Lucknow Central

Lucknow Central Movie Review By Divya Solgama

Right since the black and white era, many of our filmmakers have participated in the rat race of making films based on a similar inspiration. One international film or a regional film or a news headline inspired two film makers simultaneously and we had two different films with the same plot line. The list is endless with many big film makers involved in it. There were some extended cases like ‘Parampara’, ‘Yalgaar’ and ‘Kshtriya’ or ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’, ‘23rd March 1931 – Shaheed’ and ‘Shaeed-e-Azam’ or ‘Agnisakshi’, ‘Darrar’ and ‘Yaarana’ being inspired from one basic source. Right from the directors to the actors, in case of most of the film there has been a huge controversial dispute between them. Also, many of these films get released within the same span, making it tough for the viewers who are forced to watch same theme based different films. There are a few rare cases where two different films, with a basic story line inspired from a single event are made but without any controversies or badmouthing each other’s. The latest to join this list is ‘Qaidi Band’ and ‘Lucknow Central’. Both films are inspired by a real life incident, but presented and treated in a different manner. The main protagonists in ‘Qaidi Band’ were under-trails, while in case of ‘Lucknow Central’ it’s related to prisoners punished for lifetime and beyond. Thus, let’s find out whether ‘Lucknow Central’ will managed to be different, despite of the striking similarities or might end up as a weak clone of ‘Qaidi Band’.

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‘Lucknow Central’ is a story of a small town, aspiring singer Kishen (Farhan Akhtar), who is serving lifetime imprisonment. The victim’s family wants Kishen to serve death penalty, thus decides to move his case to high court. Kishen is transferred to Lucknow Central Jail, where he comes to know that local minister (Ravi Kissen) along with the help of an NGO worker Gayatri Kashyap (Diana Penty) wants to form a music band and participate for an Independence Day special program. Kishen seeks this as an opportunity to escape from the jail and thus starts forming his band with the help of his jail mates Victor (Deepak Dobriyal), Dikkat Ansari (Inaamulhaq), Pursushottam Pandit (Rajesh Sharma) and Pariminder (Gippy Garewal). Everything goes ahead as naturally, except for the strict supervision of the jailor Raja Shrivastav (Ronit Roy). What happens next is what the entire film is all about.

Screenplay & Technical Details:
The basic story line structure is similar to ‘Qaidi Band’, as both the movies have been inspired from a real life incident. Some scenes and situations are also replica of each other. But, that’s where the similarities end as ‘Lucknow Central’ take you inside the dark corridors of the jail and makes you part of it. The movie rightly starts with the framing of Farhan Akhtar followed by his tiff with Ronit Roy, the entire struggling phase in the jail, Farhan and his friends revolting to Gippy, the entire Rajesh Sharma twist, Farhan and his gang singing ‘Pardesi Pardesi’ in front of Virendra Saxena and few more scenes makes the first half engaging as well as entertaining. The second half starts on bit stretched note as there are minimal screen happenings. The slow narrative tries to dilute the impact of the film. Thankfully, the movie comes back to its right track due to Ronit Roy’s track, his tiff with Diana, Ravi Kisshen-Virendra Saxena humorous talks, Virendra treating Farhan and his band mates, the family scenes related to Inaamulhaq, Deepak and Rajesh Sharma leading to a nail-biting thrilling pre-climax. These scenes keep you highly engaged with the film, despite of minor glitches and unconvincing tracks. The finale drama fails to go with the mood of the film, but sums it up properly with the help of final song and heart-felt speech of Farhan Akhtar. There are a few tracks which are bit cluttered related to Deepak, Gippy and even Diana. If only these parts had more detailing the impact would have been more powerful. Even, the finale part should have been more powerful. The thriller part was so well presented that at one point you cannot judge that in which direction this movie will go? Aseem Arora’s dialogues blend perfectly with the flow of the film. The minute details enhance the movie to a different level. The cinematography is good and works in the favour of the film.

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Music and lyrics are key elements in such films. In case of ‘Lucknow Central’, most of the songs work as an additional screenplay. ‘Rangdaari’ is enjoyable, ‘Teen Kabootar’ is highly entertaining and ‘Meer-E-Kaarwan’ is soulful. ‘Kaavaan Kaavaan’ lifts up the mood of the film. The background music is soothing and goes well with the film.

Director Ranjit Tiwari adds the fine details to his script and presents it in totally engaging as well as entertaining manner. There is a perfect blend of drama, comedy and thriller. His direction is brilliantly supported by good screenplay and some fantastic performances. The actors involved in this film make it look realistic and the engaging story narrative gives the movie mass appeal. The director should have taken some more time to establish the backstories of other band members followed by some more participation in the final track.

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Farhan Akhtar carries the entire film on his broad shoulders and delivers a good performance. He slides inside the skin of his character and does full justice to it. Ronit Roy is amazingly outstanding his part. The anger and terror in his eyes make his character highly powerful. Deepak Dobrial and Inaamulhaq shines out brilliantly in their parts. Rajesh Sharma and Gippy Garewal were fine in their tracks. Diana Penty hardly had anything to perform, but was decent. Ravi Kissen and Virendra Saxena are enjoyable. Bhagwan Tiwari’s track starts well but ends up on clichéd note.

Final Verdict:
So on an overall basis ‘Lucknow Central’ is an intriguing lockdown drama which works due to its fantastic ensemble cast, good screenplay and entertaining narrative. The movie has its share of flaws and negative stuffs but thanks to the engaging direction it ends up as a decent watch for this weekend.
Rating – 3/5 [Source – Bollywood Times]