July 7, 2013 by Mithil
Both Pakhi and Varun babu are sitting near the lake making conversations. Suddenly they start talking in hushed tones albeit with a hint of coyness, both looking in each other’s eyes. They stop and the change of expression on Varun’s face and his eyes is evident. He holds back himself out of compulsion and in that scene of 30 sec silence triumphs over words. Their eyes let us hear and their words although far few and soft make us feel. This in fact is the ‘USP’ of the movie.
Pakhi, a spoon fed daughter of rich zamindar(landlord)falls head over heels kind of love when she accidently bumps into Varun. He is archaeologist with a mission. She is as smitten as he is but 1950s wasn’t the ideal time for young people to be as physically expressive. But they don’t need any moral permission
to further their bond of love. They dive deep until truth emerges and that devastates them both. The crude truth and it’s consequences set them apart.
Lootera is the movie that i enjoyed by the minute, it’s the small instances in the scenes that light up the cinematic wonderland. The movie is quaint at times and surreal in some others. The love story set in mid 1950 took me in right at the centre of everything that’s unspoken but understood. Awed by it’s jaw dropping choreography (some lighting) to it’s incredible art direction to it’s crisp editing. It was pretty evident that this movie came from the same house that featured ‘Udaan’.
If I could just walk you through some scenes that really made me admire the makers of this movie. When Varun says ok to the idea of teaching Pakhi painting without him even having the elementary knowledge of the art in the first place and you could see both of them trying to get away since the permission has been granted but Pakhi’s father who was sharing tea with Varun says ‘abhi nahi’(Not now). The director plays this scene so subtly that you see yourself grin. Another scene is when Pakhi tells Varun how her father died and then there is that singular unfazed moment of tension until the next scene unfolds. Another is when Pakhi is pouring her heart out and Varun goes numb to her feelings but his eyes don’t deceive. Lootera mostly unfolds in the eyes of their characters.
Although I don’t have much experience of the era, the costumes and the treatment of the movie is eye catching. Also we have to admire the kind of voice modulation actors had to go through to give the movie a periodic look. Also picturesque Dalhousie is +1.
While I would love to talk about the stars who acted so brilliantly but Vikramaditya Motwane(Director and screen writer) is at the centre of this movie. Like the new crop of movie makers making their presence felt he is invading the waters that divide mainstream and commercial with a touch of his eccentric filmmaking. Like his work which steals the heart of so many of his followers the director is the true Lootera. Second most important person that really made and impact on me was Ranveer Singh as Varun. He carried a persona that was very unlike his other two movies. In a shackled mode he let his ever moving eyes tell the tale of his heart. I think he does brilliantly in the climax. Sonakshi Sinha as Pakhi is no less when competing with her colleague. She’s conditioned to be moody, stoic and unapologetic. In the second half she really comes into her own and gives a powerful performance. Actors like Adil Hussain, Vikrant Massey are used to the extent the story limited them but they played brilliantly. Shirin Guha as Sonakshi’s father also caught my eye. Also a word of appreciation to screen writers Bhavani Iyer and Anurag Kashyap.I dont know why its coming so much below this para but there never much enough to say about what Amit Trivedi’s BGM and soundtrack does to the movie. The music no question is well augmented and inclines with the feel of the movie.
Yes you will get crowd who will laugh at those serene moments and pass comments but that’s natural. Lootera should be watched if not for the love of it then atleast for the sake of your grandfathers who were so polite and humble. So unlike us.