Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana Undercooked

Director : Sameer Sharma

Cast : Kunal Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, Vinod Nagpal, Rajesh Sharma, Dolly Ahluwalia, Rajendra Sethi

My Rating : 3/5

From the day I heard the name and saw the promo, I was really looking forward to this film. After all I am a true blue foodie and a Punjabi who loves the usual suspects like Butter Chicken and Dal Makhni. The fact that I cook with passion was another factor.

The story of a lip smacking chicken curry recipe gone missing... How intriguing.

Omi (Kunal Kapoor) comes back to Lalton, his village in Punjab, to hide from a London desi goon, whose 50,000 GBP he needs to return. Omi is a loser, ran away from home ten years ago after stealing money and chloroforming the daylights out of his Daarji (Vinod Nagpal).

He lost his parents and was brought up collectively by his Chacha, Chachi and Daarji. His cousin Jeet was his best buddy and Harman (Huma) was his childhood sweetheart. When he returns, they welcome him with open arms... The chacha is still angry at him for running away and Harman won't speak to him because he broke her heart when he left with just a note saying "sorry". Add to this Titu Mama, an insanely nuanced performance by Rajesh Sharma, who is the high point of this film. If you are from a large Punjabi family, you would definitely have a Titu Mama of your own.

Between the threats by Shanty the Goon and romancing Harman, Omi is left with the Chicken Khurana Dhaba by his Daarji in his will. His only option is to sell it to the arch rival Kehar Singh, who will buy it only if  the Chicken Khurana's elusive recipe is given along with it.

Will Omi be able to find the recipe, escape from Shanty's gun and get Harman, who is engaged to his brother Jeet now is the story that unfolds.

The set up is authentic, the locations real, the characters mostly believable. The Music of the film is another high point. My personal favorite being Kikli Kalerdi.

There are scenes which make you laugh out loud and some where you smile broadly, specially the ones involving Titu. "Bakwas na kar Titu" is the one which keeps coming up as Titu continues with his wisecracks and observations.

The film is pleasant enough, with some well directed sequences and likeable characters. But Kunal Kapoor was a big mistake, he is so dull and wooden, even in the best of scenes. Huma Qureshi is excellent. The story is predictable, and the pace just too slow. But my biggest problem are the scenes where so much more could have happened at the direction level. They just are so insipid. Yes there is Titu Mama and lovely Harman and crazy Bua ji, but they are not the film.

The length of the film is another enemy of this tale.

A chicken curry can be concocted by anyone, but to make it taste good comes with experience. I am sure the director Sameer Sharma will get there.

Taste it if you are in an indulgent mood and want to visit a Punjab while sitting in a theater eating Samosas.

Definitely not everyone's cup of tea or should I say piece of chicken.

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