’s just that I have to make sure, like the PR people of the film will start gesturing to me, to keep it on track, maybe because I seem more responsible. Like in the promotions, sometimes the responsibility comes to me. So, I sometimes have to remind them, that we can go home after these promotions. But honestly, it’s just fun and we like each other.”

So the trailer is also a lot of fun, and, I think everyone has a favourite character from Fukrey. Besides her own then, which character does Richa like the most? After a bit of a pause, “I kind of really like the hustler character that Pankaj ji plays…because even though he is a hustler, he is truly funny in the film and his character has some scope. He has such mastery over his characters, like for example, how great he was in Bareilly Ki Barfi. Otherwise, I’d like to play Choocha.”

Is there a cast member or a character you feel particularly attached to or over-protective towards? “Hmm, I feel over protective towards Choocha and Manjot…because they get bullied a lot by the other boys and so I’m trying to defend them all the time.” But does Richa also engage in the leg pulling – especially between Richa and Manjot, who always seem to have an interesting back and forth in interviews…She laughs and agrees, “yeah, we do because he is so cute and so eager to answer sometimes and he’s just so damn fun. Yeah, I bully him but I like to make sure other people don’t do it as much. It’s all fun and games – it’s not serious.”

And Fukrey Returns sure seems like fun and games at the box office. I’m tuned in to all things Bholi Punjaban to see what happens when the fukrey return. 

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Armin S.

Bollywood Film Fame Canada has been a source of original content consisting of real conversations, reviews, and news of everything film, music, and entertainment for 15 years.

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