Film: Luka Chuppi
Cast: Karthik Aryan, Kriti Sanon, Aparshakti Khurana, Vinay Pathak, Pankaj Tripathi
Director: Laxman Utekar
Rating: * *
Dinesh Vijan’s Maddock films attempts to score another hit with this small-town romantic comedy that attempts to marry humour and slapstick with the peculiar small-minded antics of small-town middle India but it’s by no means a reverberating laugh-riot, one was given to expect.
Writer Rohan Ghoge and director Laxman Utekar try a little too hard to camouflage the acute contrivance of issues and social sub-text in a drama that doesn’t develop beyond the simplistic black and white positions defined by warped ideologies.
While it’s noble of them to want to expose the hollow nature of the violence driven sanskriti brigands, the writing doesn’t do enough to drive home the point for the freedom of choice supporters either.
Guddu Agarwal (Karthik Aryan) is a small town lad who reports on events and news in Mathura for a local video channel. Rashmi (Kriti Sanon) is the daughter of a right-wing leader (Vinay Pathak) whose aggressive moral policing is largely supported by the local population.
Guddu and Rashmi fall in love. Guddu wants marriage but Rashmi is inclined to try him out through a live-in. So they end up in Gwalior for a 20 day trial and get found out. What transpires thereafter is really pretty much pedestrian and totally lacking in imagination.
Right from the opening scene we know where this film is going. We see Guddu exploring the locals’ views on live-in relationships following the right wing leader’s declaration of boycott towards all films starring superstar Nadeem Khan – following the expose that he is in a live-in relationship. Then promptly Guddu and Rashmi decide to try it out and thereafter fringe characters start scooping them out for the claim that they are married.
Guddu’s family barges in, his older unmarried, complexed brother becomes incensed and his other brother’s irksome, interfering brother-in law (Pankaj Tripathi in a rather unbecoming comedienne role) keeps stoking the flames in order to get him caught red-handed. It’s a scenario that is born out of a distinct lack of imagination.
The slapstick is unbecoming, references to women as sexual objects are worrisome, completely contrived nature of the plotting is inappropriate and the constant simpering and preening by the male lead, Karthik Aryan, literally puts you off. Kriti Sanon, in all her made-up glory and mod-girl costuming is an ill-fit with the small-town girl construct.
The music doesn’t have anything special to offer and the stray moments of humour come a little too late to make this experience worthwhile. Utekar’s film merely regurgitates a formula that has seen small budget family comedy dramas score at the Box Office of late. There’s not much attempt by him or his team to understand the logic and nuances of a world that seeks security in warped ideals and aggressive assertiveness.
Mere posturing and garbled messaging will certainly not enthuse the paying audience in this case!