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LUDO Review: Abhishek Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Fatima Sana Shaikh Starrer Is The Most Edifying Film Of The Year

In Netflix’s LUDO, Abhishek Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao and the ubiquitous scene-stealer Pankaj Tripathi have never been better as they sink their hungry teeth into a plot that is genuinely funny and incisive, filled with warmth and sunshine

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LUDO Review: Abhishek Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Fatima Sana Shaikh Starrer Is The Most Edifying Film Of The Year

“When luck suck, everyone f…k, ” drawls Pankaj Tripathi, delightfully droll and wickedly wise as a chawl-level ganglord. The grammatical gaffe notwithstanding, every character in the film would have to agree with Pankaj Bhaiyya. Who would dare not to?!

Look at what life rolls out for Akash Chauhan. He had just about put to rest his feelings for the brazenly materialistic Ahana (Sanya Malhotra) when a video clip of their nocturnal activities crops up on everyone’s phone. If you consider the fact that Akash has a talent for ventriloquism you would know what the couple is in for with the voyeuristic video.

Aditya Roy Kapoor is just splendid as Akash. What a fine actor he has shaped up into—physically and emotionally. Unfortunately for him he is outstaged by his colleagues Rajkummar Rao, Abhishek Bachchan and the ubiquitous scenestealer Pankaj Tripathi. These actors have never been better as they sink their hungry teeth into a plot that is genuinely funny and incisive, filled with warmth and sunshine, and replete with some of the wackiest coincidences you will see on screen on this side of Woody Allen’s cinema.

 The languorous humour and the self-deprecatory laughs go a way into making Ludo the most engaging film of the year. A pity we have to watch it at home. Ludo belongs to the big screen. It is big in plot, emotions, performances and production value. This time Anurag Basu has done the cinematography himself. He knows exactly which tonal complexion to adopt for every character. They resiliently come out as definitive decisive individuals with massive quirks and eclectic eccentricities.

Rajkummar Rao is delightful as the lovelorn multi-talented Aloo who allows himself to be happily exploited by his former girlfriend Pinky(Fatima Sana Sheikh, who wears too  much lipstick  even in the most trying times). Pinky uses Rao’s Aloo the way potatoes are  used in vegetables. This is unrequited love at its absurdest. Every time Rao weeps in a lovers’ grief we try not to laugh.

Rohit Suresh Sharaf and Pearl Maaney as two abused working-class drifters who come together in the shared bond of mutual greed don’t fall short in  trying to get our attention.Every character is memorable in his or  her highly forgettable  place in society. Every one  pines for some love and attention,  be it the  little neglected girl Mini who forms the kind of  emotional  tie with the  goon Munna that Balraj Sahni had formed with his little Mini in Kabuliwalla.

Abhishek Bachchan’s  grief –stricken  anti-social’s part was  the  part that left me the most  moved.Everyone is  on the move constantly in this fast-paced emotional rollercoaster ride about people who have seen better days. Frayed at the edges, tired and  dejected  the characters  of Ludo are waiting for redemption,  none  more so  than  the ganglord  Sattu Bhaiyya(Pankaj Tripathi who makes  every ganglord seem so  different) who lands  in the hospital with a thud and promptly  falls for  a Malayali  nurse(Shalini Vats, excellent). Together they take off  on a Boney & Clyde joyride which would drive  even the original pair into despair.

 Crazily  out of of control, these characters are driven deftly into a melee of madnesss and steered expertly  out  of  the  mess  by a director who has never been in a better place.Welcome  back, Mr Basu. Jagga Jasoos is forgiven.

Image Source: Instagram/manaz189
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