Directed by: Vikramaditya Motwane
Starring: Sonakshi Sinha, Ranveer Singh
All images courtesy of: http://www.glamsham.com
Sometimes, it is what you don’t say which holds more power than what you do say and this is the maxim Lootera uses to terrific effect. A motif here, a lingering silence there, beautiful cinematography, costume design in sync with the characters’ journey (always the hallmark of a quality film) and above all, a deceptive simplicity which disarms the viewer by stealth whilst concealing depth and emotion, Lootera really doesn’t feel the need to shout out from the rooftops and it doesn’t need to either.
Though the pace of the film is rather slow, I liked this as it really allowed the details and dialogue to sink in (listen carefully to that story of the parrot) and whilst Pakhi and Varun aren’t exactly lovable characters, I felt the slowness allowed them to feel more real and a space as characters to breathe and really be in the moment. I also found the stance Lootera takes on the story interesting, in that it isn’t partial to either character and allows the audience to make up their own minds – is Pakhi a spoilt child throughout or does her family get their comeuppance through Varun whose upbringing hints at untold hardship?
Performance wise, we have two career best performances here; both Sonakshi and Ranveer give their everything to Pakhi and Varun and it shows. I felt Sonakshi had a slight edge, presenting Pakhi in a sympathetic light and really allowing the character to shine with a controlled performance and (I feel I have to mention this) a wonderful lack of vanity that I wish more actresses would show. Ranveer also manages to bring out the darkness of Varun well, and though he cannot entirely escape the 100 watt on-screen persona he is known for, I felt for the majority of Lootera, he was very good all round, doing both physical and emotional aspects of the role well. I also liked Divya Dutta’s cameo and wished we could have seen more of her.
I really enjoyed Lootera – I found myself easily lost in the world the film creates and rarely emerged which is quite a feat, especially with a danger of losing momentum in the second half. I also have to applaud the sound design which always plays an important role but in particular to this film, is conspicuous by the way it underlines the action. Lootera is definitely a film that would stand up to repeat viewings and I am looking forward to seeing it again. Definitely worth a watch in cinema, this may not be the ultimate crowd pleaser that its two stars usually partake in but for those wanting a film that engages brain and heart, look no further than Lootera. Recommended.