In a country that is infamous for making the private lives of celebrities a national issue, it is not a bad idea to make that the premise of a film.
Luka Chuppi, the Hindi directorial debut of Laxman Utekar, perhaps begins on the right note when Bollywood actor Nazeem Khan’s live-in relationship is blown out of proportion and political outfits start questioning his morality, and live-in relationships in general.
However, the movie, which had the potential to take on the fringe elements in the society which pride in being the custodians of social morality, falls flat because of the lack of smart writing and forced attempts to elicit a few laughs. Luka Chuppi begins in the temple town of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. A local political party, 'Sanskriti Raksha Manch', led by Vishnu Trivedi (Vinay Shukla), has taken Nazeem Khan’s relationship status to heart and is on a bullying spree, beating up young couples and blackening the faces of the men.
Meanwhile, Guddu Shukla (Kartik Aaryan), a star reporter with a Mathura-based local news channel, is introduced to an electronic media graduate, Delhi-returned Rashmi Trivedi (Kriti Sanon), the daughter of Vishnu Trivedi. The two have to work together on a project to interview the aad aadmi about the hullaballoo around live-in relationships. The responses are surprising. Old men and women seem more progressive in their thoughts. While they are at it, cupid strikes.
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Guddu proposes marriage, but Rashmi wants to live-in before agreeing to marry. Guddu’s cameraman, Abbas Sheikh (Aparshakti Khurana), who is diligent in his role of a sidekick, comes to aid of the couple. Things go out of hand when their respective families find out about them staying together and they are forced to fake a marriage. A cross section of social issues is explored in the meanwhile. For instance, how Abbas is often sidelined and looked with suspicious eyes for being a Muslim, or how there is a certain pride in being a Brahman. The class divide too is touched upon. The film has its moments, but it fails to leave an impact because of stale treatment and trying too hard to be funny.
There is nothing is more disappointing than the fact that two actors—Pankaj Tripathi (who plays a nagging and vile brother-in-law of Guddu’s elder brother) and Khurana—who have proved their talent and presence even in smaller roles in various films in the last couple of years, falter here. Tripathi’s Babulal is nothing less than a caricature. He wears colourful clothes, letches on married women and interferes in the family matters of his sister’s household. He tries hard to bring his much laudable comic-timing to the fore, but is held down because of poor writing.
The lead pair of Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Sanon looks good. Perhaps, too good to fit into the mould of small-town youngsters. Their cutesy smiles and picture-perfect attires do not do justice to the region they are representing. If that’s not enough, their chemistry lacks charisma as well. To top it all, there are a number of remixed songs, pulling down the film completely.
Film: Luka Chuppi
Director: Laxman Utekar
Starring: Kartik Aaryan, Kriti Sanon