Lucknow Central is a thriller drama set in a jail involving some of the inmates planning a break out while setting up a musical band. The film stars Farhan Akhtar, Deepak Dobriyal, Ronit Roy and Diana Penty in the lead and is directed by Nikhil Advani.
Lucknow Central is a thriller drama set in a jail involving some of the inmates planning a break out while setting up a musical band. The film stars Farhan Akhtar, Deepak Dobriyal, Ronit Roy and Diana Penty in the lead and is directed by Nikhil Advani. less
“It's easy to break out of this frankly weak narrative!”
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The only channel through which an Indian viewer has been taken to the insides of a jail has been through international cinema. From sleek and edgy TV shows to a number of cinematic formations, the norms and functioning of all jails have been interestingly similar. As Lucknow Central builds its premise to let us experience one, you’re convinced it’s not going to be anything different. Gangs within the campus, henchmen around a convicted bully and a righteous fellow having to go through the torture for he hasn’t decided to side with anyone! Everything about Lucknow Central oozes of clichés without even being captivating at the core.
Kishen Mohan Girhotra is a small town aspiring musician with a dream of having a band of his own. One fine day when he is falsely accused of murdering an IAS officer, he finds his case being taken for a toss at all possible corners of justice. When he is transferred to the Lucknow Central jail, Kishen decides to break out in the pretext of forming a jail band at the behest of an NGO worker played by Diana Penty. He is soon aided with four more band members who unsurprisingly come from different backgrounds and different stories. While the motive behind their coming together is pretty much evident, their association affects each one of them personally in different ways. But there’s also a forbidding jailor in the looks of Ronit Roy whose only agenda is to unearth their motives and stand them exposed.
At the look of its setting, Lucknow Central makes for an intriguing story. Only when it’s wrapped as a cinematic experience, it loses all its slickness and intensity. From Kishen’s efforts to make a break out plan to the group’s video getting viral, there is absolutely no sincerity to make us connect with any of it. The breaking out sequence of the ‘high security’ jail is mockish to say the least. It’s almost unbelievable how Kishen who’s convicted for a murder he hasn’t committed shows no signs of fear, anxiety or even anger to make us sympathize with the character. If director Ranjit Tiwari has done it on purpose to not draw any Shawshank Redemption references at all, he’s missed a trick.
At a runtime of 147 minutes, Lucknow Central is engaging but only in parts. It’s entertaining but only in distantly laid patches. With such a stellar star cast in the looks of Farhan Akhtar, Ronit Roy and supported by the likes of Deepak Dobriyal, Rajesh Sharma, Gippy Grewal, Ravi Kishan and Inaamulhaq, it’s impossible to not be smitten for long. Although when you come out of movie, there is not one character who you can take home.
Lucknow Central works for a number of reasons but is handsomely outnumbered by the opportunities it wastes. Farhan Akhtar does adapt well to the small town UP boy imagery but not convincing enough to his potential. Ronit Roy is fabulous but he’s unabashedly repetitive now and it’s time he starts saying no to offers that put him in the same frame over and over again. Diany Penty is alright in the space she gets but Deepak Dobriyal, Rakesh Sharma, Gippy Grewal impress at large.
This one isn’t unwatchable but it’s far from what this kind of a subject needed to be.