At best, Firangi looks like a cheap imitation of Lagaan. A desi underdog who takes on the mighty British and registers a small but decisive victory, which got lost somewhere in the annals of history .
Much like Lagaan, it’s Amitabh Bachchan’s booming voice that introduces us to the film and its context. The year is 1921, India is still under the British rule, and we deal with a rather peculiar case of a man named Manga who cures people of their back pain by kicking them.
Manga (Kapil Sharma) is head over heels in love with Sargi (Ishita Dutta), the damsel forever in distress from the neighbouring village . However, before they can live happily ever after, some ‘firangi’ butt must be kicked and desh prem aroused.
Our interest is morphed into boredom as director-writer Rajiev Dhingra decides to tell the story in the most languid and uninspiring fashion. At 160 minutes, Firangi is placid and too stretched for comfort.
A debauched Raja (Kumud Mishra) and a British officer (Edward Sonnenblick), who want to uproot the villagers and set up an illegal liquor factory instead, are the main villains that our Manga tackles .
Kapil Sharma is one of the most popular television comics, and it’s understandable and commendable that he wants to try something new, but in this film, he is clearly out of his depth.
Sporting a singular sulking expression, he goes through the motions playing a simpleton with a heart of gold, but fails to win us over. Ishita Dutta has very little to do in a very forgettable role.
While the supporting cast has some strong names like Kumud Mishra, Rajesh Sharma, Innamul Haq and our resident angrez Edward Sonnenblick, there is precious little that they can do with such badly etched characters.
Overall, Firangi is boring and its humour quotient is abysmally low.