Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Lootera (2013)

Good performances (except from Adil Hussain, who looks out of place), snowy locales of Chamba and lilting, beautiful music are unable to lift Lootera from a decent film to some great film: in spite of taking O'Henry's The Last Leaf, a touching story in itself, as the second half of the film. The primary culprit is shoddy editing: but also poor character development, two stories forcefully shoved into one feature film, and some television soap-like effects (numerous flashbacks to scenes already depicted in order to 'explain' to an audience presumed to be of dimwits; minor characters making impactful entries in the film; too clean decors). For those not that familiar with India or Indian films, the film does probably deserve one viewing, especially if they haven't read O'Henry's story ever; for the rest, the film is all what cinema isn't meant to be. It is a clueless editing and screenplay which play spoilsport.

If the film had been a short feature of an hour or so, just the post-intermission part, then this would have been a lovely little gem: but some unneeded melodrama of what happened prior to The Last Leaf  leaves the viewer confused about what he is watching - which story, which character, which timeline. Sonakshi, who plays the role of Pakhi wonderfully well, suddenly transforms from a feisty girl with guts and gumption to someone who has grouses from fate and everything else: that does not lend too much to digestion. One would rather expect her to go out and search for the man who betrayed her and ruined her family: that is the character she lives till intermission, and that is the character the actor Sonakshi is better equipped to play.

When a story is reinterpreted, one always looks forward to the new interpretation bringing in some new element: nothing like this happens with Lootera. O'Henry's little story is still very much preferable, because it does not go into the pathos, the melodrama of anything: rather, O'Henry's story is about human goodness and human achievement. It uplifts you. On the other hand, Lootera is about falling for the wrong man, and human weaknesses: but with the attempt to give it the O'Henry flavour. It disenchants you. For a film that promised so much, it is a pity that it falls short of expectations: in fact, it is its not being able to meet (my) inflated expectations that proves to be the biggest bane. However, the film does offer two relatively fresh actors, Sonakshi and Ranveer Singh, some meaty roles with an array of emotions to act: and both of them do it very well, thus making for a not so common occasion where almost all actors have acted well.


  1. Years ago doordarshan had a 30min short story serial from world's popular writers, including "the last leaf ( called masterpiece in that serial). In 30 mins that episode captured the O henry short story much much better than this stupid slow two and half hour movie. Making stories realistic doesn't mean make them dull and slow. Perhaps Meena Iyer needs to learn more about artistic cinema and do a lot more research before giving biased opinions and over-rating this movie. This movie not made for movie halls, just make it a tele-movie with 1 hour length max. You can clearly make out the director lost track and ended up leaning towards O henry's story to make sense. Hate this new breed of film critics who don't know history of cinema and just work for production houses.

  2. i think the f word is invented for you..Rahul

  3. Anonymous11:58 PM

    ya i remember years ago doordarshan had a serial on the same story i dont remember the name .