Cast: Kunal Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, Rajesh Sharma, Vipin Sharma, Vinod Nagpal, Dolly Ahluwalia
Director: Sameer Sharma
Release Date: November 2nd, 2012
Rating: 3.5 stars
When you have a film titled Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana (LSTCK), talented actors such as Kunal Kapoor and Huma Qureshi, the soundtrack of Amit Trivedi and the likes of Ronnie Screwvala and Anurag Kashyap producing the project; something more than just great is expected. The recipe of LSTCK is pretty tempting, but the final dish could have been just a tad bit tastier.
The genre of Hindi-Pendent (Hindi Independent) films has been gaining popularity with the audiences these days. Stories that are centered on possible real-life situations, genuine dialogue delivery and honest comedy has finally gained acceptance. LSTCK is a film of that stature and does what is necessary. The film focuses on one simple storyline and is not all over the place, jumping from one scene to another. The straight forward direction of debutante Sameer Sharma keeps the flow of the film crisp without too much confusion.
LSTCK is shot primarily in the serene backgrounds of a very real Punjabi village from its people to their mannerism. It is a simple story of the Khurana family and their dhaba. However, this is not your average dhaba. It provides its patrons with the ultimate chicken dish they have ever had – the Chicken Khurana. While running away from fake gangsters in London to dancing to typical Punjabi beats in the open in India, everyone is trying to find the secret ingredient that makes the Chicken into Chicken Khurana. Karan Kapoor plays the character of “Omi Khurana” who leaves his family’s home for London to live on his own terms. He eventually comes back falling short of his dreams after a whole decade. The female lead of “Harman” is played by Huma Qureshi who gave a stellar performance in this year’s biggest overseas critical success, Gangs of Wasseypur. Both these actors have made their mark in the film, but Qureshi definitely takes a step ahead of Kapoor with both her charm and rigid attitude with which she delivers her dialogues and performance.
Kunal Kapoor as Omi & Huma Qureshi as Harman
A comical surprise of this film was the character of Omi’s Mamaji; Titu, portrayed by Rajesh Sharma. He can be considered as the highlight of the film with his sarcastically hilarious comments and on-the point comic timing. Omi’s Daar-ji, played by Vinod Nagpal who is the only one that knows the special ingredient that makes the Chicken Khurana so special implements his character very smoothly and effectively. The scene during which Daar-ji relieves some gas from his system and explains to Omi by how doing that he is having a closer relationship with him will definitely make you laugh and create for great jokes later! Great support is provided by Vipin Sharma as the rival dhaba owner, Dolly Ahluwalia as Omi’s Buaji and Rahul Bagga as Omi’s younger cousin throughout the film.
Rajesh Sharma as Titu
Each of the Khuranas has a secret that they are hiding from each other, which slowly opens up. As these secrets and their paths unfold, the story line seems to keep up to pace with its somewhat stretched of a screenplay. Although, the complete story is told between flashbacks and current situations and the editing process depicts it seamlessly. If the total run-time of the film could be decreased from 140 minutes to about just over an hour and a half, it would have made a bigger impact and the film could have been more connected to its audience. The background score and soundtrack provided by Amit Trivedi is simply beautiful and each song will take you back to the beautiful fields of Punjab. There is a lot of emotion, love and that traditional Punjabi flavor in each of his tracks. Trivedi provides a genuine mix of straight-up taporipan and urban beats that will have you echoing the lyrics for a while.
The opening weekend for LSTCK wasn’t as impressive and promising as expected. It was only able to pick up about INR 3.30 crore (US$ 623,000 approx) on its first two days. Semi-positive to positive reviews will definitely benefit the Box Office pickup later in the week picking up ticket sales. Do watch this film for some genuine laughs, great background score, music and a real taste of comedy. Also make sure to pay attention to what exactly the secret ingredient for the ultimate Chicken Khurana is – it just might make you fly high!