You may not be aware, but the intense drama film “Lucknow Central” is based on a real story.
The director of the film, Ranjit Tiwari, found the inspiration from the real Lucknow Central jail wherein the Adarsh Jail wing music prevails.
The wing consists of a band called ‘Healing Hearts’ formed by 12 men who have been sentenced to life imprisonment. The band plays hit Bollywood numbers at weddings, private functions, and even baraats.
Ranjit Tiwari came across the band through an article which inspired him to make a movie on them. Recalling it the director said,
“Around three years ago, I read an article about an annual day programme and music competition, started by the state government for jail inmates as an initiative for their reformation. Six to seven central jails in Uttar Pradesh participated in the contest. The idea blew my mind and I discussed it with director Nikhil Advani, who I was assisting at that time. Eventually, he and Farhan (Akhtar) joined hands for the project.”
The senior superintendent of Lucknow Central Jail, VK Jain, took an extra step in the qaidi reforms and ‘Healing Hearts’ was formed in 2007.
Funds were released to set up a band within the prison which would compete with other bands in the annual contest. Eventually, fifteen instruments were bought and a few volunteers came forward. A prison guard named Noor Mohammad knew how to play instruments as his dad was a member of a private band. With his leadership, the band won the contest and VK Jain gave them an opportunity to perform at a private party. Gradually, they became popular and found more work. Now, there’s even a booking counter for them and they charge half the price of regular bands.
The band has even performed at events like Republic Day parades. The band, however, heads back to their prison cells after every show, since they are still serving their term.
Ranjit Tiwari shared his experience of his visit to the jail, where he found the inspiration to make “Lucknow Central”. He said,
“In the course of my research, when I went to the jail to meet the band, I realised that all criminals are not hardened; some of them are victims of circumstances. Saare qaidi bure nahi hote. I’ve seen a lot of jails in the country, which are working hard to reform inmates because, after their sentence, they deserve a second chance at life.”
“Lucknow Central” exhibits the tale of a simple, ambitious man caught in a tragedy that changes his life forever. The film thrives on ambition, passion, friendship, and determination.
The ensemble cast of Farhan Akhtar, Gippy Grewal, Ronit Roy, Deepak Dobriyal, Diana Penty, Rajesh Sharma and Inaam-ul-Haq has piqued the interest of the audience.
Produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Emmay Entertainment and Motion Pictures, the film is directed by Ranjit Tiwari and is slated to release on September 15, 2017.