Lootera has everything going for it right from the breath-taking cinematography, laudable acting to lilting music but just not the story.
3 out of 5 (Good)
| Mansha Rastogi (NOWRUNNING)
If you are social media savvy then you may have gauged by now the hype that's surrounding the release of Vikramaditya Motwane's second release Lootera. He debuted with a path-breaking film Udaan that went onto win multiple awards and after a coming of the age film he now comes with a period romance that at least the Twitteratis and Facebookers seems to be raving about. For those who are aware of the hype and for those who aren't, here's what the film is all about.
The year is 1953, Varun (Ranveer Singh), an archaeologist, comes to Manikpur (Bengal) and soon befriends the Zamindar of the region. Zamindar's daughter Pakhi (Sonakshi Sinha) takes an instant liking to him and ultimately falls head over heels in love only to unearth the truth about him which not just robs her of her wealth but also of her father's life. Bereft, Pakhi moves to her father's estate in Dalhousie and while she retires to endless solitary life, fate brings Varun under her roof once again...
Filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane doesn't abide by the regular formulas of filmmaking which usually follows a set pattern of highs and lows. He instead lets his character and story breathe and grow gradually on people with his own soulful treatment. But while it worked impressively in Udaan, in Lootera it misses the spark.
The two hours 22 minutes long film treads majorly on O. Henry's one pager short story The Last Leaf and hence ends up being stretched enormously. Moreover, it's the forced emphasis on the short story that ticks you off. Pakhi's identification with the last leaf is repeatedly shown as if reinforcing a certain point to which the film leads as if you were a child and wouldn't get the relevance otherwise.
There are scenes which barely hold relevance to the plot and are only placed to accentuate the feel of the film but it works against the filmmaker's plans for it only ends up testing the audience's patience.
Although the heart of a film, if you leave aside the faulty story, Lootera is breathtakingly stunning visually. It wouldn't be wrong to state that each frame is poetic and Mahendra Shetty to be credited for the picturesque cinematography. The two worlds both pre and post interval are beautifully captured by the cinematographer. While the first half based in Bengal is rich in colours romanticizing the nature to the hilt and clearly complementing the blooming love track in the film, the second matches up with the sombre turn of events as you are taken to the dead, cold and melancholic winters of Dalhousie.
For long Sonakshi Sinha has been accused of taking up roles that of props in male oriented films and she shuts all her critics this time with stellar performance as she portrays a range of emotions effortlessly. Ranveer Singh too complements her well and gives laudable performance especially towards the climax of the film. You only wish he could deliver his dialogues with an open mouth for he mumbles most of the times.
Music by Amit Trivedi is absolutely spell-binding and blends into the story perfectly without increasing the run-time by being placed for the sake of it. What's praiseworthy is that Vikramaditya places four songs back to back towards the end of the film and yet it doesn't hinder the proceedings and instead only accentuates the feel of the story.
To sum it up, Lootera has everything going for it but just not the story. It could've been a masterpiece if there was more to the story than just a wafer-thin plot.
Critic: Mansha Rastogi
3 out of 5 (Good)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Average
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good