By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | September 15, 2017
Rating: 2 / 5
The essence: Though the film does not fully engage you, it does manage to draw you completely in a few scenes and this is thanks in the main to the five inmates who bond well after the initial hiccups of showing the other who is boss.
Lucknow Central is based on a true story but with a cinematic twist. It’s a story about convicts who have been jailed for life in a Lucknow Prison who come together to form a band called ‘Healing Hearts’.
In Ranjit Tiwari’s directorial debut, Kishan (Farhan Akhtar) is a music buff whose desire is to start a band of his own. Unfortunately, he is implicated in a murder and sentenced to life. Though innocent, he comes to terms with fate and endures the formulaic bullying in the prison before he rises above his tormentors and puts together a band that will perform in the Lucknow Prison on Independence Day.
Kishan and his band members, however, want to use this event to make good their escape. Though, apart from Kishan, no one has a background in music, they are given a trumpet, French Horn and a flute by the jailor (Ronit Roy), who is shown guzzling rum and chewing paan in every scene, as though this is his living room. When will jailors in a movie learn that this is not their “baap ka ghar”.
Anyways coming back to the plot, it engages you on and off while Gayatri (Diana Penty) a social worker keeps coming in and out of the prison and then takes an interest in Kishan’s case.
Though the film does not fully engage you, it does manage to draw you completely in a few scenes and this is thanks in the main to the five inmates who bond well after the initial hiccups of showing the other who is boss.
Farhan Akhtar is sincere in his performance but is not able to match up to the Rock On factor. Thankfully, his role here is better etched than last week’s Daddy, where he was just looking through his goggles, watching television or having a meal. Deepak Dobriyal, Inaamulhaq and Rajesh Sharma too shine in their role along with Gippy Grewal.
Diana Penty has plenty of scenes but no role! Ronit Roy is predictable in yet another ‘typecast’ outing. Brijendra Kala, like Ronit Roy and Ravi Kishen plays himself like he does in every other film. The intent was to make a good, entertaining film, which Tiwari does manage to a certain extent. But on the whole, the film is a little over-the-top and takes too much cinematic liberties like films of the 80s and 90s.
Lucknow Central had the potential of making an impact had the director focused more on the music and the building up of the band, rather than indulging in jail scenes, which every moviegoer is accustomed to.
Producer: Nikhil Advani, Monisha Advani, Madhu Bhojwani
Director: Ranjit Tiwari
Star Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Deepak Dobriyal, Inaamulhaq, Diana Penty