Lootera: A beautiful canvas without a soul
“Lootera” is a movie set in 1950’s India. An India which was young as a nation and there were many changes which took place ending the Zamindari system.
The story starts with the Zamindar of Manikpur Roy Chaudhuri who has a huge estate and the only heir to this is her daughter Pakhi Roy Chaudhuri (Sonakshi Sinha). Enter an archeologist Varun Srivastav (Ranveer Singh) and his friend Devdas (Vikrant Massey) who comes to Manikpur for excavation near the Zamindar’s 300 years old ancestral temple and becomes their house guest. The story unfolds with Pakhi & Varun falling in love which each other with a decision to get married. Pre Interval a twist leaves Pakhi and her father heartbroken and they are robbed of their ancestral wealth. One year hence the lovers re-unite in Dalhousie. The story unfolds as to how Pakhi & Varun re-discover their love for each other taking it to a tragic climax.
The Story (inspired by O’Henry’s short story “The Last Leaf) & Screenplay by Vikramaditya Motwane and Bhawani Iyer captures the 50’s India well but fails miserably in the pace. Though the movie is a love story but somehow it does not connect and the soul is missing. The story has some good moments between the lead pair Pakhi & Varun but these moments are stretched and you start thinking when it would end. Being a bit of a thriller it lacks the drama and at the end it becomes predictable. Dialogues by Anurag Kashyap brings the crispness in the otherwise morbid pace.
The technical departments are the stars of the movie. Camera work by Mahendra Shetty is superb, each shot looks like a painting. Dalhousie is captured beautifully. Production Design by Aditya Kanwar compliments Mahendra’s camera work in creating the 50’s look. Every detail is taken care of starting with the props, the location etc, creating a riveting image. Another brilliant work has been by Costume director Subarna Ray Chaudhuri. She has done a remarkable job in creating the correct clothes of that period. Right from the clothes to the accessories has been brilliantly created. Overall the camera, Production design & Costume design has made “Lootera” a beautiful painting.
Editing by Dipika Kalra has been a letdown as the pace is too slow and the movie could have been 15 to 20 minutes short.
Amit Trivedi’s music is the biggest highlight of the film. The music reminds you of the music of S D Burman & R D Burman. Special mention for “Sawar Loon” which has rendered by Monali Thakur is brilliant. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics is poetic and blends well with the mood of the film.
Director Vikramaditya Motwane who gave us the brilliant “Udaan” creates a riveting painting but it does not have the soul. Vikramaditya stresses more on the expressions of the actor rather than the dialogues. Some sequences are directed well like the chase sequence. But movie fails to capture the attention of the viewer because of the pace.
“Lootera” has some good performances; Sonakshi Sinha proves that she can portray sensitive roles well. Ranveer Singh is a bit stiff in the first half but slowly and steadily by the second half he shows why is he the most sought after newcomer in the current lot of new actors. But Vikrant Massey who plays Ranveer’s friend Devdas in the movie, shines with his easy performance, an actor who shows the spark. Rest of the cast like Adil Hussain & Divya Dutta do justice to their miniscule role. Rather Divya Dutta is completely wasted in a 2 minute role.
Overall “Lootera” could have been a classic but falls flat due to its pace, I go with 2 & a half stars.