Movie Review: Lootera charms you and slowly draws you into its lost world

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THe film set in the year is 1953, is a love story of Pakhi (Sonakshi Sinha) and Varun (Ranveer Singh).

Directed by Vikramaditya Motwane
Starring: Sonakshi Sinha, Ranveer Singh, Vikram Massey, Arif Zakaria and Divya dutta
Rating: ***

What it’s about:
Period films usually mean big budget bonanzas which overwhelm you with expensive sets, elaborate costumes, a big star cast, computer graphics and other paraphernalia. In that Lootera is different. But that’s not the only thing that’s different. For starters, the film doesn’t attempt to overwhelm you in any way. Lootera charms you and slowly (pun intended) draws you into its lost world.

Lootera set in the year is 1953, is a love story of Pakhi (Sonakshi Sinha) and Varun (Ranveer Singh). She lives with her father, a Zamindar, in an aristocratic world. Along comes Varun, an archaeologist and impresses the large-hearted noble landlord enough to host him and his friend during their stay in their town. It’s a matter of time before he wins over the confidence of the zaminar and Pakh’s heart. A date for marriage is set but misfortune strikes. With Varun gone, Pakhi attempts to move on with her life in a new town. Then one day, he lands up at her door-step. Will she forgive him? Will she take him back? Does she hate him? Those questions are as much on Pakhi’s mind as they will be on yours are you get engrossed in her world.

What’s good:
It is clear from the start that this film is the kind of romance that can’t be rushed, and won’t be rushed. Director Vikramaditya doesn’t dazzle you with great dialogues or attempt to impress with fifties’ nostalgia. He is content just telling the story and bringing his old world characters to life. Lootera has all the right rhythms and it moves along without losing its conviction, and casting it’s hypnotic spell. Before you know it, you are part of this bygone era.  It’s a world where there is art and antiques, paintings and music, books and babus. Motwane does a wonderful job of letting the audience understand the nature of his characters — the good and the bad. You feel the helplessness of the Zamindar’s secretary about the impending doom about to destroy his employer. You feel the Zamindar’s loss when he looks at the empty shelves in his house, you can almost reach out and touch the old radio playing Yaad kiya dil ne kahan ho tum. You can sense Varun’s dilemma, and experience Pakhi’s pain. Lootera is fetching filmed (Mahendra Shetty)  and wonderfully acted. The music by Amit Trivedi is a huge plus. Varun’s friend deserves a special mention. Ranveer Singh is a revelation. He is wonderfully restrained, effortless and delivered a gimmick-free performance. But the star of the film is undoubtedly Sonakshi Sinha. What a mature and refined performance. She lives the character body and soul. One film she can and should always be proud of.

What’s not:
The fault, if you can call it that lies in the fact that the audience who’ve been fed on a steady diet of masala fare, will find this slow and tedious. This won’t  appeal to the fast food and romcom generation.  It is a different beast. It is a nuanced movie that doesn’t have the bite but it has the beauty that you will find appealing but you have to surrender yourself to it.

What to do:
Lootera stands apart from every Hindi film in the last decade at least. You wouldn’t want to miss such a unique cinematic experience.

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