Verdict - A slow pace and a lack of emotional connect makes this a one time watch
The trailers of this movie looked really interesting, promising us another movie like say Vicky Donor- small and sweet with a very personal touch. Well, the story has that promise but the film whittles it away with its slow pace and a too laidback almost lackadaisical approach to the subject.
Omi is a wastrel who stole money from his grandfather and ran away to make a life in London. Now 10 years later he is saddled with a debt that the hoodlums he borrowed from come calling for. They send him back to Punjab to get the money from his family. As it happens, his granddad used to run a dhaba that was famous for its Chicken Khurana whose secret ingredient the granddad takes to the grave with him. Omi can get one crore for the dhaba from another dhaba owner on the condition that he cough up the recipe for Chicken Khurana too. Will he be able to replicate the taste? Will he be able to get the money? and will he find true love? This makes up the rest of this dish.
The main crux of the story is the chicken recipe and the connect Omi feels with his roots through the food. But, this is too underplayed. The story ambles along slowly and nothing much happens till the interval except scene setting. The second half also gets to the point pretty slowly.The emotional quotient that could have come across strongly just does not happen.
Part of the problem could be the lead actor- Kunal Kapoor. As Omi he is very understated and passive, letting things happen to him, even the romance. Of course it makes his character more real and he looks really sweet but it lacks the punch needed to take the story forward. The epiphany when it comes to him is too watered down to make an impact. I would blame the DIrector more than him though. Huma Qureshi as Harman, the love interest, is pretty good and so is the rest of the cast.
Amit Trivedi's music is ok. His sound is sort of repetitive here though a couple of songs are good.
Overall, Love shove is a pleasant movie to watch. The setting is pretty real, the drama is kept under control and the acting is competent. However, it remains a tasty dish,lacking that vital spice just like the signature Chicken Khurana's secret ingredient to make it finger lickin' good. Ok for a one-time watch if you are really hungry for a movie.