Before I start to review “Lootera”, a disclaimer is in order.
Regular readers of the blog would know that I am a Bollywood-outsider. Which means, I have never had any personal connection to anyone in a film that I have reviewed.
Till now. Vikramaditya Motwane, the director of “Lootera”, is an acquaintance through the blog, and hence what I am going to write, may or may not be influenced by that fact. Too often, I find reviewers in mainstream media not exactly up-front with connections to their subjects (“The director is a friend with whom I have drinks with”, “I am looking to work with the production house that made the film”, “The director rejected my script. Twice” and “the PR took me out to dinner”) and I will be damned if I do the exact same thing. I don’t think my opinion of “Lootera” is influenced by my knowing the director, and those that know me from the blog and on Twitter would know that I don’t hold back on my opinions, no matter how negative, even if the person concerned is a friend. But still this needed to be said. So there.
Now the review.
“Lootera” is gorgeously mounted, every frame is like a painting, the cinematography/art-direction/lighting/use of music is awesome. Even the bad reviews of “Lootera” say this. Which is why I shall not delve into this any more . Beautifully shot and technically sophisticated movies, by themselves, do not impress me even a bit (and that may be because I do not fully appreciate some aspects, lacking as I do any form of formal training in filmcraft). Which is why I have more or less hated, with a vengeance, most of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s creations, since I have failed to find anything else in them other than this obsession with “Wah kya frame hai”.
“Lootera” though, at least in my opinion, is not merely an action flicker of beautifully lit images. It has, embedded within it, two fascinating interleaved narratives—the minor and the major.