March 1, 2019 / 10:59 AM / a year ago

Movie Review: Luka Chuppi

For a movie about live-in relationships, Laxman Utekar’s “Luka Chuppi” (Hide and Seek) spends an inordinate amount of time getting the lead couple married.

Handout picture from 'Luka Chuppi'

The protagonists spend the first half of the film running away from every convention, which makes their transformation in the latter half all the more incongruous.

Guddu (Kartik Aaryan) is a reporter for a local cable news channel in Mathura, while Rashmi (Kriti Sanon) is the daughter of an influential politician who is looking for some work experience in the media before she applies for a journalism job in Delhi. The two meets at work and fall in love.

Rashmi is in no hurry to get married but Guddu is. Driven partly by a bet he has with his elder brother over who will get married first, and partly because he has no idea how else a relationship moves forward, he pops the question to Rashmi. She is taken aback and refuses, saying she’d rather get to know him first.

A friend suggests they live with each other for a month while they visit a neigbouring city on a reporting assignment. To Guddu and Rashmi, it sounds like the perfect plan, but things don’t go quite so smoothly.

The vagaries of living in a conservative town, complete with nosey neighbours, mean that they are forced to pretend that they are married (with a fake certificate to show for it).

When their families suddenly land up at their house, they are taken in by the charade and hosts a big Indian reception for the couple.

Thereafter, Rashmi astonishingly transforms into a girl who is obsessed with the fact that she and Guddu aren’t married “for real”.

She hounds him to turn their fake marriage into a real one. While this could have been achieved with one trip to the registrar, the film spends all of the second half trying to solve this rather contrived problem.

Slideshow (5 Images)

Not just the plot points, but even the humour in the film is contrived. Right from Pankaj Tripathi, who plays Guddu’s meddling relative, to Rashmi’s rabid politician of a father, the film tries too hard to be funny.

Both Sanon and Aaryan share tepid chemistry and are not believable as small-town folks, thanks to their coiffed hair, designer dresses and perfectly made-up faces. They seem out of place and out of depth and like the film, inconsistent and sluggish.

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