‘Lucknow Central’ Review: No Encore For Farhan’s Prison Boy Band
You may not want to get trapped in this prison saga.
Movie: Lucknow Central
Director: Ranjit Tiwari
Producer: Nikhil Advani
Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Diana Penty, Gippy Grewal, Deepak Dobriyal, Ronit Roy, Inaamulhaq, and Rajesh Sharma
“Sheher chhote hote hain, sapne nahi,” says Kishan Mohan Girhotra to his father as he elaborates his future plans of going to Delhi to form a band and become famous. But Director Ranjit Tiwari, who shares the writing credits with Aseem Arora, has other plans. Fate plays truant and Mr Girhotra lands up in jail. The rest was lost in boredom!
Lucknow Central is basically a song version of Any Body Can Dance, but not one that can be tolerated!
A musical band is formed in Lucknow Central Jail under duress while we the viewers feel the constraints of being trapped in a prison hole.
The screenplay is anything but convincing. For one Farhan Akhtar has a limited range as an actor and for him to play a small town simpleton from Muradabad is just way out of league. No wonder then that his mispronounced English words and desi accent come across as caricaturish and inconsistent.
Then the motley crew of prison mates, all serving a life sentence and show no inclination to sing, suddenly want us to root for them in their musical escapades.
Dikkat Ansari (Inaamulhaq), Victor Chattopadhyay (Deepak Dobriyal), Parminder Trehan (Gippy Grewal), Pirushottam Pandit (Rajesh Sharma) and Farhan Akhtar, overseen by a single NGO worker Gayatri Kashyap, start their shenanigans where Diana Penty looks like she gate-crashed the wrong party!
Suspecting the band’s noble motives is a ruthless pan-chewing jailor played by Ronit Roy. He, along with actors like Deepak Dobriyal and Rajesh Sharma, has been given a raw deal.
While the film is utterly forgettable, what stays with us are the many loopholes and unanswered questions.
How does a convict sing to impress in one scene and croak unbearable in the next? How can an innocent man wrongly accused of murder suddenly go all James Bond and hatch a foolproof prison escape plan?
And it does not even have decent music to distract us enough so we submit completely. Apart from the beautiful ‘Meer-e-Karwan’ composed by Rochak Kohli, written by Adheesh Verma and sung by Amit Mishra and Neetu Mohan, nothing stands the test of even the 147-minute runtime .
Last month we saw Qaidi Band, another unremarkable film on a prison music band. Lucknow Central is sadly no better. Final verdict – 1.5 Quints out of 5. Don’t get trapped!
Camera: Athar Rathar
Editor: Rahul Sanpui and Abhishek Ranjan
Producer: Abhishek Ranjan
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