Bollywood review: ‘Lootera’ unveils Raveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha’s most poignant act, yet

It’s raw. It’s understated. It’s intensely heart-wrenching.

Vikramaditya Motwane’s poignant tale of deceit, betrayal, honour and love, takes us on a deeply emotional journey.

His enchanting period romance is ably textured by cinematographer Mahendra Shetty, who frames every expression and emotion in such striking strokes that it’s lyrical.

Shetty’s efforts are ably guided by Kazvin Dangor and Dhara Jain’s spectacular sets, and Subarna Ray Chaudhuri’s quaint costumes that diligently creates the magnificence of the ’50s. From the rustic bikes, to the delicate crockery, to the laced curtains, to the radio sets, there’s not a pen, or paper that’s out of place.

For an audience that has been bred on romances that often involves heavy-duty conflicts over objecting parents, classist disputes or evil-men before eventually ending in extravagant song-and-dance routines, Motwane’s ‘Lootera’ is a revelation.

Set in the 1950s, when India was breaking free from the shackles of class divides, he traces an unlikely love story.

Pakhi’s born into the riches but she doesn’t indulge in her illustrious lineage and prefers to be lost in a life fabled by her doting father.

He’s a man of immense dignity, and gracefully, albeit with a little coaxing, accepts how a country’s freedom eventually costs him his lineage and fortune.

Their lives, however, are altered irrevocably after they invite the earnestly charming Varun to uncover a lost kingdom.

Packed with stellar performances, ‘Lootera’ is by far, one of the most indulgent narratives that captures love in all its finery and flaws.

Amit Trivedi’s tunes delightfully captures love’s truest moments, while Anurag Kashyap and Bhavani Iyer write some of the most passively passionate lines that astutely captures the true essence of this romance.

In fact, some of the most commanding scenes are those that are captured in silence.

Based on O. Henry’s classic “The Last Leaf”, Motwane manages to flavour it impressively in a screenplay that indulgently clocks 142 minutes.

Ranveer Singh effortlessly manages to steal our hearts as soon as he crashes into the scene.

He’s consistently in sync with Varun’s vulnerability and plays his conflicts with remarkable subtlety, making him undeniably endearing despite his unforgivable faults.

This is Ranveer’s most poignant performance, yet.

And, he’s amply supported by the graceful Sonakshi Sinha, as she moulds Pakhi’s passion and insecurities with restrained charm, allowing her beautiful eyes to do much of the work.

Barun Chanda is pitch-perfect as her landlord-dad who watches history take over his stately rights while willingly accepting the man his ailing daughter choses.

TV actor Vikrant Massey is equally imposing as Varun’s most trusted friend who indulges in Dev Anand impersonations and hums classic tunes of an era gone by.

While seasoned actors Adil Hussain, Divya Dutta and Arif Zakaria are allotted limited screen space, they still manage to leave an impression.

It’s remarkable how one-film-old Motwane manages to create such an exquisite masterpiece without ever trying too hard.

Truly worth a standing ovation.

 

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