Lootera movie review: Sonakshi Sinha is the real looteri


















Cast: Ranveer Singh, Sonakshi Sinha, Barun Chanda, Vikrant Massey, Arif Zakaria, Adil Hussain, Divya Dutta

Director: Vikramaditya Motwane

The Indian Express rating: ** 1/2

I should have watched Lootera backwards, because it finishes with an almost unbearable loveliness. The ache in the heart comes as a welcome relief, but a little too late. The journey towards the end is shot through with beauty, one painterly frame after another evoking admiration, but it did not touch me. And that is where Vikramaditya Motwane's film becomes a disappointing second act, after his magnificent debut Udaan.

Lootera, set in the early '50s, tells the story of Varun (Singh) and Pakhi (Sinha) in a manner most Indian filmmakers have forgotten. Motwane knows how to pace his tale to match an old-wordly tempo: it is a unhurried build-up of time and place that takes you to the village of Manikpur in West Bengal in 1953, poised at the grand lifestyle of the zamindars about to go bust, and slides you into the opulent bubble that the local zamindar ( Chanda) and his daughter Pakhi live in.

The arrival of the young, personable Varun and his companion (Massey) to set up an archeological dig around the haveli brings the first fissures. You can see why the motherless Pakhi, who has found solace only in her father's doting arms till now, will gravitate towards Varun. But I did not feel any reciprocal heat from Varun. He has his reasons for keeping his distance, because he is not who he claims he is. But when there is youth and passion, all reason flees. She shows her longing clearly. From him, you want more, not unreadable sidelong glances, and a stealing away when no one is looking. The main hook that should have kept you with them, is missing.

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