Laxmii & Ludo – Two Epitomes of Toxic and Fresh Bollywood

LAXMII

The moment I finished watching Laxmi I realised if this movie had released in theater during the pre-Covid time, it would have made 200 crores at the box office. But make no mistake, this film is not superbad, it’s just bad. Do you know why such movies are loved by audiences but bad filmmaking practices? – Rich Family, a plot to attract Confirmation Bias, Noticeable Editing, and over the top loud climax.

The story is simple – one Muslim guy (all-rounder, obviously and married to a Hindu girl) who is a non-believer of a ghost possessed by a transgender Hindu ghost to take revenge on her killer.

Intriguing, huh? Yes, it is intriguing with an eye-opening exploration opportunity but seems like written by a teenage kid (yes, a male kid) who is told to create a comedy with a tinge predictable mysteries and a high-octane climactic but one-sided fight. They did dedicate a plot for the transgender character but, like any b-grade melodramatic film, a villain just kills her (the character is calling herself her).

So, can you watch it? Yes, you can, while doing house chores and cooking food (you know, multitasking). Also, because of the actors especially for Ashwini Kalsekar and Ayesha Raza Mishra. Akshay Kumar is also good in a few scenes when he is not delivering dialogues like govt. funded ads.

To be fair, if you are not bothered by an overused story with music and illogical plot, you would enjoy the film. Don’t go by IMDB rating, as it was due to the deliberate attempt to strike down the film in the name fake Hinduism sentiment.

So, this film’s name is changed to Laxmii from Laxmmi Bomb as Hindu Sainik group, which is a self-proclaimed representative of the entire Hindu Community, is offended and said that the word Bomb is derogatory to the Goddess Laxmi. The word bomb has been used to provoke Hindu community. Vishnu Gupta (leader of this community) has used the word like malicious, offensive, negative publicity, outrage religious sentiment, etc.

Hmmm… And that’s a ridiculous explanation of why the use of the word bomb is offensive. If they had given the real reason they would have been ridiculed by their own statement. The word bomb is known to be a sexist remark for any girl. This fact is kept hidden conveniently.

Hypocrisy. Bigotry. Fake Hinduism. Arrogance. All in the name of God.

That reminds me who were those two people in Ludo. Let’s talk about the film first.

LUDO

Anurag Basu, the guy who gave us Gangster and Barfi which was refreshing despite its 2-3 copied scenes and some part of the background score. But the whole movie was delightful and had given tribute to a legendary filmmaker and actor Charlie Chaplin. It was unfair to criticise this film as a total rip-off.

Then came Jagga Jasoos which bombed (see what I did there) at the box office i.e. rejected by the audience and to the filmmaker’s wonder, also panned by the critics. The film suffered from overdoing the tropes of a Barfi-like character with too many child-like adventures. Where the film actually failed was at its editing. It was too long.

Ludo, however, learns from all those mistakes and experiences and tightly juxtaposes 5 unrelated stories in a colourful & music-filled journey. There is not a single place the movie feels slow, thanks to its character-driven and quirky dialogues and intelligent editing that takes the big responsibility to make the audience understand what, where & when.

Seems like a complex film. Yes and No. It will be complex if you are not attentive. This film clearly has many improvised scenes under the boundary of the story which makes the hilarious and sentimental at the same time. A few convenient shots, though added for the funny effect, could have been avoided; for example, the truck coming out of nowhere.

All the actors’ performances are enjoyable but Abhishek Bachchan and Pankaj Tripathi were absolute delights to watch. One is less-speaking and no punch line in his act and the other picked offbeat humorous sense. Abhishek’s coordination with his 8-years old co-actor Inayat Verma is spellbound. But wait, wait, wait… the absolute bomb that cracks you up is Rajkumar Rao – what a timing, expressions and flawless dialogue delivery.

For beautiful cinematography, this movie should have been watched in the theater.

Do take 2.5 hours of a mad ride with these flawed but funny characters on Netflix.

Why did I review these two films together?

Because the above two films represent the past and the future of Bollywood (Hindi Film Industry). Laxmii tries to pull the industry backwards whereas Ludo shows the way to what we must hope for Bollywood in future.

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