Lucknow Central

wogma rating: Add to that never-watched 'To Watch' list (?)

quick review:

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

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Director: Ranjit Tiwari
Running time: 145 minutes
Genres: Drama
More Movie Info

Lucknow Central - Preview

Oh dear. A music band of prisoners within a few weeks? Only this time it has a high-profile actor at the helm. But, Farhan Akhtar and rock band also seem to be repetitive now.

Thematically though, it doesn't seem like Lucknow Central is a issue-based film nor is the band at the heart from what it looks like. It seems to revolve around the concept of freedom from a jail. So, we will see a little bit of it all – music, the state of affairs in a jail, prison escape. Wonder if it will all come together to make for a solid, engaging watch.

Lucknow Central releases on 15 September, 2017.

Music Reviews:
Milliblog - "consistently enjoyable"

- meeta, a part of the audience

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.

Lucknow Central seems like yet another “prison” film.

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

27 reviewers(?) - 8 yays 13 so-so 6 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Rohit Bhatnagar, Deccan Chronicle : ...ucknow Central is a riveting tale of prisoners with an interesting premise and some sparkling performances but similarities with Qaidi Band will surely affect the film in every possible way. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Rahul Bhardwaj, Desi Martini : ...Super job Team Lucknow Central !... full review

Thumbs up, Gulf News : ...It looks so unrehearsed, so spontaneous.... just like the film where the characters probably existed long before the writer and director thought about them. We just didn’t know or care.... full review

Thumbs up, by Satish Sundareshan, koimoi : ...For all those who have not seen Qaidi Band, we are sure that you will take an instant liking for Lucknow Central for its innovative script and screenplay. The movie will work, but, only if the word of mouth publicity is extremely strong. Still, the film is recommended by us purely for its innovative script and stellar performances by the lead actors.... full review

Thumbs up, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...The film seems to drag on for about 15 minutes longer than it should have. But given its theme, 'doing time' should be something that extends beyond the screen, right? ... full review

Thumbs up, by Nandini Ramnath, : ...Farhan Akhtar is cast as a singer yet again after the Rock On!!! movies, but he doesn’t sing in his hoarse voice this time, which works very well for the actor-director as well as debutant filmmaker Ranjit Tiwari.... full review

Thumbs up, Sify Movies : ...It looks so unrehearsed so spontaneous....just like the film where the characters probably existed long before the writer and director thought about them. We just didn't know or care.... full review

Thumbs up, by Renuka Vyavahare, Times of India : ...Considering the film revolves around music, Rangdaari is a beautiful composition that sums up this fascinating tale of dreamers and fighters, who refuse to give up on life or faith. ... full review

So-So, by Yatharth Chauhan, Desi Martini : ...This one isn’t unwatchable but it’s far from what this kind of a subject needed to be. ... full review

So-So, by Tushar Joshi, DNA : ...If you are in the mood for something serious, check it out. ... full review

So-So, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...Quick take: A prison drama/musical that’s neither here nor there... full review

So-So, by Udita Jhunnjhunwala, FirstPost : ...Tiwari’s handling of the jail scenes are commendable even if the climax is a little contrived. And while this jailhouse rock-on see-saws between musical drama and message movie, its origins in a true story (about a real life prison band called Healing Hearts) and it’s notation on the merits of reformation give it soul.... full review

So-So, by Rohit Vats, Hindustan Times : ...Lucknow Central fails to utilise its resources, especially Diana Penty, and loses out on a chance to become a really engaging film. Like Prison Break, it never reaps the benefits of a promising start.... full review

So-So, Indicine : ...Conclusion: Lucknow Central is working with ideas that have been seen in films for ages. Prison break movies are nothing new but to give it a different twist and make it watchable for the Hindi audience takes a lot of innovation. And unfortunately, the makers of Lucknow Central come up short. That’s not to say it doesn’t work. There are quite a few sequences which require a lot of sync and they work on screen too. Eventually, Lucknow Central works in bits and spurts. It can make for a decent one time watch.... full review

So-So, by Deepa Gauri, Khaleej Times : ...Lucknow Central is worth a watch for its narrative sub-texts, and to see how a great cast can elevate even a plot-hole-ridden script.... full review

So-So, by Sonil Dedhia, MiD DAY : ...However, the film has its share of follies when the second half kicks off. The music could have been played a vital role in the film, but fails. A sloppy climax ends this sweet experience on a bitter note, turning out to be that unpalatable dessert that ruins a delectable experience. Yet, the plusses in Lucknow Central outnumber the weaknesses. It surely deserves a dekho.... full review

