Millennium Post

An unconventional food ride

Of all the movies that could possibly release on Karva Chauth, ironically Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana seems the most perfect. While some ladies in the audience try to keep their hunger pangs out of their mind – the movie has other plans. Worry not, this is no Chocolat (also no Johnny Depp; but Kunal Kapoor is decently delectable).

But it is all about that one recipe – the elusive Chicken Khurana that no one seems to know about, except the man who created it who conveniently kicks the bucket by intermission and is mentally unsound for the first half. The perfect chicken recipe that made  Khurana’s dhaba the talk of town. Convenient.

Omi Khurana (Kunal Kapoor), the prodigal, returns from London with a scar on his nose and with his English dream kept ransom with an Indian gangster. He must return the borrowed pounds before he can set foot on the Queen’s soil again. But Omi’s return is not so easy, the chip on his shoulder lies heavy. He had stolen money from his Darji (grandfather; Vinod Nagpal) and run off to London and in India, some wounds scar deep. Or not.

Much to Omi’s surprise, he’s welcomed back in like nothing ever happened. His Darji has become a silent figure who spouts random sentences when spoken to and his family is willing to forget it all. Only his school sweetheart Harman (Huma Qureshi) and his uncle is at odds about his reappearance. They know he’s a rouge and as much as they love him, they cannot get themselves to trust him quite yet.

Omi must not only make amends, but must also figure out how to get the money he owes the gangster before it is too late. Thus comes in Chicken Khurana.

Luv Shuv is an ‘interesting’ movie. Unconventional, decently paced with delightfully thought up characters. But somehow – the zing is amiss. Metaphorical, much to the director’s disappointment perhaps; but the movie lacks the secret ingredient that scores it right for Chicken Khurana. And no – it is not ‘love’ or ‘you’ and this is not Kung Fu Panda. There really IS a secret ingredient.

Both Kunal Kapoor and Huma Qureshi fit in their role very well. Any actor of bigger fame perhaps would not have been able to pull Omi Khurana’s role off. In fact all roles needed character acting, not larger than life actors who transcend the script. The script simply demands so.

But the joker up the director’s sleeve is Rajesh Sharma. In the role of Titu Mama, Sharma steals the show. He cracks the jokes, pulls off the lines with a straight face and it is brilliant to say the least. The character of Jeet, Omi’s cousin played by Rahul Bagga is quite well done. All characters in Luv Shuv are very well etched out, each has its own idiosyncrasies, own quirks and own secrets. And they are all familiar, much like this loud, happy Punjabi family.

Amit Trivedi hits bulls eye with his music and lyrics. Clearly he is the master of this alternative game. The background score falls in sync perfectly as well, a complete treat.

You will laugh, you’ll enjoy Luv Shuv decently. But it tastes strangely like Vicky Donor. Just saying.
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