• 23 Dec - 29 Dec, 2017
  • Omair Alavi
  • Reviews

At the turn of the century, Bollywood became huge when Lagaan was released, it turned out to be the perfect way to start the millennium; Kapil Sharma tried to cash on the same sentiment with Firangi that fell flat on its back, hopefully bringing an end to Lagaan inspirations and films depicting the era of the British Raj. There is neither patriotism nor romance in this twisted story of a firangi who wants to believe that Englishmen are good when they are not and that he has a say when he doesn’t. Low budget, limited acting capability and the ‘wannabe’ factors make it one of the smallest films of the year.

Why Firangi failed at the box office has nothing to do with the story or the cast; it flopped because Kapil Sharma wanted to play the lead in a serious film, and you can imagine what will happen if Jagdeep, Johnny Lever or Rajpal Yadav played the leading role in a film that had little scope for comedy. Kapil’s last film Kis Kis Ko Pyar Karoon had Varun Sharma as the comedian but unless and until you are an Aamir Khan, Salman Khan or Shah Rukh Khan, you can’t have a film without a comedian. The sooner Kapil Sharma learns that, the better. He is a good actor but only good at supporting roles because the audience doesn’t expect heroism from him and the harder he tries, the harder he will fall. The film’s runtime also doesn’t help and makes one wonder why people are making films in old-fashioned more-than-120-minutes duration when the audience’s attention span is decreasing.

Had the film not borrowed the plot from Lagaan, it might have done better. Amitabh Bachchan’s voice over starts the film in both cases, while like Aamir Khan’s Bhuvan, Kapil’s Manga is considered a nikamma in the village and is loved by is mother. There was Captain Russell in Lagaan, while here, Mark Daniels tried to make deals with the Raja who is least interested in the villagers’ well-being. Manga was in love with Ishita Dutta’s character Sargi modelled on Gracy Singh's role of Gauri while the Raja’s British educated daughter helps the village like Russell’s sister in Lagaan. Aamir Khan’s film had the surprise element of a cricket match to save the day while Kapil’s flick had nothing, nothing at all to offer. The plot to oust the villagers (from his potential susral) seem so very dated; Manga’s attempt to emerge as the hero makes him take on the British.

The film is quite bad and uninteresting, making it a spoof of the Oscar-nominated movie, rather than an inspiration. The village seems to have a dozen people living there because you don’t see the ‘extras’; British speak in Hindi and Indians speak in English which is kind of confusing. The makers tried to infuse patriotism in the audience by bringing in Gandhi in the climax but that’s too late, as by that time the audience is either bored or has left the cinema. Indians should stick to just one make-belief story of British versus the Indians, for the more is not the merrier here!