movie reviews

Laapataa Ladies Movie Review: A Classic Blend Of Entertainment & Enlightenment!

Laapataa Ladies Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Nitanshi Goel, Pratibha Ranta, Sparsh Shrivastava, Chhaya Kadam, Ravi Kishan, Rachna Gupta

Director: Kiran Rao

Laapataa Ladies Movie Review Out! (Photo Credit – IMDb)

What’s Good: Unalloyed fun in this sugar-coated social medicine

What’s Bad: Nothing to complain about really!

Loo Break: Don’t blame us if you miss something relevant

Watch or Not?: It would be silly to miss it!

Language: Hindi

Available On: Theatrical release

Runtime: 126 Minutes

User Rating:

The story is set in the fictitious Indian state of Nirmal Pradesh in central India. Here, newlywed brides must cover their faces with a ghunghat all through, and thus our protagonist Deepak (Sparsh Shrivastava) pulls his sleeping bride out of the train in which they are traveling home to his native village at night, only to find that he has brought home the wrong woman! This is because there were three newlywed couples in that very compartment! The film then narrates how he searches for his real wife, who herself is lost and anguished, having alighted at another station without any means whatsoever of contacting him. The woman he has brought home says that she is Pushpa Rani, hails from a village named Sambela and has now been separated from her husband, Pankaj, as she thought it was he who had pulled her out of the train. A police investigation follows.

Laapataa Ladies Movie Review Out! (Photo Credit – YouTube)

Laapataa Ladies Movie Review: Script Analysis

Writer Biplab Goswami’s interesting story has real-life echoes as such stories have happened in real life in North India, and in fact, there are gangs that are involved in such cases, so that the ‘brides’ can decamp with cash and jewellery later. But over here, the script takes a refreshing turn in the last 25 minutes or so.

Razor-sharp dialogues and a crisp script with not an extra second of footage marks Laapataa Ladies. A dialect and even the nuances of both pronunciation and diction are faithfully and consistently adhered to in this film. Sneha Desai has written an engrossing screenplay and her dialogues (along with Divyanidhi Sharma) are not just life-like but immensely witty and humorous.

Some of the best lines are reserved for Deepak’s lost bride Phool and the tea-stall owner (Chhaya Kadam) who is Phool’s saviour and protector at the station where she has alighted. She not only instructs Phool on some of the basics of womanhood as an independent entity but also admires her complete conviction that the man she loves will come looking for her.
There are also some cute as well as trenchant lines for Deepak’s parents (played by Geeta Agarwal Sharma and Pankaj Sharma) and above all, for the cop who investigates on both the women—Phool and Pushpa Rani.

The script takes a relentlessly realistic and logical path, while maintaining the fun quotient as an undercurrent to the story that has, at its core, elements of both tragedy and comedy. The cop’s initial reaction when Deepak narrates his woes is amusement at his “achieving” something he has never been able to do with respect to his own wife! On the other hand, the script gives him a whopper climax with powerful lines that is sure to win the audience, vindicating what director and co-producer Kiran has stated—that Aamir Khan had wanted to do the role!

Laapataa Ladies Movie Review: Star Performance

With everything right going for them, only terrible actors can do badly. And casting director Romil has skillfully got consummate performers. Nitanshi Goel as the cute, idealistic, old-world bride is exceptional. It’s tough to choose between Pratibha Ranta and her in the matter of acting honours, because Pratibha’s character has a very interesting graph from a girl who is scared of the police but has a warm relationship with Deepak’s bhabhi and young nephew to someone who arouses the cop’s suspicion by her activities.

Sparsh Shrivastava is pitch-perfect and so are the myriad actors who play his family and friends. Special marks are due in particular to Geeta Agarwal Sharma as his mother, Pankaj Sharma as his father, Kirti Jain as his grandmother and Rachna Gupta as his bhabhi.

However, besides the heroines, the two scene-stealers are Chhaya Kadam as Phool’s benefactor, Manju Maai, and Ravi Kishan as Shyam Manohar, the cop. A special pat is due also for Durgesh Kumar as his dense assistant Dubey-ji (his last remark about going far in life is hilarious!) and Satendra Soni as Choti, Manju’s helper.

Laapataa Ladies Movie Review Out! (Photo Credit – YouTube)

Laapataa Ladies Movie Review: Direction, Music

But at the end of the day, Laapataa Ladies is Kiran Rao’s triumph. Her last (and debut) film as a director was Dhobi Ghat, a midstream film with niche appeal even if Aamir Khan was its leading man. This time, she improves dramatically as a filmmaker to make something that simply ranks among the best productions of Aamir Khan (Lagaan, Taare Zameen Par, Delhi Belly, Dangal and Secret Superstar are part of this elite list) and is mainstream with a vengeance.

High marks for Kiran are due for the way she handles the various police station sequences, the endearing moments between Manju Maai and Phool, the drunken sequence between Deepak and his friends, and the entire surprise of a climax.

And we have some decent songs composed by a single entity—Ram Sampath, who also, as in classic Hindi cinema tradition, composes the apt background score. Dheeme dheeme, caressingly rendered by Shreya Ghoshal and Sukhwinder Singh’s spirited Doubtva are also immensely meaningful in their lyrics, which are written respectively by Swanand Kirkire and Divyanidhi Sharma. Prashant Pandey also writes the meaningful Beda paar, which is decently sung by Sona Mohapatra. Arijit Singh is okay in Sajni, but continues to mispronounce the Hindi ‘ta’ sound.

Laapataa Ladies Movie Review: The Last Word

The film is thus not just value-for-money entertainment but a movie you will carry home with its progressive angles, not just for women but also for society. It uses the sugar-coating of some delectable flavours of village life to feed the audience some homilies without forcing them down their psychological throats.

Four and a half stars!

Laapataa Ladies Trailer

Laapataa Ladies releases on 01st March 2024.

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