Laxman Utekar’s light take on live-in relationships is entertaining and imparts the message but stops just before the finishing line
Bollywood is open to content and issues. With stories on terrorists, same sex love to middle aged pregnancy or erectile dysfunction to now live-in relationships, you have it all. You witnessed Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan living in together with a much serious thought on the subject 14 years ago. Jump to 2019. What you have in the name of live-in relationship in Luka Chuppi is a light hearted, happy and sweet concern on what society now thinks or should think about the issue as a whole. But it lacks conviction.
A star reporter in a local news channel, Guddu (Kartik Aaryan) falls in love with bubbly and vivacious Rashmi (Kriti Sanon). While Guddu proposes marriage to her, she suggests live-in. But their plan doesn’t work as thought, especially when the family and the extended clan joins in their adventure.
Rohan Shankar’s story is decent. Lying exactly on the borderline of good and bad, it manages to stay. In fact, it remains true to its essence all through the run time, which is a good thing. But the basic idea of presenting live-in as a matter of comedy and fun is something uncalled for. Presenting it as a comedy is totally fine, but while watching you feel the subject demanded more sensibility in the treatment.
Here, you do have several comedy-of-error moments and scenes that genuinely amuse you, woven inherently in the screenplay. The film also never bores you with the first half especially to be noted for its comic appeal. It is here that live-in relationship as an issue is presented with society’s take on it. It’s only in the second half when the drama becomes too loud and lousy that you soon begin to drift. It stretches. The predictability is also something that takes you away from the overall feel.
Also especially in the second half, the writers seem to be only moving towards a climax without making much sense in the larger context. The 126 mins film also doesn’t present the issue with seriousness that it deserves- something which requires a thought. There are dialogues on religion discrimination, gender equality, girl child education as well. Good attempt by makers here.
Yes, it never preaches. But also never allows you to change your mind, if at all you were orthodox. With way too polished faces of lead actors, the film misses to connect. But yes, the film does make you laugh at various points- something that’s a big plus.
Kartik Aaryan does a decent job. Sticking in the zones of his previous ones, he’s extremely comfortable in this one. The role infact suits him and he delivers the vulnerabilities of Guddu with ease.
Kriti Sanon looks pretty. When it comes to acting, she’s just okay. There are scenes when she’s very good, better than others in the frame. But since she’s not a great actress, whatever she does has to be taken in good spirit. She has a charm though, making her a fitting choice for the role.
Aparshakti Khurana once again leaves his stamp over the role. There are fewer punchlines with him. But whatever he does, charms you instantly. He’s truly become an institution in supporting acts over time. It’s time he starts taking workshops across the country on how effective a supporting role can be.
Pankaj Tripathi, Vinay Pathak, Alka Amin are good but clearly under-utilized in an absolutely flat characterization. The actors however try very hard to blow life, which they deserve applauds for.
Himanshu Kohli as Guddu’s brother Vikas is an absolute delight to watch. Whenever he comes on screen, you smile. Others too lend able support to the plot.
Music by Tanishq Bagchi suits the feel of the film. While some like to listen to the old numbers remade, you also wonder- why couldn’t the composer give even one fresh track? Background score is very good, especially during comic scenes. The feel is accentuated through intelligent use of score.
Cinematography by Milind Jog isn’t anything to notice in particular. Its plain and does the required. Editing by Manish Pradhan too is simple and incorporates various comic moments.
Production design is outstanding. The sets, colors, elements within the frame are too good. Its the visual finesse that overpowers other drawbacks and you actually enjoy the drama.
Luka Chuppi could have been much more than just a romantic comedy. A thoughtful writer, an insightful director, and a little more endeavor on the technical front could have made the film impactful. It will definitely pass your time even making you leave theaters with a smile but not with satisfaction.