Lucknow Central is a feel-good, human, prison-break drama that succeeds to manipulate you emotionally, despite being predictable and filmy in portions. While the peg is somewhat similar (barring the undertrial element) to the recent Qaidi Band, Lucknow Central has a distinct execution and is way more evolved. Even in the jail, the restless Kishan yearns of forming his own band. On the occasion of Independence Day, Minister Pawan Singh Chaturvedi (Ravi Kishan) decides to have an inter-jail music competition.
The film starts off with a day in the life of the Moradabad based Kishan Mohan Girhotra (Farhan Akhtar). In order to achieve his dream of forming a band, he even records a demo CD in order to hand it over to a topmost singer (played by Manoj Tiwari, in a cameo), but, his efforts go in total vain. One day, out of the blue, cops arrest him and put him in Lucknow Central jail on the charges of murdering an IAS officer.
Kishan Girhotra’s (Farhan) dreams of becoming a singer are shattered when he is falsely accused of murdering an IAS officer in Muradabad. Pronounced guilty, he is jailed for the crime he never committed. Deprived of the freedom he rightfully deserves, the sun shines on him once again even in captivity, as a bunch of prisoners and an NGO worker (Diana Penty) become his voice and the wind beneath his wings.
Farhan ably carries the film on his shoulders but his efforts to nail his desi character are partially visible. For instance, his flawed English pronunciation seems a tad artificial and inconsistent. (Read Corut for court, rohk for Rock and naan existent for non-existent). Nevertheless, he gets the mannerisms and innate innocence of a small town guy right and makes you weep for his misfortune. Deepak Dobriyal is excellent as always and so are Rajesh Sharma, Inaamulhaq and Ravi Kishan. Diana Penty and Gippy Grewal play their parts well.