Film: Lucknow Central
Date: 15 September 2017
Director: Ranjit Tiwari
Writer: Ranjit Tiwari, Aseem Arora
Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Diana Penty, Deepak Dobriyal, Ronit Roy, Rajesh Sharma
Lucknow Central opens in a barsati in Muraadaabad where a sleepy Kishen Gairhotra/ Farhan Akhtar composing notes in his dreams. He is an aspiring musician and has ambitions of creating his own band someday.
He is close to his goal when he attends a concert of a superstar but an altercation and an outburst with a minister turns into an ugly revenge where Kishen is accused of murder and locked inside the prison.
All appeals fall on deaf ears and Kishen now referred to as 1821 is transferred to Central Lucknow Jail awaiting a death sentence where he meets the sensitive NGO worker Gayatri Kashyap/ Diana Penty assigned to form a Band in the prison for a concert scheduled at the Lucknow Jail.
Kishen volunteers to form the band though it is not easy to win the trust of his colleagues but he succeeds eventually and they are committed to rehearsals and a secret plan of escape!
There are many perspectives to Lucknow Central. You can view it as a reflection of Uttar Pradesh’s socio-political conditions, a statement on our legal and judiciary system, a glimpse of what’s happening inside our jails and how to reform prisoners or as a simple story of dreams and the struggle to make them come true.What works in favor of the film are the refreshing music, sharp editing, conflicting climax, affable characters and inspiring message. The negative, if it can be called a downside is that it is one location centric but the engaging narrative and the ensemble performances more than make up for it.
Ronit Roy as the jailor and Ravi Kissen as the minister are effective. Farhan Akhtar plays Kishen Girhotra with an innocence and sincerity that is touching. Some scenes stay with you after the film is over. A beaming Farhan on a sewing machine and the midnight group performance before the jailor are magical moments!
What’s attractive about the film is that though it is a story of prison inmates but it is far more depressing. The characters are largely criminals but the message is positive!! Yes there are atrocities inside the prison but hope is still alive and the conscience still ticking.
In the film, the hero’s father says Justice is granted to no one, there is just good luck and bad luck and after Lucknow Central good luck is definitely on the side of director Ranjit Tiwari.
I rate Central Lucknow with 3.5 stars.