Farhan Akhtar starrer ‘Lucknow Central’, which released today, “fails to utilise its resources…and loses out on chance to become…engaging,” wrote Hindustan Times. The Quint wrote, “(It) is utterly forgettable” while Times of India called it a “fascinating tale of dreamers and fighters, who refuse to give up on life.” It was rated 2.5/5 (HT), 1.5/5 (The Quint) and 3.5/5 (TOI).
Like TV show Prison Break, Lucknow Central begins on an impressive note. We meet Kishan Girhotra (Farhan Akhtar), a Moradabad guy, who wants to form his own band. This is a distant vision, but he believes small towns can’t crush a big dream. Switching accents between urban, semi-urban and rural, Farhan Akhtar somehow finds himself in the jail on the charge of murdering an IAS officer.
He manages to convince a few inmates, a la Prison Break, to join his band, but the real idea behind the move is much more dangerous and can lead to total devastation. This band, a group of five criminals, has its reasons to run away from the jail, but one person is standing between them and the world outside: Jailor Shrivastava (Ronit Roy).
By now, Lucknow Central begins to lose its sheen like, what else, Prison Break.
Is it also similar to Qaidi Band? Yes.
It’s not just the theme, but the two films bear uncanny resemblance on many levels. Both have almost similar back-stories of the primary characters. The build-up of the characters played by Deepak Dobriyal, Rajesh Sharma, Gippy Grewal, Innamulhaq and even Farhan Akhtar appear to be following a set pattern.
What makes a difference is the acting. While Qaidi Band was an unpolished, mostly clueless story of an attempted jail break, Lucknow Central has a better intensity. You can connect the dots better in Lucknow Central.
Writers try their best to carve out believable characters. From Dobriyal’s Bengali engineer to Grewal’s disappointed lover, they find some echo with the audience, but then arrives Ronit Roy and his group of beetle-chewing cops who try hard to look menacing.
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