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'Lucknow Central' review: Freedom rock

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Lucknow Central begins gingerly but proves to be a few notches ahead of a recent film with a similar theme, Qaidi Band.

'Lucknow Central'is a better take on a story almost similar to that of the recent release, 'Qaidi Band'. The music too is a few notches higher than the predecessor. However, things begin gingerly here as well, with Farhan Akhtar not quite seeming like the Moradabad boy — Kishan Mohan Girhotra — that he is supposed to be. It’s even more of a stretch to imagine him as a fan of the singer-actor from Bihar, Manoj Tiwari. Anyhow, our Kishan loves music, talks about dreaming big despite belonging to a small town and then, at the bat of an eyelid, finds himself serving life imprisonment for a murder he never committed. What’s worse he awaits trial at the High Court for it to be turned into possible death penalty.

Lucknow Central
  • Director: Ranjit Tiwari
  • Starring: Farhan Akhtar, Deepak Dobriyal, Inaamulhaq, Diana Penty, Rajesh Sharma, Gippy Grewal, Ronit Roy
  • Storyline: An innocent young man serving life imprisonment for a murder he never committed gets together with four other inmates to form a music band

Things begin to settle down a bit for the audience with his run-in with the jailor (an over-the-top Ronit Roy) and when he begins to form a music band with other inmates — Dikkat Ansari (Inaamulhaq), Victor Chattopadhyay (Deepak Dobriyal), Purushottam Pandit (Rajesh Sharma) and Parminder (Gippy Grewal). All with the help of NGO worker Gayatri Kashyap (either sulky and pouty or dour and pouty Diana Penty) and the blessings of the litti-chokha-eating minister (deliberately but successfully hammy Ravi Kissen). Like in most films these days, the so-called “supporting” cast becomes the spine — Inaamulhaq, Dobriyal and Sharma in fine fettle here. The film also begins to get persuasive and involves you in exploring the duality between following your dream as against seeking freedom. It does take you to the edge of the seat caught as you are between rooting for the prisoners’ escape but also wanting them to sing and win at the jailhouse rock, so to speak. Can music set them free? It does eventually, and easily, with ludicrous twists and turns in the climax. But all is well that ends well with a nice recreation of Monsoon Wedding’s ‘Kaavaan Kaavaan’ and Kishan stressing on the message of fostering sneha, samman, saath aur sangeet (love, respect, togetherness and music).

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 11:05:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/lucknow-central-review-freedom-rock/article19692943.ece

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