Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
The Punjabisation of Bollywood has meant that on-screen depictions show a very polished version of Punjab. Fluttering dupattas, lush fields, glitzy weddings and lively dancing are what Punjab is all about, but Sameer Sharma’s “Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana” doesn’t stick to any of the stereotypes, which is a relief.
The streets are bumpy, the women aren’t flawlessly dressed and the men do not break out into bhangra or slap each other on the back at every given opportunity. Sharma’s film is simple and shorn of any plasticity, and even though the recipe does go haywire a couple of times, Sharma manages to salvage the dish in the end.
His protagonist Omi (Kunal Kapoor) is a selfish young man, who runs away from home as a teenager after robbing his grandfather of his life savings to emigrate to the UK. Ten years later, he is broke, unemployed and in debt. When a gangster threatens him with death, Omi flees to India.
Back in Punjab, Omi finds that his grandfather has lost his memory and with it, the recipe for his famous “Chicken Khurana” which was the mainstay of their roadside restaurant menu. To add to his woes, his younger brother is getting married to the girl Omi once loved.