Lucknow Central - Review

wogma rating: Even the keen, wait for DVD (?)
quick review:

Engages on and off while you're in the theater. Nothing memorable for later.



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Wogma Review

Lucknow Central keeps you more or less engaged with its performances and pulsating ambiance of thrill. But if you disconnect, you might even squeeze in a snooze because of its slack pace.

Wrongly imprisoned protagonist, crushed aspirations, vicious inmate who wants to show his power, even more intimidating jailer who is out to get the protagonist, a wish to escape it all, a sympathising well-wisher – the usual tropes of a “prison” film are all present in Lucknow Central. What you are looking forward to then is something different in what links these predictable aspects together.

While the first half is full of what you would expect, the only variety from other “prison” films is the intensity and type of torture of fist-fights between inmates. The second half brings in some edge-of-the-seat moments leading to one of the two possible climaxes, making the end largely predictable.

That leaves you with the performances. Surprisingly, you aren't able to shrug off the feeling that Kishan, the lead character is Farhan Akhtar. Only well into the second half, are a couple of scenes he blends into the milieu. In fact, it is the side character who make the atmosphere believable. Even though Ronit Roy's characters are almost always bad news, as the jailer of Lucknow Central, he sends a chill down the spine every time he appears on screen. His stand-offs against Ravi Kishan are entertaining and yet seem real.

Other than a couple of those and a few moments of thrill though, Lucknow Central seems like yet another “prison” film. In fact, the story is quite similar to the other one a few weeks ago, Qaidi Band Review. Thankfully it loses the tone of propaganda. Yet, it stays only moderately engaging.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Torture in prison
  • Language: By and large, clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Innuendo about protection and some dialogues about sex.
  • Concept: A group of prisoners for a band with an intention to escape during an inter-prison competition
  • General Look and Feel: Grungy prison fare

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 3
  • Story: 2.5
  • Lead Actors: 3.5
  • Character Artists: 3.5
  • Dialogues: 2.5
  • Screenplay: 2
  • Music Director: 3
  • Lyrics: 2.5

Lucknow Central - Trailer

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Comments (1)

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Hollywood has at least half a dozen films based on prison breaks. Most notable of course being the WWII films, but once in a while a non WWII film like escaping from maximum prison of Alcatraz is also made. Having watched those films, I kind of expected the standard formula of escape from prison films.

Lucknow Central starts off along the formulaic films, and it would be fair to state that it has the elementary ingredients of these escape films. But then it changes course. Somewhere along the course, given the music background to the film, and the escape routine built in - I was also thinking along the lines of Sound of Music. Of course that was wishful thinking, Lucknow Central has nothing as sublime as the Sound of Music.

The first half of the movie, even though a bit long, was fairly gripping and engaging. It could have been shorter, but it is not boring. The second half unfortunately is where things go completely haywire. It disappoints and disappoints big time. And after a while you just give up on the entire film - it just stops making any logical or entertaining sense.

On the acting front, the only 2 faces that stand out are those of Deepak Dobriyal and Ronit Roy. Deepak outshines and presents a completely different personality of himself than what we have seen of him in other films so far. Ronit Roy too is magnificient in the role of the jailor - but I felt towards the 2nd half that his role was not written seriously. In the 2nd half he sways from a cunning wily jailor to a moron, and back to a cunning wily jailor. A bit like Prem Chopra in the 1970s. Other than these 2 all other are strictly alright, no particular marks.

Before signing off, I would like to give a few accolades to the creative use of the Nagin song - mein teri dushman, dushman tu mera. A truly laugh out loud moment in the theatre.

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