Monday, 15 July 2013

Lootera: a short review

A couple of weeks ago when I reviewed Raanjhaana, I talked about the rules of the game on which my reviews would be based. In short, I watch a film for its story and the story would make the crux of the reviews. Also, I would try and pick a couple of scenes from the film and deconstruct them (the curse of the social scientist). But most importantly, a movie for me would work if it works for the gumti waalas. Also, I would try not to spoil the film for you by giving too much information.

Varun and Pakhi dig for love
Last week I caught the movie Lootera. A film with a short and sweet name that didn't seem either of those to me. Lootera I thought was an attempt by Director Vikramaditya Motwane to paint a picture (literally) of love. He has tried his best to transport the viewers to a different era. With lovely cinematography and great locations, Motwane does succeed up to an extent. He has tried to not rush through things. He gives one a chance to first feel and then take a dip into each scene thereby really connecting with the deep love that he tries to portray. After all love is not about rushing through. Its about peace, its about quiet, its about giving time, its about taking it easy. Lovely idea.

Love never dies, lovers may
Having said the above, let me say that I did not feel any of it. I didn't feel the love, I was not transported. The film for me was very slow and with a very predictable script. Love should not be boring or it leads to a breakup. Love must have surprises or it becomes boring. This love seemed to be slow, predictable and ultimately boring. As soon as the handsome Varun Srivastava (Ranveer Singh), the archiologist enters the beautiful Pakhi Roy Chaudhary's (Sonakshi Sinha) life you know that he has come with ulterior motives. He wants to dig around the village temple for ruins of a old civilisation. But you already know what he is after. He keeps digging until the interval while you already know what he is digging for. Digging for love should we say? Indeed if thats what he was doing, he was justified in taking his time.

In the second half the love birds separate and the weather (of love) is all gloomy. Varun is now a fugitive (surprise! surprise! not really) and the police is hot on his tail. Pakhi is now very unwell, her cancer becoming worst day by day. What do you think would happen? Well, I already could guess that if Pakhi has a deadly disease, the other love bird is also going to die too. Elementary my dear Watson. However, I don't think we need a Sherlock Homes to guess that. Did they both die? I won't tell you. Go find yourself.

Both Ranveer and Sonakshi seemed like a misfit to me and their acting certainly didn't help. Even the supporting actors failed to make an impact. However, you are bound to love the retro look of the film.

There is one particular scene in the move that for me struck out:

The difference between me and you
you must stay calm if you are watching lootera
Pakhi's father, a rich Bengali landlord looses everything (or most of what he had) when the Government of India abolishes zamindari. He while having a drink with Varun (who comes from the working class) says,"aap log angrezon se aazaad ho gaye hain aur hum log aazaadi se barbaad ho gaye hain". Very poetic but also true. In one sweep the legislation took away whatever the landlords had. It certainly went a long way in distributing assets and resources among the masses but one must think if it also further widened the mental divide between the various classes (while reducing the physical divide)? I still hear this 'we' and 'you' narrative when I visit the villages. One must think if there would have been a better way to do this? May be not. But one must certainly think.

Whats my recommendation you ask? I would rate this one as 'could watch'.

PS: I know the film has been getting rave review in both the popular and critical domain but I am just saying what the gumti waalaas thought. Frankly, Lootera (the robber) robbed 2+ hours of my life. Makes you think if Bollywood is further moving towards becoming 'the multiplex cinema', 'the city folk's cinema', 'the NRI's cinema'. Go figure.

Photos: Lootera official facebook page


  1. Good review. I agree it was a bit slow, and when I was watching the movie in theatre, I could hear the restlessness of the audience (in a 20% full theatre) in their witty comments on the scenes. However, I liked the attempt at being different from the usual 'ye jawani hai diwani' chhap sugar-candy stories which might make you happy in that instant but you know you are ruining your health by having so much of sugar. It was dark, it was tragic, and so while story could be tigher (and maybe shorter), it was a good (and different) experience of cinema after quite some time.

    1. That restless audience are my gumti waalas :)

      but i think you are right, it is certainly not 'jawani diwani' neither is it sugar candy. It was certainly different and that is why I question in the end if this is the new Bollywood. I would have enjoyed the film if it was only a sad, dark, tragic love story. But is was also very slow and higly predictable. Frankly I think it lacked a lot on script. Thats what killed it for me.

      Glad you enjoyed it though :)