Vikramaditya Motwane’s Lootera is a poignant tale of love, longing, betrayal and tragedy. This superbly crafted period romance, set in the early 1950’s, is the story of Varun, a conman who poses as an archeologist. Varun approaches the zamindar of Manikpur to excavate his land.
After getting the zamindar’s approval he manages to inveigle his way into the house as well. What he hasn’t taken into account is the zamindar’s beautiful daughter, Pakhi. The two fall in love over painting lessons. However, their love is not meant to be as Varun’s uncle, the leader of the gang says he will expose Varun if he does not carry on with his nefarious activities & leave Pakhi. Varun has no choice and runs away on the day of the engagement.
A year later the two meet again but this time under very different circumstances.
There is much to love about Vikramaditya Motwane’s sophomore attempt at filmmaking, Lootera - a brooding love story, peppered with tragedy but thankfully devoid of melodrama. Motwane’s minimalist touch brings the movie to life in a way that is difficult to express.
Long silences, repressed sighs, and lingering glances – the romance is intense, yet lined with innocent subtlety. Both Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha are first rate, look comfortable in their skin & give restrained performances. Ranveer’s new look seems to do his boyish charm some good, giving him the air of a much refined, mature man. Sonakshi Sinha is a revelation, reminding one of the actresses of yore. Barun Chanda is superb as the beleaguered zamindar. Vikrant Massey shows a lot of promise. Adil Husain and Arif Zakaria provide adequate support.
What aids tremendously in lifting the visuals and the narrative is Amit Trivedi’s musical genius - a background score that mirrors the yearning of the lovers so perfectly and then crescendos right where you need it. With the Udaan technical team coming together again for Lootera, it hits the bull’s eye. Epic performances, direction, editing, cinematography and music make Lootera worth a watch for sure.
Vikramaditya Motwane can add another feather to his cap as he takes this wonderfully organic, clean vintage love story and tells it with a simple honesty and smoothness that leaves you charmed. A word of caution, though. This poetically intense love story is not for those who have become used to a steady diet of fast paced masala fare. Before I sign off, a juicy bit of information for our viewers, the 4-star Lootera is inspired by O. Henry’s Last Leaf. So what are you waiting for? Grab a ticket and some tissues for this highly recommended movie.