Release Date : 2nd November, 2012
Time : 135 minutes
Director : Sameer Sharma; Writers : Sameer Sharma, Sumit Bhateja; Music : Amit Trivedi
Starring : Kunal Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, Rajesh Sharma, Vinod Nagpal, Rahul Bagga, Vipin Sharma, Rajendra Sethi, Dolly Ahluwalia
An animated discussion about Kunal’s underwear issue, with his bua ji, her brother (Rajesh Sharma), the servant and Kunal’s cousin joining in with their opinions. A lohri party, where the entire Punjabi clan show off their gabroo munda dance moves. Rajesh Sharma letching at a pretty passer-by, calling her Saira Banu and receiving an invective filled reply. A hilarious confessional session, where everyone unburdens their deep dark secrets. Luv Shuv is as much a celebration of Punjab, as a coming of age film.
Kunal, favourite of his grand father, Vinod Nagpal, lives with him and chacha (Rajendra Sethi) and aunt after his parents demise. Hotheaded, given to cheating, lying and looking for the easy way out, he robs his own house and leaves for London. He returns after ten years, deep in debt, hounded by a gangster he owes money to. And discovers everything has changed.
His grandfather, who ran a prosperous dhaba based on his speciality dish(with a secret ingredient), the chicken Khurana, has suffered a memory loss and is perennially ill. His chacha, tried to run the dhaba but was unsuccessful, with a rival, Vipin’s dhaba prospering instead. The chacha’s son, Rahul, runs a small tractor dealership. And is betrothed to Kunal’s childhood sweetheart, the feisty doctor, Huma. There is no money to be stolen from here. And the London gangster is not letting up the pressure.
The makers got Punjab bang on. You can almost smell the chicken, the aroma of the wet earth, the fields and the romance in the air. The language, the curses, the typical terms of endearment and the way of saying them. A soundtrack that effortlessly combines Punjabi lyrics with disco beats. And a cast that does complete justice to their roles, with the possible exception of the leading man.
Kunal is good in the film but not good enough to make you cheer for him or make you fall for him as the lovable ruffian. His delivery and lack of expression lets him down. The proverbial water to Huma’s fire. Also, while the end had its moments, there were elements that got too filmy, a bit of a let down after a scintillating first half.
Rajesh Sharma gets most of the funny lines. Huma sizzles. Everyone hugs everyone. The film entertains, with enough steam to make up for its slightly contrived end. And it leaves you with an almost irresistible urge to bite into a chicken at the end. Wish they hadn’t released it on Karva Chauth…