Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lootera: Flawed but Steals Your Heart

It is definitely exciting times for Indian Cinema, and enticing to  see  more and more Indian Film Makers open to adopting great  pieces of Literature, and  transforming them into good cinema. “Lootera”,  directed    by    Vikramaditya  Motwane, partly  adopts  O  Henry’s  beautiful  short   story “ The  Last Leaf”, to tell a  heart  aching love story, weaved  beautifully  through some brilliant art. Vikramaditya ,  who  had  earlier directed  the  very  hard  hitting  and  at  your  face,  Udaan, manages  to  tug  strings  of your  heart,  through  his current rendition.

However, Lootera , being a period film, will not appeal to all audiences. Leisurely paced, it unfolds aesthetically, capturing every frame beautifully and with precision to finer details. From aesthetics to costume to look and feel, Vikram reminds of his mentor Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Though the latter was more obsessed with the art rather than the story and characters itself. Lootera too suffers from that syndrome occasionally, but by and large, the director manages to convey emotions strongly, restraining the beautiful canvas, as a perfect background only.

Like all recent cult films, Parineeti , Kahaani, Barfi, Lootera too thrives on the Bong Connection – while the film first half and characters are set in West Bengal, the second half shifts to picturesque Dalhousie. Set in post independence era, the film gives an insight in life of Zamindar and their sense of loss, at their dethroning from their position of power and prized possession and moves on to explore how vulnerability of one human being becomes weapon of another human to exploit. Amidst all this is an enchanting love story between Varun and Pakhi, which grows from innocence to intense, inter-twined between conversations and prolonged silences. The camera captures those silent glances of love beautifully.

The fact that the antagonist of the film also happens to be the hero, and the female lead is more expressive in love, makes it a more interesting watch. The chemistry between the lead pair is complex yet fascinating. Particularly the conflict scenes between two protagonists, not only against each other but at the same time, with self, are high points of the movie. At one point, one can’t stop wondering what magic; SRK-Kajol would have created, had they been cast in the movie.

The film can easily boast of, one of the finest camera work and cinematography, ever portrayed in Indian cinema, with such finesse. The craft enhances the viewing experience by several notches in this tale of love, betrayal and self-conflict. Another high point of the film is the soulful music and background score of Amit Trivedi, which simply is outstanding, portraying innocence and pain in love, with equal measure.

The characters in the film, being multi-layered appears real. The supporting actors, be it Vikram Massey as hero’s friend, Barun Chanda as Pakhi’s dad or Adil as police inspector are superb. However the young protagonists of the movie should be truly credited to ensure that the film rises above just being a picture perfect, to portray the tale of strong conflicting heart wrenching emotions. While Sonakshi as Pakhi is quite a surprise and complete revelation (her best work till date) , Ranveer Singh is exceptional in an intense role, which he downplays beautifully. Watch the emotions in the eyes of Varun and Pakhi in the 2nd half, from hatred to despair to love and hope, it pretty much conveys the graph and mood of this heart-wrenching love story.

The film adopts portion of “The Last Leaf” well into its screenplay although one wished the director would have relied a little more on Indian audience’s intelligence and not dropped so many hints, from much before, on the beautiful climax, than it actually unfolds. Those who have read the book can relate how the final reels of the movie,  transforms  those scenes of the book into exotic visuals and at the same time equally depicts strong under currents of emotions. While the film falters in story telling in second half with some glorious flaws  but full kudos to Vikramaditya  for overhauling those glitches and managing to deliver yet another emotional master-craft. Come with a peaceful mind…and enjoy the experience!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Great review. Somehow I can't agree with your opinion of SRK-Kajol as cast. NO, not even once while watching or after watching, their absence hinder my mind...I guess only people who are obsessed with SRK-Kajol would have thought about this. Rest, I agree all your points and since I have read the story I was even impressed the way the directed has adapted here so beautifully. Besides, personally, I loved the movie and for me it almost seemed flawless..