*SPOILER ALERT* *SPOILER ALERT* *SPOILER ALERT*
Lootera. There are various reasons why I loved the film; various passionate reasons.
I will begin with reasons that are, well, personal.
The moment the movie began and I realised that it was shot at the Itachuna Rajbari, it was enough for me to know that I love the film. Itachuna Rajbari is one of my favourite weekend getaway places.
The last time I was there, I had spent hours exploring the place; every corridor; every room; every nook and corner. Seeing and relating to all of that in the film was sheer pleasure.
Then they showed Mocambo. The Mocambo. The favourite eating place Mocambo. Need I say more?
And then the plot was based on The Last Leaf – one of my favourite O’Henry short stories.
So I constantly had ‘These are the few of my favourite things’ ringing at the back of my mind.
And now, on to the film - Lootera.
Vikramaditya Motwane’s Lootera is a film based during the post-independence period. The zamindar (Barun Chanda) and his daughter, Pakhi (Sonakshi Sinha) live in palatial mansion. They believe that life will continue with the same grandeur, untill the government of
passes a law to deprive all zamindars of their power. The government also
seizes the zamindars land. India
This is when enters Varun Srivastava (Ranveer Singh), introducing himself as an archeologist who needs to study the land owned by the zamindar. Varun and Pakhi fall in love as they bond over poetry and painting, and finally the zamindar father fixes up their engagement.
It gets revealed on the day of their engagement that Varun had been nothing but a con-man who had vanished after having robbed them of their wealth; leaving Pakhi heart-broken for life.
The second half of the film is based in Dalhousie where an ailing Pakhi stays with her maid (Divya Dutta). The film then progresses the O’Henry's The Last Leaf way.
I really enjoyed the story line. I enjoyed how the tale of a con-man was blended flawlessly with O’Henry's short story.
Sonakshi Sinha And Ranveer Singh did a decent job.Sonakshi, though needs to work on expressions. There were times when it was getting difficult to guage whether she was getting angry or having an asthma attack. Ranveer really needs to open up his mouth to deliver dialogues He just mumbles. Divya Dutta was brilliant in a role that required immense under-acting.
The cinematography is overwhelming. I loved the fact that the film was shot in natural light. Every scene looks like a beautiful painting - breathtaking. The music is splendid.
The film did have a couple of, flaws.
I mean I am quite sure that no Bengali zamindar’s daughter who would have studied in Shantiniketan would really be into reading Godan – Premchand or reciting Hindi poetry. If the director was not okay about using Tagore he could have very gone ahead and shown her reciting a Wordsworth or a Keats. That would have been more authentic.
Also the fact that there was not a single soul during the chase sequence at the streets of Dalhousie seemed unreal.
Anyway, the flaws were not prominent enough to bring down the brilliance of the film.
I think Vikramaditya Motwane delivered Lootera to perfection.
Do watch the film.
PS: If you haven't read O'Henry's The Last Leaf, you can read it here.
O’Henry’s The Last Leaf was also made into television serials years ago on Doordarshan. I remember watching it in the show, Katha Sagar – made by Shyam Benegal. You can watch it here.
The story was also used in one of the episodes of a serial named Honi – Unhoni. I was unable to get a link for the same.