Making a period film is always tricky. Kapil Sharma’s second outing on celluloid, Firangi is a hotchpotch of vintage romance, a comedy and social satire. And sadly, it does not get the ingredients right. The film is directed by Rajiev Dhingra who has made Punjabi blockbusters like Angrej and Love Punjab. However, his first outing in Bollywood is a dampener as Firangi is too insipid and self-indulgent for its own good. The film also stars Ishita Dutta, Monica Gill, Edward Sonnenblick, Rajesh Kumar and Kumud Mishra in supporting roles. The music is by Jatinder Shah, who has done many films in Punjab.
What is it about?
Kapil, is Manga a bumbling villager who is jobless. He lands up with the job of an orderly with Mark Daniels (Edward Sonnenblick). It brightens his prospects of getting hitched to his love Sargi (Ishita Dutta) but the Englishman and the local Raja have their eyes on his beloved village. Well, they want the villagers to evacuate the place and establish a liquor factory. Manga earns the ire of people who are deeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s Non- Co-operation Movement of the 1920’s. Manga, who is loyal to Daniels tries to convince them that all foreigners are not bad but is in for a shock. However, he manages to save the village forms the crux of the story.
The star comedian does a decent job throughout the film. He is good in the comic scenes with his deadpan face but tries a little too hard to be a dreamy lover. Kapil retains the innocence of his character though. His chemistry with Ishita Dutta is quite cute. Their scenes are some of the best in the film. A couple of songs, Oye Firangi and Rab Sohne are pleasant to the ears. The supporting cast is in good form, especially Inaamulhaq who plays his friend. The actor who is the Hakim is also good. Rajesh Kumar, Kumud Mishra and Edward do a decent job given the fact that the material given to them is not great. The locations of Rajasthan and Punjab are pleasant to the eyes.
An hour into Firangi and you realise that the makers are lost the plot. They are unsure if they are making a period comedy or a social satire. Plus, there is an extra dose of righteousness and even Mahatma Gandhi makes an appearance. Firangi could have easily been half an hour short. It really looks like the editing team was given a holiday. This over-indulgence hurts Firangi badly. The climax would have been trimmed too. The makers try to project Monica Gill as a girl with her own opinion but her caricaturist character is a real let-down. The film had sequences which could have potentially been really funny if they had utilized Kapil Sharma well.
Firangi is a clean film but too dull and sluggish. Even Kapil Sharma cannot save the period drama though he is in decent form. We really want to see more of him on every medium but Firangi is a disservice to him.