Lucknow Central: A gripping jail drama with a hearty tribute to dreamers

It is the era of real life and small town stories. Lucknow Central  is all geared up to treat the audience with a rooted character from UP who is truly a rebel.  The movie brings alive a real life small town story backed by power-packed actors like Farhan Akhtar, Gippy Grewal, Diana Penty, Ronit Roy, Deepak Dobriyal, Rajesh Sharma, Inaamulhaq to name a few and has some amazing music.Produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Nikhil Advani’s Emmay Entertainment and Motion Pictures, the film is directed by Ranjit Tiwari and has released on 15 September 2017. Akhtar will be seen playing the role of Kishen Mohan Girotra a simple man from Moradabad, his character has a dream of making it big as a singer, but as fate turns out, he is convicted of an alleged high-profile murder and is sent to one of the most dreaded jails -Lucknow Central. Healing Hearts is the real-life Lucknow-based band who inspired the film. The musical group was established in Adarsh Karagar jail, situated on the outskirts of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Ever since the trailer has released, the audience are high on anticipation to witness such an amazing storyline. The film starts with a cosy small town vibe with Farhan Akhtar bringing alive his character of  a vulnerable, emotional and dreamy eyed Kisen Mohan Girotra from Moradabad. He looks around the world with his rose coloured specs imagining all his dreams would come true. Farhan whom we have seen mostly doing suave, classy characters has shown stellar acting skills by transforming himself into a Bhojpuri speaking local UP boy. Lucknow Central starts bang on with the  soulful song “Rangdari” sung by Arijit Singh touring us into Kisen’s world. The movie has amply used regional actors like Bhojpuri star actor and singer Manoj Tiwari in a guest appearance to give the local touch. And not to forget actor Ravi Kissen has some good comic punches as chief minister Pawan Singh Chaturvedi. The emotional and dreamy first half swerves through to crashing of dreams when Farhan Akhtar gets embroiled in a crime he has not committed. The plot looks clichéd here however it takes the audience straight inside the Lucknow Central Jail. Actress Diana Penty has done a decent job as the NGO girl who tries to help Farhan Akhtar like Rani Mukherjee in Veer Zaara  or Mugdha Godse in Jail. Diana’s wardrobe also had Lucknowi style kurti and half jackets and she looked quite like a girl from Lucknow.  But I hope she does not get stereotyped in Indian roles only. Kudos to the amazing VFX done by After Studio in the film. They have created the Lucknow Central jail in a majestic way. The jail bars and all the jail scenes can be credited to After Studio. It looks so natural that it does not seem like any visual effects has been used. In the film, three jails have been shown but actually there are two jails which has been extended by VFX. There is an entire climax sequence of  Farhan Akhtar and his group trying to escape from the jail which has been recreated by After Studio. The aerial overview of the jail, the powercut and the lighting has been the wonders of visual effects. Lucknow Central is quite gripping with the action and fight sequences inside the jail where Farhan Akhtar is a rebel and fights his own battles and is finally befriended by a mini India group (Punjabi,Bihari,UP,Bengali). Deepak Dobriyal has done a good job as a Bengali character and seems really cute. He has picked up the accent really well and his character reminded me of Morgan Freeman helping Tim Robbins in Shawshank Redemption. Gippy Grewal, Rajesh Sharma, Inaamulhaq are I can say good casting and portray their characters really well. Ronit Roy is powerful and the typical villain as a sadistic jailer. He has given another strong performance in the movie. There are some gross violent scenes inside the jail. But by the second half, it meanders to the friendship and bonding of the new band formed by Farhan Akhtar with his 4 jailmates amidst great difficulties. Also they are supported by Diana Penty which again reminds us of Elizabeth (Rachel Shelley) helping Bhuvan and his team in Lagaan. The story shows the victimised criminal and how he transforms from a victim to a masterplanner. It also  gives us a lesson of how a underdog can win with brains. The film is gripping with its thrill sequences as well as it has the right flavour of ethereal music and emotions. Planning sequences are well designed and thrill the audience. The soulful song O Meere Caravaan brings the spiritual side of the film where you can imagine life being a journey which tosses you at a place one won’t imagine. Destiny has other plans when you are busy planning for something else. It puts a thought in our minds that we might try to escape the whole world but we can’t escape our own thoughts and dreams. Lucknow Central is a tribute to dreamers. The climax has a thrilling cliffhanger sequence with twists and turns which keeps you glued to your seats. The ending is melodramatic but that’s what Indians love watching I guess! Overall debutante director Ranjit Tiwari has executed the film without much complications with aclear concept and message which touches hearts. The film is all hearty smudged with emotions and amazing music. It tells you that you need to stand up for yourself and fight even if the whole world is saying no. I will give it 3 stars out of five. Go watch it and come out as a rebel!