Banner: K9 Films
Producer: Kapil Sharma
Director: Rajiev Dhingra
Cast: Kapil Sharma, Ishita Dutta, Monica Gill
Writer: Rajiev Dhingra
Music: Jatinder Shah
In the 1920s, when the Indian freedom movement is gaining momentum, one Indian national believes that the British rulers are not as bad as they are made out to be. As he struggles to win people over to his way of thinking, he discovers a burning love for his country. Wisdom, he discovers, lies in the art of freeing oneself from the enemy.
Kapil Sharma, known for his impeccable comic timing and prowess in comedy, tries to push the envelope in his second venture by doing a film that has a story beyond comedy. It might not be engaging but this doesn’t mean Kapil Sharma fans will be disappointed.
As the film rolls, we see Manga (Kapil Sharma), a humble and unemployed youth from a village in Punjab, serving milk at his friend’s wedding. He falls in love with a girl called Sargi (Ishita Dutta) as their paths keep crossing. The mushy romantic, overtly-cheesy chunk of the film thereafter looks like a piece scooped out of a Sooraj Barjatya film but set in a period film.
One fine day, Manga lands a job as Man Friday of Mark Daniels (Edward Sonnenblick), a British government official, and this helps him cement his relationship with Sargi. He can finally dream of spending the rest of his life with her.
But, like a formulaic Hindi romantic plot, their love is made to jump through many hoops. Enter Lalaji (Aanjjan Srivastav), Sargi’s grandfather, who is also an ardent follower of Gandhiji. In the wake of boycotting British goods, to drive the colonial rulers out of the country, Lalaji despises Manga for being a ‘servant’ of the British. As a result, he dismisses the alliance between Manga and Sargi.
But Manga doesn’t give up and decides to win over Lalaji’s heart. Meanwhile, Manga’s heart melts as he fails to recognise the ulterior motives of his boss, Daniels. Daniels, along with Raja Indeevar Singh (Kumud Mishra), plan to acquire the land in Sargi’s village to set up a liquor factory. He tries to exploit Manga’s innocence to get the villagers to abandon their own land.
Manga tries to prove his proficiency to Sargi’s family and the villagers by safeguarding the land, becomes a scapegoat and the villagers lose patience. Beset with problems, Manga teams up with Oxford alumnus, Raja Indeevar’s daughter, Shyamali (Monica Gill), who was being railroaded into a matrimonial alliance with Daniels in return for monetary gain. All this leads to a mildly funny climax with a lot of drama.
Most films with a patriotic backdrop deal with a subject that revolves around a serious issue or the struggle for freedom, war and bloodshed. Firangi is a light-hearted film, despite its patriotic backdrop which makes it a unique effort by director Rajiev Dhingra.
The script could have been better and the story fleshed out more. Most of it looks borrowed from other patriotic films, except for the fact that it has some of Kapil Sharma’s antics that make it a tad watchable.
The song Oye firangi by Sundhi Chauhan helps build the character of Manga, tactfully. The location doesn’t live up to the era in which the film is set. It looks like it has been shot in current times.
As a villager, this is not Kapil Sharma’s best performance. He does not explore his character adequately. However, his subtle sense of humour comes in handy and saves his performance from tanking. Ishita Dutta as the coy gaon ki gori, has done her part well, even though she doesn’t have much to do in the film. Monica Gill is a delight to watch. Kumud Misra looks partially evil but mostly baffled as the raja. Rajesh Sharma, as Sargi’s father, does justice to his role. Edward Sonnenblik as the firangi is average.