Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana milks the Punjabi flavor of Bollywood formula dry and ends up warm but bland.
The ingredients are all well assembled and well fleshed out. Here’s a look at the recipe:
1. A London return Punjabi crook on the run.
Only he looks too decent to even harm a fly or a chicken. Omi Khurana (Kunal Kapoor) is a small time thief who owes the local don several pounds in London. He asks for more time so that he can get it (read steal) from his rich grandfather, Daarji (Vinod Nagpal, Humlog fame) who runs the best Dhaba in India. Daarji is known for a secret chicken recipe which is now locked in his lost memory. Omi’s mission is to find and sell the recipe along with the closed dhaba to a competitor to pay off his debts and save his life.
2. The yellow mustard fields, a dhaba and lots of parantha and chicken gravy.
All seen before, except that the scale is smaller, the ambience more real. Besides, Amit Trivedi’s DEV D like eclectic music track with plenty of Punjabi lyrics ( Shellee)add to the mix.
3. Hot Punjabi kudi who can dance and cook.
This one rides a scooter, wears a helmet( a plus) and is a local doctor.She is Harman (Huma Qureshi) ,an old school flame who has been treating Darji Here comes a conflict. She is engaged to his cousin. Except that it doesn’t seem to be much of a conflict where the Punjabi bad puttar’s intentions are concerned. It doesn’t help much either when the cousin takes the plot to a lopsided Bengali twist. Ki bolcho?
4. Authentic faces in the family.
Khosla ka Ghosla got that better. Each one here, doesn’t quite make the cut despite meaty roles. Except a crow who provides the most significant twist. Quite neat.
5. People who are weird but adorable.
Wierd,yes. Adorable, not always. Vicky Donor got that like makkhan on paratha. So here, we have an eccentric mama(Rajesh Sharma) who likes snuggling in the blanket with his nephew and pretends to be off the rocker. In the end, he or rather the story attempts a shocker, ends up a no brainer. There is also a brief appearance by a buaji turned saint (Dolly Ahluwalia)who smokes and sniggers and accidentally reveals the much sought secret our hero is after. Well played.
6. Fart jokes and pissing scenes.
Neither funny, nor touching. Close to gross. Far cry from Bansali’s ‘hawa ka jhokha’ in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam or more recent Vicky Donor’s description of a husband being missed.
All of the above ingredients would have had some potential of a palatable dish if spiced and mixed right. But the severe lack of conflict and miraculous resolutions, slow writing despite well etched characters (Sumit Batheja), forced scenes and contrived jokes; makes LSDCK completely lose the plot especially in the end.
Despite being well shot by Mitesh Mirchandani (particularly a small moment where Kapoor is half reflected in sunlight in his dhaba, putting on an apron)and skillfully directed by debutant(Sameer Sharma) the film lacks energy and pace. Some more play with food visuals would have been more than welcome.
Decent performances don’t help either. Kunal Kapoor and Huma Qureshi are competent and controlled but lack chemistry. Rajesh Singh in a stellar role as mamaji is noticeably good. Of the lot,chachaji steals the show during one boring speech scene.
Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana starts off with some hot air, grows on you with its lovingly crafted ingredients but sadly ends up with a fleshy heart, half cooked.