Lucknow Central movie cast: Farhan Akhtar, Diana Penty, Deepak Dobriyal, Rajesh Sharma, Ronit Roy
Lucknow Central movie director: Ranjit Tiwari
Lucknow Central movie rating: 2 stars
Five prisoners plan a jailbreak in Lucknow Central, hoping to make a run for it when a music competition is underway.
We saw an exact ploy play out a few weeks ago in Qaidi Band. What is going on? A fully ‘filmi’ ittefaq, or a sinister story swap?
The similarities are striking, but one thing is for sure: Lucknow Central is just a tad better than that most juvenile Qaidi Band. Here, the prison and the prisoners are not as manicured; the exchanges between the officials, especially the jail superintendent played by Ronit Roy, having a great time, never flags.
Kishan Mohan (Akhtar) is a Moradabad based music mad young fellow who is facing a life term for a murder he did not commit. He fetches up in Lucknow Central and gradually gravitates towards the foursome of Pammi, Victor, Panditji and the wonderfully named Dikkat (Grewal, Dobriyal, Sharma and Inaamulhaq, respectively).
A rag-tag band is usually a good device to come up with some standard tropes: a guy who is tone deaf, another who can barely hear a note, and usually, the one who sings like a charm. Here, Grewal is the singer. So is Akhtar, who carries off some ditties in his raspy voice better than the role of a small-town UP-wala itself.
It is the supporting cast which is spot on, especially Sharma and Dobriyal: is there anything the latter can’t do?
But more than anything else, it is the mawkish sentimentality which overcomes the story-telling. When it is not that, then we find our fine conspirators being much too dramatic.
When will Bollywood learn the value of letting silence create drama? You don’t need to drown everything with background music: that is certainly not jailhouse rock.