Friday, July 12, 2013

Lootera - which was better if it were a Musical!! - Movie Review

So well, as you can tell that here I am gonna write a Movie Review for the Movie - Lootera.. so - SPOILER ALERT!

Lootera Musical why?? Read the music review.. again by me - Music Review : Lootera

Wiki about Lootera:
Lootera, is a 2013 Bollywood period romantic drama film directed by Vikramaditya Motwane and partly based on author O. Henry's 1907 short story The Last Leaf. It is the second film directed by Motwane afer his critically acclaimed film Udaan. Set in the era of 1950s, the film stars Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha in lead roles. The producers of the film being Shobha Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap and Vikas Bahl, the film features music and background score by Amit Trivedi and all song lyrics penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya and cinematography done by Mahendra J. Shetty. Lootera released to worldwide critical acclaim on July 5, 2013

The year is 1953. Pakhi is the daughter of a Zamindar (Landlord), in an aristocratic world. In this tranquil existence enters an archaeologist, Varun, seeking help from the Zamindar with a letter from the Archaeological Society of India. With his remarkable knowledge of books and music, and expertise in his own field, Varun impresses the Zamindar, stealing his way into the life and heart of the family; especially Pakhi’s. As love blossoms, Pakhi is drawn towards Varun’s captivating reserve and easy-going charm. Following a series of inevitable uncertainties and misunderstandings, she comes to terms with her feelings for Varun on the eve of his departure. She shares them with her father and Varun finds himself agreeing to marry Pakhi. A shocking realization about Varun shatters Pakhi’s life. She turns reclusive. Pakhi struggles to move on with her life, determined to forget him and their relationship. Until one day, he lands up at her door-step under the most extraordinary circumstances.

Until the end

Me about Lootera:
Now, as we can see and make out from the posters and the promos, Lootera is a Love-Story between these two characters set in like some 50 or so years back in West Bengal. Sonakshi plays Pakhi, a well brought up Bengali girl.. and trust me - She's never looked this beautiful before. If the movie sells for anything apart from its music, it has to be Sonakshi's looks and definitely her acting!!

Till now, Sonakshi attempted roles where she played mostly the bubbly loud girl. First time, I saw Sonakshi play the silent mystery. Her character was full of life but communicating more with her eyes and expressions than with words.
Her makeup(which was very simple) and all her dresses (sarees to be real!) were simply complimenting not only her role but also her character.

Recently, they have been showing in our movies that a girl is beautiful or admired is inversely proportional to the length of clothes or directly proportional to the brands adorning her... Sonakshi, in this movie, has proved that even a 2013 actress, like herself, can look much more charming and sensual at the same time when she wears an elegant saree with least makeup!

Afterall, Simplicity is the best makeup that you can wear.

Revealing LOOTERA

There were moments when Sonakshi did all the talking with her eyes and the first time I noticed how beautiful her eyes were!

Sonakshi as Paakhi looking prettier than she every has; even prettier than other female protagonist characters in the other movies these days.

Coming to Ranveer, well to be honest, I quite didnt like him in the movie. He overdid all the movements with his limbs. When he played extreme serious, you could say he was faking; when he played angry, you could say he was faking; when he confessed his love, you could tell he was faking... but there was a moment when he looked at the canvas feeling helpless.. that was a moment when I saw Varun (the character he plays).. and then when he is angry that the Police is after him and he comes charging at her without hesitating for betraying her and being the cause of her illness.. that is another scene where I totally felt at a loss of words... finally, the best moment where I felt, yes you could actually feel the character Varun, such was the power of Ranveer's performance in that scene - when he kisses her forehead before going away for the final time.

                    (Left) - The final scene where Varun kisses sleeping Pakhi's forehead before a final goodbye;                   (Right) - promotional poster for Lootera

Overall, to be honest, Sonakshi and Ranveer were weak with their characters. Sonakshi did good with the performance part but the fall was that her character wasnt written well enough and being someone sober, she wasnt given much things to venture. Ranveer on the other hand, had alot to do but he wasnt much at performance or looks.

Further ahead, other bits of the story - the unconditional love of Pakhi's father for his only daughter was nicely portrayed. But getting bluffed the way he was shown bluffed showed him to be an extremely trusting man or an inexperienced person for a zamindaar.

I wanted to wrte this particular bit after the story, but somehow, I thought that it might be a case that people dont read the story for spoiler alerts and so maynot scroll down at all! And I dont want that! So, the best place for the music review will be no place but here!!

The songs - right from Sawar Loon to Ankahee (first and last to occur in the movie) are very well written and composed. According to me, the songs have captured more of the characters than the dialogues. There are lines in the songs that suit to the characters and situations in ways, that they can make you cry.

Sawar Loon - when Paakhi falls in love with Varun and she wants to catch his attention; while at times also feeling how good he looks and trying his attire.

