November 2, 2012 04:46:37 PM IST By Martin D'Souza, Glamsham Editorial
As the slant in the title suggests, this movie is centered in the North. It gets you the flavor of food, Chicken in particular, and love... a triple dose of it. Actually, love is the underlying factor among all the characters.
Making his debut as a director, Sameer Sharma dishes out a palatable fare. He has got the right ingredients, which makes for a delectable dish. The casting is smart and the characters are people you can identify with. The emotions and frustrations too are on the dot. The initial 'back-and-forth' play to put the story in perspective is also smartly handled.
At the center of the plot is grandfather's recipe of Chicken Khurana, a dish to die for. Unfortunately, grandfather has now lost his memory and he never passed on the secret to any from his family. He has a soft corner for his grandson Omi Khurana (Kunal Kapoor). Omi is the son of his eldest son who is no more. Unfortunately, Omi left for London much against the wishes of his family, and by the time he has come back ten years later, things have changed. Since Chicken Khurana was the only dish that got hordes to the dhaba and since the dish was now no more, the dhaba has been shut.
Actually, Omi is a fraud who has come back from London to try and repay his debtors a huge sum of money. How, he does not know. He had fled to London, after robbing whatever there was in the treasury.
Back in Punjab, his past comes to catch up with him and this is what makes the journey a pleasant one for him.
Sameer is never in a hurry in telling his story. The same trait is passed on to every character in the plot that move at a languid pace befitting the characters they portray. Kunal is a revelation. Sedate ad sharp, he essays this role of a lost boy convincingly. He slips into the role with surprising ease. It's quite a ride watching him transform from this go-getter to ultimately being won over by the love of the family.
Huma Qureshi establishes herself as an actor of class with another arresting performance. Playing Omi's love interest who is now engaged to marry his cousin, Huma never lets her feelings known to Omi, who had let her down 10 years ago. The best part is that Sameer never focusses on any one love story but does justice to all that he touches upon. In one fleeting scene he also establishes the romance between grandfather and the love of his life who passed away at a young age. Then there's also the romance of Jeet (Rahul Bagga), Omi's cousin engaged to Harman (Huma Qureshi), who is having an affair of his own.
To Sameer's credit, he emphasizes on all three love stories without going overboard on any without losing focus on the secret recipe. That, I think is what elevates this film from being just a love story to a 'lovely story'. The scene in Bengali when Jeet professes his love to his lady is a stunner. You realize how you don't have to know a particular language to understand the language of love.