Luka Chuppi movie cast: Kartik Aaryan, Kriti Sanon, Aparshakti Khurana, Pankaj Tripathi, Vinay Pathak
Luka Chuppi movie director: Laxman Utekar
Luka Chuppi movie rating: One and a half stars
Somewhere deep inside Luka Chuppi is the film it wanted to be: a send-up of the tiresome rituals and hypocrisies which bind socially-sanctioned relationships, and an attack on religious bigotry.
But the writing and the treatment is so slack that the intent rises to the surface only occasionally.
Mathura residents Guddu Shukla (Aaryan) and Rashmi Trivedi (Sanon) decide to side-step the `mandap-and-mangalsutra’ route, and discover for themselves the joys of compatibility. Can they chop onions and clean toilets amiably in domestic bliss? If yes, wedding bells may follow.
Or not. Given Rashmi’s ‘shudh sanskritya parivaar’, they may be shamed. Trivedi Sr (Pathak) is a ‘neta’ whose wife wears a mile-long ‘ghoonghat’. He is also a hater of ‘live-in’ relationships. Couples-minus-‘shaadi’ are a sure short cut to ‘barbaadi’, so what is to be done with Guddu and Rashmi?
This could have been a fun, sharp film, done right. Instead, we get never-ending scenes of family members yakking, neighbours gossiping, and a few passages between Guddu and Rashmi which are meant to be sensuous and flirtatious (rolling in bed in shorts and Ts, haww, talking of ‘protection’, how forward, double haww). Aaryan and Sanon, in their first pairing, come off standard-issue Bollywood.
It’s also the kind of film which allows Pankaj Tripathi to play a cheapo who cannot keep it in his pants, which he does with full gusto. But the character (and some of his questionable lines, included strictly for laughs) also cheapens the film.
The attempts at subversion, in which Guddu-and-Rashmi try their best to become legal, are welcome. But you wish the filmmakers had been braver, because this was a mainstream movie’s chance to push back against those ghastly self-styled ‘sansthas’ which prey upon young lovers in small towns.
Khurana’s Muslim Abbas, who has the best line in the film, gets side-lined in all the majoritarianism. If you really want to kick the bigots where it hurts, you have to do it early and hard. To lament about the horrors of live-in relationships through the film, for a last-minute turnaround live-and-let-live-speech, is not enough.