So-So, by Jaidev Hemmady, Movie Talkies : ...Central would have been a much better film. Also, considering that the film revolves around a prison band, the makers could have come up with better songs and music. Nevertheless, the film doesn’t get too preachy and director Ranjit Tiwari deserves a pat on his back for making his debut with a sensible and yet entertaining film…... full review

So-So, by Manisha Lakhe, Now : ...But you watch as they do and see the dream come true. They are a band in the true sense of the word. Unlike the recently released Qaidi Band, this film is grittier and thankfully fewer songs. The young heroine was the saving grace in Qaidi Band, but here, the band members are great characters. Each vicious and yet vulnerable.... full review

So-So, by Sukanya Varma, Rediff : ...Of course the harmless temper and measured fervour of Lucknow Central's key players insists they are not all bad.... full review

So-So, by K K Rai Reena, STARDUST : ...Farhan Akhtar misses the target this time with Lucknow Central and you will better do with some other mode of entertainment. The movie lacks in entertainment value and will find it difficult to survive at the box office.... full review

So-So, by Rummana, yahoo! India : ...But despite the flaws, I enjoyed ‘Lucknow Central’. In this nauseating Bollywood milieu of romances and revenge sagas, this one makes an honest attempt to break the monotony.... full review

Thumbs down, by Tushar P Joshi, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, LUCKNOW CENTRAL is a poor show all the way. The weak script, lack of entertainment value and long run time of the film will work against it. As a result, it’s bound to struggle at the box office.... full review

Thumbs down, by Vikash Mehar, Desi Martini : boring movie , story is not strong I think poster boys than........ sorry but story is so boring & next movie best of luck farhaan sir ... full review

Thumbs down, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...There’s also barely any time or effort put in to make the transformation believable. Instead, there’s music to set the tempo and transformation of totally untalented non-performers becoming proficient singer-performers, takes the cake. It’s neither believable nor forgivable. Kahvaan Kahvaan may drum up the tempo towards the end but the run towards it is paved with dust and smoke. There are no solid grounds for believability here.... full review

Thumbs down, by IANS, Free Press Journal : ...It looks so unrehearsed so spontaneous….just like the film where the characters probably existed long before the writer and director thought about them. We just didn’t know or care.... full review

Thumbs down, by Vishal Varma, : ...Ironically, the proposed on screen tribute to the Healing Hearts Band a band formed by prison inmates in the Adarsh Karagar on the outskirts of Lucknow, LUCKNOW CENTRAL was suppose to give a better justice to their story and musical glory but it's our bad luck. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, : ...A better title for Lucknow Central might have been Boredom Central. At nearly 2 hours and 30 minutes, it’s far too long and far too dull to inspire any other response. I’m going with a generous two out of five.... full review

90 tweeters(?) - 67 yays 8 so-so 15 nays

zoya_fshaikh: Lucknow Central Misses The Punch Of A Jail Break Drama, Shines In Bits

webinfolabs: Lucknow Central was a great movie.

thesameeraloha: My friend went to watch #Simran movie when I ask him how was the movie he said: "Lucknow Central best movie hai, full paisa wasool"

thechoyal: Lucknow Central is awesome...grtt movie after long time... Kudos to @FarOutAkhtar and team

TahirRauf17: Lucknow Central what an amazing movie and great job by @FarOutAkhtar @DianaPenty @RonitBoseRoy and team..just loved it

Sweetseii: Must watch #LucknowCentral! @deespeak @RichaChadha Booking open now, book now … #1DayToLucknowCentral

sneehaar: Lucknow central movie great direction by ranjit tiwari.Also great performances by @igippygrewal nd @DianaPenty.Strong content & storytelling

skesharwani1: Wow, what a movie . It's amazing and inspiring. @FarOutAkhtar #lucknow central Must watch people #LucknowCentralOutNow

shujathshk: Watched lucknow central. Totally got amazed and some extraordinary acting by @FarOutAkhtar, Khaidi no. 1821 will be remembered for long.

Shail8636: #FarhanAkhtar See the movie #LucknowCentral As usual from rock on to Lucknow r MAGIC..... superb....

shahdimple547: '#LucknowCentral' #review: A prison-break thriller with solid storytelling

SayyedSuhaib: जेल के अंदर की अनजान दुनिया से परिचय कराती है फिल्म.शानदार अभिनय बेहतरीन निर्देशन. 3.5 स्टार

sauraviiest: "कुवें का मेंढक अगर नाली में छुप कर बैठे तो उसे आज़ादी नहीं कहते" -Lucknow central. Loved this movie. A "must watch movie".

sandeepdabangg: Lucknow Central is a complete entertainer, with sm beautiful piece f music. Gud work @FarOutAkhtar

sagarguptadelhi: Lucknow Central Review: This Prison Break Drama Starring Farhan Akhtar Is An Entertaining Watch

RonitRohit_FC: #LuckonowCentral The movie which has won everyones heart...Catch it in ur near theatres…

rohanbose_eee: #Lucknow_central a worth to watch. Farhan Akhtar u beauty. Paisa wasool.

