The Cinema Station’s Rating: Second AC Chaircar journey (3.5/5)
Starring: Farhan Akhtar, Gippy Grewal, Diana Penty, Deepak Dobriyal, Rajesh Sharma, Inamulhaq, Ravi Kishan, Ronit Roy
Director: Ranjit Tiwari
The story of 5 prisoners who plan a prison escape in the backdrop of a band performance was an idea that needed sheer diligence and character to be carried out. Revealing the most of itself in the trailer, Lucknow Central’s story does not come as a surprise, but the articulate direction, perfection in acting, well lined up chain of events and the music that binds the film together left me impressed.
What begins on a shaky wicket with an out of sorts small town struggling singer quite easily speeds into its second gear with a rather early and weakly presented inciting incident. A fairly large majority film revolves in the jail campus of Lucknow Central, which is often personified as a person and given the beginning, it seems the makers were in dire urge of shifting focus to the prison. The good part of this speedy transformation is that it quickly helped me shift focus from the crooked start and conveniently aligned events. As the journey gets into its jail phase director Ranjit Tiwari slows down the accelerator as we see more attention to detail and a very well directed entry of supporting characters. Starting from Ronit Roy to Gippy Grewal and Diana Penty, the writer cum director Ranjit Tiwari nurture his film’s course with meaningful sub plots and challenging dilemmas. WIthin no time, the journey gains momentum and starts to flow under the control of the director and his characters.
With a splendid combination of plots and sub plots, the film gives due attention to its characters and their on screen portrayal. From the leading man, Farhan Akhtar to every supporting character the load is equally shared and carried by the cast members of the film. Lucknow Central may not exceed certain aspects of Bollywood films, but, certainly, keeps in line with the high standards of film making followed in the industry. The second half of the film carries forward the good work of the first as the attentions shifts to the evolving sub plot characters of Panditji (Rajesh Sharma), Paali (Gippy Grewal), Dikkat (Inamulhaq) and Victor (Deepak Dobriyal) with the story already having a steady growth in the rear.
As we near the moment of deliverance, the film ties all ends up with the characters and the story reaching their ultimate goal. On one hand, we see the protagonist fulfilling his ambition of creating a band while Ravi Kishan, playing the Chief Minister of U.P. gets his desire of a band performance in Lucknow Central accomplished. Due credit needs to be given to the cinematographer for giving his best shot at covering the city of Lucknow followed by weighty camera shots as per the scene’s demand.
What started off with a song depicting freedom and struggles of an aspiring singer ends with another impacting musical performance from Farhan and his band of prisoners, keeping the film critic’s equation well in balance. The director takes the last few minutes to close all loops and ensures the wrongs are undone as Lucknow Central ends its journey on a soaring note with entertainment written all over it.