Director: Laxman Utekar
Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Kriti Sanon, Aparshakti Khurana, Pankaj Tripathi, Vinay Pathak, Atul Srivastava
There have been a string of films recently that seem to be made from the same template, small town setting, a lovelorn couple stuck in a comical situation, and an array of characters around the couple creating confusion/conflict in the love story. Luka Chuppi is just another of those.
Based in Mathura, Luka Chupi is about Guddu (Kartik Aaryan), a local television star and Rashmi (Kriti Sannon), the daughter of a local politician (Vinay Pathak). When Guddu and Rashmi fall in love, Rashmi suggests that they live in before getting married to be sure if they want to be together forever. Seems like a good plan but there is a major hitch. Rashmi’s politician father has taken on a moral stand against living in and his goons have been going around bashing up couples remotely indulging in PDA. He thinks taking up a moral cause would help him get the voters appeased. Rashmi and Guddu decide to stay together in Gwalior for a few days as part of their experimentation. But when nosy neighbours start questioning their marital status, they pretend to be married and this soon backfires. The couple is brought back to Mathura but now they are stuck in a strange situation, they are not married and the families think they are.
This story that could have been written in a few lines is stretched too far by the writer (Rohan Shankar). One gets that living in relationships are still a taboo in most of the country, but the writer takes it too far to make it conveniently fit into the two hour plus duration of the film. The film opens with a superstar confessing about being in a living in relationship, and a scribe accuses him of being anti national, and the movie starts sinking from that point on.
Director Laxman Utekar’s intention might be noble, to highlight how politicians take up ‘moral’ issues to strengthen their vote banks and how a couple in love not allowed to choose how they would like to lead their life together. But his execution falters as the whole exercise seems more forced than free flowing. The blame for this can also be shared by the writer as for a comedy film, Luka Chuppi hardly has any funny lines. The first half is more tedious than the second half. The second half also manages to raise a few chuckles few and far in between and makes you engaged in Guddu’s dilemma. Yet, one doesn’t understand why an educated couple wouldn’t opt to register their wedding, instead of stealthily going through the rituals. If they had taken that most sensible route, there would be no movie.
Kartik Aaryan is sincere, but is stuck in an uninspiring film. One would like to see him get out of this ‘comic’ rut and see him in a new avatar. Kriti Sannon doesn’t make much effort to look or feel the part she’s playing. The biggest regret from this film is wasting of a talent like Pankaj Tripathi, who’s made to look more like a clown in his colourful attire than contributing anything solid. A few iconic songs recreated by Tanishq Bagchi are woven into the story.
Watch it only if you must.