‘Ludo’ Movie Review: Anurag Basu’s screwball comedy is a wacky hijinks ride of what life can actually be
Bhushan Kumar, Divya Khosla Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Anurag Basu, Tani Basu, Deepshika Bose
Abhishek Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Rajkummar Rao, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Pankaj Tripathi, Rohit Suresh Saraf, Pearle Maaney, Inayat Verma, Paritosh Tripathi, Asha Negi, Shalini Vatsa, Saurabh Sharma, Gitanjali Mishra, Ishtiak Khan, Aman Bhagat, Amitabh Bachchan, Anurag Basu
Bollywood Bubble Rating
What’s It About
From a resurfaced sex tape to a rogue suitcase of money, four wildly different stories overlap at the whims of fate, chance and one eccentric criminal. Will each member of the 4 stories end up winning over the current problems in their lives? Or will fate win them over? Or will there be some divine intervention? Well, for that you’ll have to watch the movie.
Anurag Basu is a master storyteller, and he proved it once again. The way he intertwines the lives of four different set of people making sure that none of the stories seems less important to the overall theme of the movie is simply superb. To add to it, the angle of Yamraj and Chitragupta narrating the whole story and from start to end discussing over who in all the four stories is righteous and who’s not, makes you fall in love with every character. Masterstroke with the screwball comedy, which was on point, and making sure every actor delivers not as a star, but as a character in the Anurag Basu universe, is simply outstanding. Also, a commendable job by his co-writer Samrat Chakraborty.
Abhishek Bachchan is back to playing a Yuva-type gangster character, and without a doubt, he excels. I personally don’t know why he doesn’t do this genre of a grey-shaded character even more as he has a knack for getting the best out of himself in doing so. Asha Negi making a big-screen start with this film could have gotten herself a bigger role, but what the heck – you got to be a part of an Anurag Basu story, and that’s what counts even higher.
Aditya Roy Kapur and Sanya Malhotra are without a doubt a screen jodi made in heaven. They both are so damn good-looking that it’s very difficult to not root for them ending up falling in love with each other. To add to it, Aditya’s crazy no-fucks-given comic sense and Sanya’s mad-cat outrageous emotions make this a perfect couple despite their personal insecurities and defects.
You gotta feel for Rajkummar Rao and Fatima Sana Shaikh, as both of them are slightly away from where the rest of the stories are happening. But they’re not missing out on the fun as their odd-ball chemistry makes them likeable. You know that both of them are doing something that not many commoners would dare to do, but as people say, love makes you do crazy things, and their love is as crazy as it can get.
Lastly, Pankaj Tripathi as a don – uff! That’s too much to handle in such a short screen time. He is marvellous with his insanely layered comic sense. You wish you could get more of the comic don from him in stories like Mirzapur and Gurgaon. At the same time, Rohit Saraf and Pearle Maaney make sure they get away with speaking the least of the dialogues and yet grab equal eyeballs as the others for their fantastic emotions and expressions. Pearle Maaney, I’m not sure if she can speak a lot of Hindi (as she speaks Malayalam throughout) but if she can, she sure has great things coming her way from Bollywood. She has the spunk and is definitely someone to watch out for.
The cinematography by Anurag Basu and Rajesh Shukla is wacky, to say the least, but in a good sense. It makes you feel right in the middle of the crazy screwball comedy which is going all around.
Not to forget, the beautiful usage of the age-old Bhagwan dada song–o beta ji, o babuji, kismat ki hawa kabhi garam, kabhi naram – just to bind out all the stories together is a lovely nostalgia. To add to that Pritam’s tunes are fab, and you’ll end up coming out with a few Arijit Singh songs in your playlist for the week.
Well, sometimes you get too swayed away by the wacky cinematography when you get too many long shots not making sure whether the lines being spoken were actually the ones which were shot or were they totally changed during the dubbing. The characters of Yamraj and Chitragupta don’t have a single shot where you can clearly see them talking or lip-syncing. All their shots are from far off, which makes you wonder whether the idea of creating a maze of ludo to bind the four stories just an after-thought?
To add to it, the editing by Ajay Sharma was off. Not only could the movie have been a lot crisper, but it could have been aligned in a better way so as to not leave any scope of confusion for the audiences. You could also blame a lot of that to the eccentric way of filmmaking by Anurag Basu, after all, he would be the one overseeing the edit day in and day out.
The screenplay could have been slightly smoothened out so as to not leave the novice movie-viewer hanging for clues as to what is exactly happening at what juncture of the story.
Overall, Ludo is indeed a ONE-TIME WATCH. If you’re a fan of anthologies then this is a MUST WATCH. If you’re a big fan of screwball comedy, this is a TEXTBOOK example of a MADCAP comedy at its best.The concoction of the fun and the craziness gets combined fantastically at the end, but for a layman, for the better part of the movie, you’re still guessing as to which direction things are moving on. But you’re a connoisseur for great storytelling, this is indeed your pick of the week. So hop on, enjoy. I am going with 3.5 stars.