Shikayatein - All the feelings Varun feels when he returns to Paakhi, guilty of what he has done and trying to somehow make good of whatever is left.

Monta Re - It's melodies take us right back to the lands of Calcutta. The sweetness of 'Sondesh' ringing in our ears with a little Kishore da touch and Bengal essence. Trust me, if you are happy and like it the sweet Bangla style, this is the song for you.

Zinda Hoon - To anyone and everyone who has loved and lost for their own mistakes! This is all I wanna say about another great song from the movie.

Ankahee - The best for the last :P ... Not only because I am totally in love with the song or for I cried while its picturization but because this holds the real essence of what the movie was trying to show. How Varun died giving life to Paakhi. Though he couldnt be with her, he became the reason for her life... though he gave her tears, he was going to live as the smile on her face forever... and all this was silent! If you love someone, you dont always have to write a letter in blood or paint the skyscrapers, these few actions of silence are all a heart desires!

Manmarziya - Falling all over again in LOVE  ... The song is set in the background when both Paakhi and Varun are again face to face and though Paakhi hates his presence, she cant help feel good about him either. It seems sad in the movie, but the audio will make you love it!!

The first half of the story mainly revolves around how Varun comes with his friend Dev to the lands owned by Paakhi's father. They claim to be people from the Archeological Survey Department of India and there is a chance of treasures in the land. The Zamindaar gladly allows them to dig the land and do all the required word. He shows them their ancestral temple with the golden idols of Radha - Krishna in the temple. He boosts about how he has kept the idols safe for so long.

Honestly, from that moment, the look Varun has seeing the idols and thanks to the title of the movie, anyone could tell that he was a thief and had come for the idols!! I wonder why the story writers and the directors think that the audience is so dumb as not to get the scene!

Further ahead, the Zamindaar's daughter - Paakhi, whom the Zamindaar loved more than anything else in his life, falls in for Varun from the moment he enters her house.

Paakhi's father is shown reciting to her a story about a King who hid his life in a parrot. This King attacked many kingdoms and won many battles without ever getting hurt. His enemies, finally found that he had hidden his life in a parrot and could only be killed by killing the parrot. So, they hire a person to act as a double-agent. The king falls in love with the agent (the agent must be a girl :P) and marries her. One day, she finds the identity of the parrot and informs her employers. They find the parrot and kill it. Along, the king dies too. Paakhi's father keeps telling her that she was his parrot!

 Paakhi is a well brought up child and she gets what she wants. One day while forcefully taking the car from the driver, insisting on driving herself, she bumps into a motorcycle. The rider was none other than Varun! She took him to the hospital and got him first-aid; though the doctor claimed that there was nothing serious, she couldnt help thinking about him.Later, Varun walks in her house introducing himself as the Archeological Survey Department Employee. The Zamindaar offers him a place to stay in his own house.
Paakhi watches Varun throughout the day, sneaks to his room when he is not there, sniffing his items for his scent and just feeling hopelessly romantic about it. One day, she sees him setting up a canvas and without any thought, tells her father that she wants to learn paining from him. Varun agress. But later it is revealed that he knows nothing of painting, though it has always been his dream to learn it. The table's turn!! Varun becomes the student and Paakhi, the teacher.

They start sharing conversations, then laughter, and eventually just enjoying each other's company, slowly falling in love. Dev who is worried about this, warns Varun that Paakhi will end up heart-broken when Varun leaves, confirming that they are thief and plan to run away. Varun continues but later when gets scared, he tried backing out after the incident. Paakhi is an asthama patient and one day while the tire goes flat and Varun is busy fixing it, she gets an attack. Varun is terrified seeing Paakhi like this and he finds her medicine and gives her. He then comforts her by holding her against him.

This scene was extremely beautiful, as Varun for the first time realizes his feelings for Paakhi. He is still holding her as he drives to her home. Paakhi's father, worried comes and gets his daughter but the expression on Ranveer's face at that moment, it was just adorable. He had realized that she was his true wealth and suddenly being separated from her, left him a little shocked at himself, angry at the father and in love with the girl!!

Varun is however terrified about his own feelings and decided to stay away from Paakhi. A love-struck Paakhi confronts him and they are again in the kind of relationship. However, he tells her that he will leave soon. She comes to his room in the night, and asks if he cant stay for her. They share a beautiful moment (nothing adult! :P) and then Varun asks for her hand. He tells that he is an orphan. His uncle raised him. Paakhi's father approves but asks Varun to call his uncle.

Meanwhile, a person from the Government, later who is shown to be in the same gang as Varun and Dev, visits the Zamindaar and tells him that every expensive item given to him by the British Government, was not theirs to give away and that it must be deposited back to the Government or else there will be strict actions against him. The Zamindaar has to reluctantly let go. Paakhi at this time, however is shown STUPID! She doesnt care much and asks what would Government do with it or why they are taking it, failing to see through her father, his sadness and pain of letting go. Varun suggests that the Zamindaar sold his expensive items before the Government takes them too and so with Dev, he sells off the car.

