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Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Diana Penty, Gippy Grewal, Deepak Dobriyal, Ronit Roy
Director: Ranjit Tiwari
Producers: Nikkhil Advani, Monisha Advani, Madhu G. Bhojwani, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures
Writers: Ranjit Tiwari, Aseem Arora
What's Yay: Ravi Kishen
What's Nay: Diana Penty suffers from a half-baked role, the film could have been trimmed down by a few minutes, a sloppy climax
Popcorn Refill: Interval
Iconic Moment: Ravi Kishen is at his hilarous best in every scene featuring him.
'Shehar chhote hote hai, sapney nahin'- that's the life motto of Kishan Mohan Girhotra (Farhan Akhtar), an aspiring singer in Moradabad, who dreams of recording his own label. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes in when he is falsely implicated for the murder of an IAS officer and sentenced to life imprisonment.
However, he finds a flicker of hope when he learns about the formation of a music band in Lucknow Central jail (where he is soon to be transferred) to perform at a competition featuring bands representing the various prisons in the state. With the help of a NGO worker Gayatri Kashyap (Diana Penty), Kishen forms his own band which comprises of Victor (Deepak Dobriyal), Panditji (Rajesh Sharma), Dikkat (Inaamulhaq) and Parminder (Gippy Grewal). But, there's a catch here! 'Kishen Ka Plan Kuch Aur Hai'!
Debutante Ranjit Tiwari doesn't waste his time and straight-away dives into the main plot in the first 15-20 minutes of the film itself. Lucknow Central is inspired by a real-life music band called 'Healing Hearts' formed by prisoners of Adarsh Karagar jail.
Further, one cannot ignore the striking resemblance in a few scenes with Yash Raj Film's Qaidi Band which hit the theatrical screens a few days back.
Having said that, Lucknow Central has its moments of shine where you really want to know what's going to happpen next. There is enough thrill to keep you invested barring a few scenes which simply stretches the story like a bubblegum in certain places. On the flipside, there are some logic defying scenes that simply seem out of the place.
Farhan Akhtar manages to evoke empathy for his character and gets the mannerism of a small town guy spot on. But, his flawed English pronounciation does come across a tad weird in few areas.
Ronit Roy and Ravi Kishen are in top form and insfuses a distinct flavour of humour in the plot. The rest of the cast- Deepak Dobriyal, Gippy Grewal, Rajesh Sharma and Inaamulhaq put up a good show. Sadly, Diana Penty crushes under the weight of a poorly written role and fails to create an impression.
Tushar Kanti Ray flirts with a dark palette to depict the gloominess of a prisoner's life. Charu Shree Roy's editing could have been a little more sharper to make the film more crisp.
While the film revolves around the theme of music, it lacks a magical touch in this department. Except for Kaavaan Kaavaan, none of the tracks stay back with you post the rolling of the end credits.
Barring a few shortcomings, Lucknow Central makes up for a dekko at least once for some intriguing moments in this bumpy flight to freedom.