November 2, 2012 6:57:16 pm
Cast: Kunal Kapoor,Huma Qureshi,Rajesh Sharma,Rahul Bagga,Vinod Nagpal,Munish Makhija
Director: Sameer Sharma
Indian Express Rating:**1/2
Everyone in Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana speaks in Punjabi. Not the kind of exaggerated,colourised zubaan of your average Bollywood potboiler. The everydayness of the language in this likeable film is one of its pleasures. As well as that it has been shot on real locations,not Bollywoods idea of what a Punjabis pind should be. So when Omi Khurana (Kapoor) returns after spending many years in vilait (London),pretending to be a big shot when he is,in fact,quite the opposite,he runs into characters that are a great fit in Village Lalton.
His suspicious ‘chachas hair has turned from black to that awful auburn that’ mehendi brings. His grandfather,universally known as Daarji ( Nagpal), has lost his memory. His ‘chachi instantly starts feeding him. His cousin ( Bagga) clasps him in a tight ‘jhappi. An addition to the house is this aunts brother (Sharma) who passes off as being not quite all there,when he is,in fact,quite the opposite. And the little girl (Qureshi) Omi used to tease years ago has turned into a ‘daactarni ,who ferries pinni made by her mother,to Omi and his family. The theme of food runs through this film,as it progresses languidly via some well-realized moments,keeping us alongside Omi who is urgent need of a handout,and ready to steal,as he did once before,to get it.
What stops him,finally,is the scent of his ‘mitti. And the tantalizingly lost smell of Chicken Khurana,a long-held patent of his ‘daarji,which enticed customers and ensured a loyal clientele at the family ‘dhaba. But now that daarji can barely remember to pull up his pajamas,the recipe is lost,and so is the family fortune. How Omi,hunted by his debtor ( Makhija) and his ‘chamchas,staves off disaster,and restores honour is where the film takes us to. No surprises there,because thats why prodigals returns,dont they? But we are kept in good cheer by the doings of the Khurana family,and the budding romance between Omi and Harman.
Qureishi,with her rustic ‘salwaar kameez sets,bright lipstick,those priceless thick cotton gloves and just-right accent,is a bright spot in the film. So is Sharma,the sort of freeloader we see in so many households. Everyone else,including the bit parts,are all fine. Only thing is,the film gets a little inert here and there, not making as much of its stated quirkiness as it should have,its one-strand theme getting too stretched over a couple of hours . Also Kapoor doesnt give Omi too much modulation : he is same-same. Which impacts the film. Its nice,all this ‘pinni and ‘parandi and ‘pind,and these ‘hum log,and just that.
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