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05 Jul, 2013
2 hrs 23 mins
345 votes
5 158
4 41
3 26
2 9
1 102
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An archaeologist falls in love with an aristocrat's daughter but conceals a dark secret from her that could drive them apart.
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What happens when a filmmaker who cites Emir Kusturica`s Underground (1995) as one of his favorite films decides to make a film inspired and partially based on O Henry`s short story `The Last Leaf? He then decides to give the story a personal touch and weaves altogether a new tale of love, longing and essential ... ...Read full review
Lootera is a love saga of yore. The plot is an amalgamation of a story written by Vikramaditya Motwane with O`Henry`s short story, The Last Leaf. It begins in Manikpur, West Bengal, in 1953. A zamindar (Barun Chanda) dotes on his well-educated but impressionable girl, Pakhi ( Sonakshi Sinha). The landlord`s Munim warns his master that courtesy the State Acquisition and Tenancy Act of 1950, zamindars like himself (read loyal to the British Empire) were losing their titles and prerogatives. But to no avail. The zamindar is visibly more concerned about his daughter`s well-being, more so because she suffers from asthma. A suave archaeologist, Varun ( Ranveer Singh), enters the village seeking permission from the landlord to dig up a mysterious civilisation buried around his temple. As work progresses, love blossoms between Pakhi and Varun. The father of the bride agrees to their union but the young couple face other hurdles. From a simple love story the film assumes the shape of a thriller. ...Read full review
How do two people fall in love? When do they first realize it is love and not just infatuation or physical attraction? In life we often wonder if it is real love that we feel for another person or an emotion with another name. So we seek wisdom of wiser people - writers, musicians and even filmmakers to guide us through that sense, since real life results in more confusion. In Vikramaditya Motwane`s sophomore project Lootera, the sense of love happens the first time his protagonists - Pakhi (Sonakshi Sinha), the daughter of a landlord and Varun (Ranveer Singh), an archeologist with a mysterious agenda, are involved in a road accident. Pakhi is learning to drive a car on a small rural road and as she looks away she hits a very James Dean-like (although he also reminded me of Gael Garcia Bernal`s Che Guevara in The Motorcycle Diaries) Varun, on a motorcycle. Motwane`s protagonists fall in love in a very quiet way. The director textures into his narrative many parting glances, slight conversations and playful flirtations - often aided by Amit Trivedi`s seductive score. For Pakhi this is clearly love. It may be her first, but she knows it. But Varun struggles with the ghosts of his past and is driven by the grey shades of his character. When Pakhi confronts Varun, and begs him to acknowledge that he also loves her, he keeps quiet. Love is not easy for him. There is too much holding him back and he cannot say yes even if it is just to please Pakhi, who is clearly hurting. That is such a heartbreakingly beautiful moment in Lootera - a rare experience in Bollywood films, where love is usually tossed loudly at the audience with a Khulam Khulla Pyar Karenge attitude. In Lootera, Pakhi`s pain at that moment is no less than that of Satyajit Ray`s Charulata when she realizes that her love for Amal will never be fully realised. ...Read full review
Like Udaan, his feature debut from 2010, Lootera, directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, is exquisitely crafted. While Udaan was the coming of age tale of a small-town teenager going head to head with his despotic father, Lootera is steeped in old-fashioned romance. At the heart of this film is a young couple faced with insurmountable odds. And yet, it isn`t so much the film`s story, but in its telling that Motwane woos you. Skillfully combining the key tools of cinema pictures, sound, and music he delivers a transcendent experience that`s hard to describe in words. Lootera opens in 1950s West Bengal, where a new democracy is changing archaic laws and reclaiming princely estates. Pakhi (Sonakshi Sinha) is the indulged daughter of an old zamindar (Barun Chanda) from Manekpur. She lives in a sheltered world, but you can see her straining for independence as she secretly drives the family car when she`s out of her father`s sight. Her world collides with that of archaeologist Varun (Ranveer Singh), who is invited to stay as a houseguest when he`s on an assignment to excavate a site on her father`s property. Varun and Pakhi are inexorably drawn to each other, even though he knows in his heart that he must leave her someday. The film`s plot is inspired partly by O Henry`s famous short story The Last Leaf, yet Motwane gives it a romantic, even thrilling twist. There is a lyrical quality to the couple`s exchanges in Lootera. Varun and Pakhi communicate with their eyes at the start, then their relationship deepens over shared dreams and long conversations. Pakhi confesses that she wants to be a writer, spinning stories in her Dalhousie home. Varun, in turn, has the soul of an artist and wishes to paint a masterpiece someday. The director establishes a leisurely pace that matches the period, and a picnic scene in particular, where the couple is gently teased by their friends, feels straight out of a Merchant-Ivory drama. In the second half, Motwane opts for muted colours and sticks with those interminably long silences as the couple is reunited under very different circumstances. ...Read full review