Ludo (Netflix)

A delightful dark comedy in anthology style with different stories intersecting each other.

Cast -Abhishek Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Pankaj Tripathi, Sanya Malhotra, Rajkummar Rao, Fatima Sheikh, Rohit Suresh Sarraf, Pearl Maaney

Director – Anurag Basu

Writers – Anurag Basu, Samrat Chakraborty

Plot

The story introduces to us its interesting motley of characters.

There’s a gangster committing a murder and running his syndicate with amusing flair.

There’s a lovestruck Majnu still mooning over his now married Laila, who in turn is grappling with her infidel husband.

There’s a goon back from jail, yearning for his daughter and now estranged wife.

There’s a pair of exes trying to deal with their viral intimate clip just before the girl’s hot shot wedding to someone else.

There are a couple of youngsters struggling to make a living and dealing with mean world and people around.

There’s a little lonely girl desperate to get her parent’s attention and time.

And in a very interesting weave, we see the characters crossing each other’s paths.

Analysis

I have always loved this anthology style storytelling which has now been coined as ”Hyperlink Cinema”.

Years back Basu’s ‘Life in a Metro’ gave us characters and stories that had a realistic and emotional appeal and came together in a delightfully intriguing way.

This time the stories are interwoven with a dash of philosophy about karma, paap and punya but have a delightfully humorous twang to them.

They have been told in lighter vein and the dialogues, over the top situations and the characters, together ensure plenty of laughs and chuckles through out.

The story telling style has freshness to it, something akin Jagga Jasoos but less experimental and has a more defined narrative.

While the build up and first half is nothing short of fantastic and hilarious, second half meanders a bit and many stretches seem to sag.

But the superb ensemble cast which are a whole big charm about the film, shoulder the sags and make sure we remain invested.

Performances

Pankaj Tripathi alias Sattu Bhaiyya rules the roost right from first to last frame, his character being the pivot connecting all the stories. He’s always a delight with his characteristic charm.

Rajkummar Rao, in his Mithun-ish dancing innocent avatar is cute.

Aditya looks great but nothing different or remarkable.

Sanya looks amazingly natural and charming.

Abhishek evokes a lot of sympathy as brooding and lonely Bittu.

Rohit Sarraf and Pearl Maaney lend great support and hold good in their small roles.

Little Inayat Verma stole my heart with her absolutely adorable and completely natural portrayal as Mini. Watch out for her chemistry with Abhishek.

Fatima Sheikh, am afraid, seemed most disappointing. She desperately needs a role that gives her a chance to break away from the perennially similar expressions (Dangal, Thugs of Hindustan).

The film, despite its slight sags, was a great watch for me. Its narrative style, whacky humour, superb cast and performances make it completely worth your time. Definitely recommended.

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