Lucknow Central Review: The film makes an escape from conviction

Release Date: 15 Sep 2017 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 27min

Cinestaan Rating

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Keyur Seta

The Farhan Akhtar starrer goes onto the unconvincing mode right from the start. 

The five characters in debutant director Ranjit Tiwari’s Lucknow Central make valiant plans of escaping from the jail. But half way into the film, one ceases to worry about their escape. All you are concerned about is your own escape from a film that shows no sense in terms of the story and its execution. 

Lucknow Central starts off in Moradabad. Kishan (Farhan Akhtar) is a young struggling singer who stays alone with his father. He is desperate to create a band with his group of friends and make it big in the music world. Kishan once attends a concert of Manoj Tiwari. He tries hard to give a CD of his sample songs to Tiwari but doesn't succeed. Worse, he gets into a brawl with an IAS officer. 

The officer is soon murdered and the blame falls on Kishan due to his fight with him and the fact that he had an encounter with him while returning home from the concert. Kishan is pronounced guilty after his best friend testifies against him. The victim's family appeals for a death sentence for which Kishan is sent to Lucknow Central jail. 

The Chief Minister (Ravi Kishan) decides to hold a musical contest among the jail inmates of various towns of the state. Kishan grabs this opportunity to fulfil his dream of forming a band. But his actual plan is to escape from jail. He befriends four people (Deepak Dobriyal, Rajesh Sharma, Inaamulhaq and Gippy Grewal) for his mission. A social worker (Diana Penty) helps them form a band but she unaware of their actual plan. 

Lucknow Central goes onto the unconvincing path right from the start. Kishan is sentenced for life after just one false testimony. The witness is not cross examined and nobody bothers about the weapon. And the whole episode happens in a jiffy. Plus, the character of Kishan has hardly any depth. These are enough reasons for you to not have any sympathy for him. 

This is just the start though. The film continues its faltering run at every step till the climax. The protagonist just wants to escape. But we are not told his exact agenda after escaping. He once says his dream is to make a band after escaping. But wouldn’t the police be after him if he escapes? 

Later on, the idea and process of forming a band inside jail, its consequences and the execution of the escape plan make even the formula 1900s movies look better. There are also some little instances that make you laugh out loud. For example, we are told that the video of the group performing in jail goes viral. A side character proudly says that it has got 20 thousand hits. Who thinks merely 20 thousand views is abundant? 

The finale makes you as confused as the five characters. This part is very similar to Farah Khan’s Happy New Year (2014). 

Amidst all this, the most satisfying moment is the song ‘Kawa Kawa,’ which is a huge respite. The rest of the songs are just passable though. Another rare plus point here is the production design. The creation of the Lucknow Central Jail, both inside and outside, is fine work. The cinematographer has given some impressive shots too. 

The quality of the content is reflected in the performances. There is nothing bad in Farhan Akhtar’s act. But his weak characterization and the many flaws overshadow his good work. Rohit Roy is getting typecast as the bad guy and he has a one dimensional character here. 

Diana Penty manages decently but she too suffers from the content. Deepak Dobriyal impresses yet again. Rajesh Sharma is fine too. A talented lad like Inaamulhaq had nothing much to do. The same is the case with Gippy Grewal. 

Overall, Lucknow Central makes an escape from logic and sensibility.