The uncle, who plays negative roles in most of the movies, is a negative role here too! He comes playing the happy guy but threatens Varun that if Varun doesnt steal and leave the next day, he will the truth about his identity to Paakhi and Paakhi's father.
While, Paakhi's house is decorated and she is all dressed for her engagement, the Zamindaar finds out that the idols in the temple are not real. He finds that there are tunnels all dug up where Varun was working. He finds Varun and Dev have left and cannot be found. It leaves him all broken and lost.

The story skips a few months and we see Paakhi alone in her Dalhousie house where she mentioned she wanted to go and keep writing. She is alone and looks very sad and ill. She has a caretaker lady (played by Divya Dutta) who keeps her company but Paakhi is adamant on being isolated. She is shown all in grief after the betrayal. She keep remembering the moments she spent with Varun and desires to pen them down into a story but cannot. Later, it is revealed that the Zamindaar has also died. She doesnt blame Varun for any of this. She just wishes that she could forget him and so move on with his life. Then, she is informed that she is suffering from TB, which drains any will left in her to live. She feels that she is destined to die soon and just awaits her end.

The Police, however, seeks her help to find Varun and his gang. Reluctantly, for her father's sake, she informs that he had mentioned this city and might come here. And he does. The Police closes all the other motels and lounges and Paakhi puts up a PG notice on her house. Varun and Dev come there and hire a room. They have put on false accent and grown mustache and beard as disguise. Paakhi doesnt come in front of them but recognizes them. However, she still has a soft corner for Varun and doesnt inform the Police. The person who they might rob, was already alerted and as soon as Varun visits him, he informs the Police. The Police is set on a chase after the two and Dev dies in the process. Varun is hit by a bullet but good enough to live. In the haste, he also shoots a hawaldaar.
While on run, Varun realizes that the house he rented is Paakhi's. He goes there and just blasts at her for
blowing him off. She has an asthma attack then and against her will to die, he gives her the desired medicines. He then takes shelter in the house and warns the caretaker to tell the Police.
He sees what his betrayal did to Paakhi and to her father. He feels sorry and says so. On the night he was leaving, he reads Paakhi's draft of the story where she tries to express her love for him and the misery it put her through. She also has written about a tree she could see from her window; its leaves falling one by one everyday in the wind and the cold. She feels that she is somehow related to the tree and she will die when the last leaf of the tree falls. Varun feels guilty.
He decided to stay for an indefinite period and takes care of her. At first she is angry and doesnt wish to include him to her life. They keep having the argument. He keeps telling her that he loves her and never wanted to leave and how sorry he was for her father and what not! The Police Inspector calls at Paakhi's house a couple of times but she never answers. He is sure that she is hiding Varun and comes to inspect. Paakhi however, refuses to coordinate and asks him to bring a warrant the next day and then only check. He threatens that he will kill Varun the moment he sees him.

Later the night, Varun assures her that he has been in worse situations and he will flee and the inspector wont be able to harm him. He also assures her that the last leaf on the tree will never fall and she will not die. He puts her to bed and kisses her forehead one last time.
He is then shown going out in the snow with a made leaf in his hand and he then climbs the tree. There is no leaf on the tree. He ties the leaf there, in the process, hurting himself and later falling down the tree. 

He then walks away from the house. There the Police awaits him and they shoot him as soon as they see him.
It is shown that the moment he dies, Paakhi wakes and walks out in the snow. The Sun is shining and she sees a leaf still on the tree. She is suddenly filled with hope that she is not meant to die or else the leaf would have fallen. Lost in what Varun had told her the previous night, she feels content and yet lack of his presence troubles him. Lost, she looks at the leaf and realizes it is a made up leaf.
She remembers the days she taught him to paint and how he had created his masterpiece as life for her. At the same time, Varun is living his last moments and remembering how much he loved her and how much she loved him.

The whole leaf sequence is taken from O'Henry's story - 'The Last Leaf' where a painter says that he will make his masterpiece one day. On hearing about the illness and loss of will of a young girl in his building, and her thought that she will die when the last leaf on a particular wall falls, he decides to make a leaf and never let the girl loose her will to die. In the process of putting up the leaf everytime the tree has no leaves, the man has to go out into the snow. The girl finally gets fine but the man dies of cold.

All in all, if you ask me - i didnt like the movie!
It was NOT a love story for once! There were characters like Dev, Paakhi's father and the Uncle who were just introduced but didnt have any significant part or their characters were not explored at all.
But yes, to the music, this movie is better than several recent movies and I am willing to give it a 11/10 on the music, background score and other music 
A single word, if there exists, to describe it - PERFECT!

Other than all this, the locations are beautiful and well-suited to the story!!

Moreover, I can say that if you are interested in love-stories - this is one movie that you might want to see!! I too had a tear when it ended!

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