Few weeks ago, a Yashraj Film’s nepotism-bearer “Qaidi Band” was released; though I didn’t watch the film but the premise of that and “Lucknow Central” seemed quite similar. The latter one seemed more intense and deep while the earlier seemed just another launch pad.

Ranjit Tiwari’s directorial debut opens with a scene of Kisan (Farhan Akhtar) waking up to a song and he sits penning it down. The format of the film then follows to that of Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai” and Ashutosh Gowariker’s “Lagaan”. To talk in terms of Lagaan where Bhuvan forms a Cricket team to achieve freedom from taxes. Here, Kisan is our very own contemporary Bhuvan who dreams of music and forming a band is charged falsely for a murder of an IAS Officer, he forms a band with the help of Gayatri (Diana), a social worker (similar to Elizabeth) with the inmates inside Lucknow Central Jail while Ronit Roy is the British. Kisan’s plan is to achieve freedom by escaping the false notes.

With the usual story, the writers and the director build a rousing and touching story about achieving freedom. The film feels so connected to the modern Indian society where oppression, intolerance and ignorance are at its peak. Chief Minister who doesn’t know who is IG or is confused between the color of Police Uniform and Traffic Police Uniform or the Kisan’s character whose dreams are crushed by an IAS Officer literally, such scenes stand as an interpretation of the society. The film captivates us into the world of Lucknow Central Jail wanting us to free ourselves from it but finding solace inside.

The Screenplay by Ranjit Tiwari and Aseem Arora does get tedious but the two plot points (pre-interval and pre-climax) make it quite engaging. The film could have been a lot crisper; it mostly fails due to choppy editing by Charu Shree Roy. The director makes his move to give a strong sense of freedom while engaging us into the four walls but by the end it gets formulaic and typical. “Meer-e-Karwaan” is beautifully rendered while “Kaavan Kaavan” is recreated well.

Here, rather than the premise the acting department is all that matters. With every emotion counting and every motive making its way towards the freedom, the actors have a tremendous job to do. And yes, they achieve it excellently. Farhan Akhtar has grown and nurtured himself well, good to see him handling matured roles brilliantly. Rajesh Sharma, Deepak Dobriyal, Gippy Grewal and Inaamulhaq give an intense and terrific support. All fivecoming from different acting schools make a great ensemble. Ronit Roy in his usual razor-sharp villainous impression is phenomenal. Ravi Kisan steals the show in few scenes he is present.

The negative perks of the trailers and songs publicity is that much is given out and in this case, the end is already revealed in the songs and the trailers. We know it coming from the costumes, setting and the mood. Nevertheless, the dreams are achieved and the pre-climax twist is typically good where the freedom is suppressed in free society while the prison feels free than ever. Isn’t this the reflection of our society? Kisan achieves his dreams in an oppressed and unjustified walls, so does the film.

Language: Hindi
Release: 15 September, 2017
Director: Ranjit Tiwari
Rating: 3/5


Copyright ©2017 Ninad Kulkarni. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.


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