Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Movie Review: Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana
Kunal Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, Rajesh Sharma, Vinod Nagpal, Dolly Ahluwalia and Vipin Sharma
Anurag Kashyap Productions seems to be doing a fantastic job with its line-up of small but fresh films. Gangs Of Wasseypur 1 and 2 presented a detailed view of Bihar and Bahubali politics and these films were praised for their detail, colourful language and insights. Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana presents Punjab in a similar and unique light. Watching this film is like being transported to a remote village in the Punjab landscape. Having said that, there are no flowing mustard fields, colourful costumes or dancing Sikhs on display. The highlight of this film is realism and debut director Sameer Sharma presents this rustic Punjab with great conviction.
The story travels from London to rural Punjab with its protagonist Omi (Kunal Kapoor). An ambitious boy, Omi steals money from his family and flees to London chasing his dreams. But as fate would have it, Omi’s forced to return to Punjab and his family because he ends up owing money to the wrong people. To his surprise Omi’s family welcomes him with open arms. It’s a happy family, but the only catch is Omi’s childhood sweetheart Harman (Huma Qureshi) is being married off to his younger brother Jeet. The main story arc though deals with Omi’s run in with Kehar Singh (Vipin Sharma) who offers him money for Omi’s late Grandfather’s (Vinod Nagpal) famous Chicken Khurana recipe. The concept is novel, but the execution could have been better.
The film spends too much time cooking the sweet broth of love and relationships. In doing so, for about an hour the film goes nowhere. There is a multitude of supporting characters in the film all with their own quirks. There’s an industrious crow that saves the Khurana family time and again and is believed to be an incarnation of Omi’s late grandmother. There’s a hash addicted Priest lady who’s Omi’s aunt. As the fringe characters keep adding to the narrative, the main story of whether Omi sells his grandfather’s recipe to the money minded bad guy doesn’t move forward until the climax.
But Amit Trivedi’s delightful music adds a spectacular flavour to the film. His music is fresh and very unlike the regular dhol-obsessed music B-town presents in Punjabi situations. Also commendable are the themes where the film talks of Punjabis’ obsession with settling down overseas and that even middle-class families are capable of progressive thinking. Kunal Kapoor gives a compact and honest performance. Huma Qureshi captures the Punjabi essence of her character with great effect.
While the film is generally feel-good, Sameer Sharma could’ve done a much better job. Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana is a small film that serves up a decent dose of entertainment. It’s like comfort food. Rich in nutrition, easy-to-eat but light on the masala.
By: Raghuvendra Singh
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