RizwanPehelwan: Okay just watched Lucknow Central and I'll always, always love Farhan Akhtar. Whattay movie haye. Great music too!

ravikumar77787: Just Watched Lucknow central. Such amazing performance by @FarOutAkhtar . You never disappoint! Super

RaviKum38212988: “#LucknowCentral is a film that inspires and motivates the audience” – @FarOutAkhtar

rajivv1390: Lucknow central is an awesome movie.

Princetrp: another osm performance by @FarOutAkhtar in #Lucknow_Central The idea is unique #desi_prisonbreak Good luck for @FukreyReturns

pratikbagdiya: Enjoyed #Lucknow_central

poojaambani: #LucknowCentral is a decent watch. Read our full #MovieReview here:

PIYUSHS32855340: Lucknow central a must watch movie of this year.class performance by @FarOutAkhtar.highly recommended.i will give ****

PalpalIndia: फरहान की दमदार एक्टिंग: लखनऊ सेंट्रल #Farhan #Lucknow #Central #film

pallav42: Super movie Lucknow Central.. @FarOutAkhtar .. pity that it got only 2*.. it's a hi5 from me.. cheers !!

Openthemag: #LucknowCentral Review: The movie has some stellar performances and holds your attention for much of the duration.…

oneindiaHindi: Review : रोमांस और एक्शन के लिए नहीं.. सिर्फ इसलिए देखें लखनऊ सेंट्रल.. MUST WATCH #LucknowCentral

ompraka12809513: Sir watched Lucknow Central movie . Awesome movie just loved it .The acting skill of #farhanakhtar and Offcours yours is just mind blowing..

nitzrulzx412: Lucknow Central quick movie review: Farhan Akhtar’s film is an engaging tale of four convicts trying to make a band…

Nikhilmyview: Lucknow Central....Great Movie. Shahar Chote Hote Hai,Sapne Nahi !!

needleholeshop: RJLokesh reviews #LucknowCentral. Is it worth the price of the ticket? Read!

Mk142013: Excellent work of Farhan in Lucknow Central. Good Luck

mandipdosanjh: Just watched Lucknow Central. Great acting from our very own @igippygrewal the futures bright.

lbakane: Kudos to team..@Lucknow Central.. @FarOutAkhtar Gr8 work done.. Must watch movie..1

kinkylilboots: .@LucknowCentral Review: A Prison-Break Story Filled With Music, Drama, And A Social Message. Read our review here:…

KhanAhmadIrfan: #RockOn2 n 1 star @FarOutAkhtar deserves a National Award for Lucknow Central Jail. -bd/.

JstCricket_Abhi: Lucknow Central an awesome movie and a must watch movie, as usual very​ good performance by Farhan Akhtar ✌️ #FarhanAkhtar

jinnions: #LucknowCentral Review: A set of good performances and grim moments make the film worth one watch for sure! Read:…

immanwendra: You can go and watch lucknow central. It deserves... @ranjit_tiwari @LucknowCentral

ILikeItBro: “#LucknowCentral is a film that inspires and motivates the audience” – @FarOutAkhtar

iamsunny06: #LucknowCentral you totally rocked in the intense yet simple avatar sir @FarOutAkhtar Amazing movie 4/5 ⭐️

iamguddurangilo: Lucknow favourite movie of @FarOutAkhtar...... totally love this

IamApoorvSharma: A few thoughts on @faroutAkhtar 's #LucknowCentral-One of the better films of 2017

hsalman110: Lucknow central awesome movie!!!

hardik_raut: Lucknow Central what an amazing movie and great job by @FarOutAkhtar @DianaPenty @RonitBoseRoy and team..just loved it

Gyanban: Now we never expected intensity like Papillion but Lucknow Central had its moments.

guy_bollywood: Lucknow Central Movie Review. The best film made on Indian prisoners. Our rating: 3.5 stars.…

gautam_parija: Lucknow Central- a must see film. Do see it

gaaurishankar: Review Lucknow central...i Lovly concept via @YouTube

divyadutta25: Watched the very gripping Lucknow central!!! Super performances!!! Loved you my dear @FarOutAkhtar !! Sooo nuanced and sincere!!!bests team!

DeV4Singer: Lucknow Central Is Veryyy Great Movie.. I Clap For All Team Of Lucknow Central.. Great Great Great Movie..

