Anupama Chopra's review: Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana

By Hindustan Times

Direction: Sameer Sharma
Actors: Kunal Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, Rahul Bagga
Rating: ***

Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana is about the frantic search for a much-coveted recipe for chicken curry. Directed by debutant Sameer Sharma and co-produced by Anurag Kashyap, it has been pitched as Bollywood's first food film. But the curry is merely a plot device. What's being celebrated is the king-sized masti and madness of Punjabis.

With an unabashed affection, Sharma and his writer Sumit Batheja create a believable world, set in a village in Punjab, brimming with wonderfully eccentric characters. These include Daarji (Vinod Nagpal), the now-senile creator of Chicken Khurana, a dish so mouth-watering that the owner of a rival dhaba is willing to pay serious cash for it; Titu Mama (Rajesh Sharma), who feigns madness just so that he can freeload off his sister; and the sister, played wonderfully by Seema Kaushal, whose constant refrain is 'Bakwaasnakar, Titu.'

These oddballs are so much fun that they make the lead pair, played by Kunal Kapoor and Huma Qureshi, seem a little bland.

There are some lovely comic moments, a genuinely emotional climactic dinner sequence and an enjoyable music score by Amit Trivedi. But the downside is that Sharma tells his quirky story at such a languorous pace that you start to squirm in your seat.

The first half is all flavour, barely any plot. Each flashback is lingered upon, each moment caressed - so much so that by the interval, the search for the magic of Chicken Khurana has barely begun. Therefore, how much you enjoy the film is entirely dependent on how much you are willing to indulge Sharma. Luv ShuvTey Chicken Khurana is much too stretched, fairly predictable and a little too pat. But it also has sweetness and a full-blown Punjabi charm.

There is fun to be had here - just have some patience. After all, where else will you see a family having an animated conversation about kachhas.

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