DebAbhimanyu: watched Lucknow central brilliant thriller flick. Astonishing and astounding acting by @FarOutAkhtar @deepakdobriyal @DianaPenty

CinemaGlitz: #LucknowCentralReview - 3.5/5: #LucknowCentral, a gripping tale of dreamers!

chitrance_abhi: #Lucknow central is awsmm moviii congratulations @FarOutAkhtar u r rocking


BadmashFRQ: #LucknowCentral's prison scenes around the gang-war are damn good. And that Vijay Deenanath Chauhan bit? Awesome!

asarkate3: Then Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Now Lucknow Central , You never fail to mesmerize the audience @FarOutAkhtar #LucknowCentral Love <3

Anishanandanis4: A nice and well film taught a great lesson #lucknow central @FarOutAkhtar love u very much.

AniGuha: LUCKNOW CENTRAL is truly a winner! Pitch-perfect acting, inspired writing, and superb direction by @ranjit_tiwari.…

ahmadsaeedkhan: Congrats... Lucknow Central.. team... for a fabulous.. movie.. love you all

ae80bd530da044b: Congratulations for An awesome begining for "Lucknow Central " @nikkhiladvani @ranjit_tiwari @FarOutAkhtar @deepakdobriyal @aseem_arora

Admire_Urself: watch this brilliant movie guys Its . #1DayToLucknowCentral @FarOutAkhtar

888riki: saw simran and lucknow central fantastic movies both ....loved kangana's acting can't say the same about her barbs...farhaan is good.

2009Simran: Book your tickets now don't miss #LucknowCentral @deespeak @RichaChadha …#1DayToLucknowCentral

1424Raj: Just saw #Lucknow central in Hyderabad, It is fantastic congratulations @FarOutAkhtar @DianaPenty

zyiteblog: Lucknow Central movie review: Farhan Akhtar is impressive, but how gripping is the tale?

viranchdamani: Lucknow Central has been watched and although its noweher near what Sawshank Redemption was, its still a good one time watch.

sonia_juned: Lucknow Central: Farhan Akhtar's prison break flick is a bumpy ride made endurable by supporting cast

socialchumbak: #LucknowCentral #MovieReview : @FarOutAkhtar #jailbreak is a one time watch - via @socialchumbak

smtsethi3: #LucknowCentralMovieReview: Farhan strong acting but after the Interval Lucknow Central is weak

IMSahilBhalla: #Replug of my #LucknowCentral review: Watch it for the supporting cast and a much better second half!

iamshubhammodak: Lucknow Central : A Fair To Middling Prison Story

commentatorship: Lucknow Central works in parts but overstays its welcome. A little editing, especially the jail rivalry bit could have helped. #MovieReview

vnrj_banna: 'Lucknow Central': Honest attempt let down by poor music via @YahooIndia

utkarsh2593: Lucknow Central Movie Review: Farhan Akhtar Can't Rock On Behind Bars

somilagrawal: Here's why #LucknowCentral gets only 1/5 in my #MovieReview @LucknowCentral

shaileshgam: Lucknow central despite having one of best supporting cast over years failing to succeed only coz of its weak lead hero - lead matters

rramanbhl82: 3rd class movie Lucknow Central

RichiMunshi: Lucknow Central movie review: Farhan Akhtar's jail break film fails to utilise resources

reyazkhan_rs: Lucknow central totally a disaster movie of the yr my 180 rupees will be lost today plz don't watch i requested to u waste of time waste rps

rekhatripathi: मूवी रिव्यू: बेहतरीन एक्टर्स होने के बावूजद निराश करती है #LucknowCentral (2.5 स्टार)…

rachit0404: Lucknow central = 1/2 Rockon + 1/8 Shawshank redemption + Remaining is some poor scripting and direction

mohitvarma007: "Lucknow Central doesn’t hit the right note and remains a film too far from perfect."

htmrocks51: Lucknow Central meta review: Farhan Akhtar’s prison band puts up a disappointing concert for the critics…

dhinkachikatadk: Its draggy, slow, soulless. #LucknowCentral movie review. Too many glitches. @FarOutAkhtar @igippygrewal…

anshuMor: ‘Lucknow Central’ Review: Farhan's aim is to get out and so is the audience's.

AmitkumarSrkian: Lucknow Central is the second worst movie of year after Imitiaz's mega-debacle JHMS.

AficionadoYash: 'Lucknow Central' review: Predictable script overshadows Farhan Akhtar's performance

2 readers - 0 yays 2 so-so 0 nays

So-So, by Fan

So-So, by Sachin : nice movie but somehow not as much as expected from it. It is movie which i wanted to watch from

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

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):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

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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