Laapataa Ladies Movie Review: Kiran Rao Directs Us Towards The Follies Of The Ghoonghat

Laapataa Ladies Movie Review: Kiran Rao's directorial venture releases in theatres on March 1. It stars newcomers Pratibha Ranta and Nitanshi Goel with Sparsh Shrivastava, and an outstanding Ravi Kishan.

Share this Article

Laapataa Ladies

Critic's Ratings

starstarstarstarstar

4

Comedy,Drama

Release Date

Mar 1, 2024

Duration

2 hr 2 mins
Laapataa Ladies Movie Review Kiran Rao Directs Us Towards The Follies Of The Ghoonghat
Laapataa Ladies Movie Review, Rating, Cast, Budget, Release Date, Trailer

About Laapataa Ladies

Laapataa Ladies Movie Review: The parda has always been a thing of intrigue - both literally and metaphorically. In its translucent garb, it conceals - and therefore, protects - both honour and grave secrets. Parde mein, therefore, rehne do, parda naa uthao. Yet Kiran Rao dares to be-parda the very parda system in her carefully crafted witty tale of two brides - women - and expose its follies in Laapataa Ladies. The hilarious small-town drama stars Pratibha Ranta, Nitanshi Goel, Sparsh Shrivastava, Ravi Kishan, among others, and releases in theatres on March 1. She, with the help of writers Sneha Desai, Biplab Goswami, and Divyanidhi Sharma, also masterfully conceals several social issues, which, she urges you to lift the veil and see. Will you?

Laapataa Ladies Plotline

A second-class train compartment is packed with several pairs of newlyweds - the women indistinguishable in their naval-length ghoonghats. The train reaches a screeching halt in the wee hours of the morning, our male protagonist grabs his new bride - still veiled behind the ghoonghat - and hurries off, lest the train starts moving and he misses his station. A tuktuk and a bus-ride later, the couple is greeted by band, baaja and some baarati, who escort them home. The tiny village awakens to dhol beats and sounds of 'Bahu aayi hai'. The elders bless the couple, the kids tail them all along the way, until they reach their ghar ka aangan, where the saas and sasur welcome them with pooja ki thali. The saas declares 'ghoonghat nikal do, yahan sab gharwale hai' in an attempt to make the young bride comfortable. She does, to unanimous gasps. She isn't the right girl.
.
The endearing and vulnerable Sparsh Shrivastava, the pati, our male protagonist, is speechless. He realises what he has done - in the darkness of the night, and tricked by that naval-length ghoonghat - he had grabbed the wrong woman's hand. he called it 'tamboo jaisa ghoonghat', and we agree! He's not only bhagaoed kisi aur ki biwi, he's actually left his wife, Phool (played by Nitanshi Goel) behind, alone, penniless on a train. In front of him stands Jyoti (played by Pratibha Ranta), equally helpless.
.
Laapataa Ladies' simple bride-swap story rests upon the fact that it is set in the Hindi heartland (shot in Madhya Pradesh, while the story takes place in the fictional Nirmal Pradesh) in the year 2000-01, much before smartphones, social media and WhatsApp penetrated our lives. How does one go looking for a missing person? You contact the police. But then the cops are known for their reluctance to move their behinds and their affinity for under-the-table income (played to perfection by the supremely talented Ravi Kishan).
.
On the other hand, our missing bride, Phool, finds herself on another platform in another station, in another village called Pateela, alone, unprotected. She scrambles from pillar to post looking for her husband, fails to find him, gets briefly chased by lecherous men, hides behind a penguin Use Me (dustbin), until she finally manages to catch her breath and let it all sink in. She is lost. She has no money, no clothes, no address, no phone, and it is frowned upon for women to speak their husband's names, so she won't.

Laapataa Ladies Direction And Writing

Kiran Rao, with the help of writers Sneha Desai, Biplab Goswami, and Divyanidhi Sharma, weaves a simple yet intricate story, carefully exposing the follies of our age-old customs. Starting off with the ghoonghat, designed to protect the honour of the women of the house, so to speak, that eventually becomes the very catalyst that sets this chain reaction in motion. We slowly dive into deeper issues of how women are raised to be wives - learning to ensure the roti is round but not to read or memorise the address they might be travelling to. Assuming, of course, they will always be under the protection of the men in their lives. But, what if like Phool, one finds oneself stranded?
.
But Kiran Rao approaches the subject lightly, keep it goofy, and presents a back-handed critique of the system that men and women have created in the name of society. She does not get preachy, finger-pointy or melodramatic. The comedy in Laapataa Ladies is also restrained, not allowing it to tilt towards slapstick. You do burst out laughing in certain scenes, but she doesn't want to evoke the ha-has, really. She wants to show you the farce and follies of our own system, and tell a kissa, hoping you will find the kahaani behind it.
.
At every juncture, Kiran introduces characters that stand as foils to this very flawed system. The abandoned Phool finds a well-wisher in a man, a complete stranger, who works at the station's only tea kiosk, who takes her into his kholi and gives her a warm bed to sleep that night. She finds a well-wisher, mentor and inspiration in Manju Mai (played sternly but sensitively by the talented Chhaya Kadam), the owner of the tea stall, a self-made, middle-aged woman running her own business, who also happens to be husbandless.
.
On the other hand, when we eventually realise Jyoti was married off against her will to an abusive man leading her to believe all husbands must be like this, she meets Deepak (Sparsh), an honest and simple man who loves Phool, misses her and will do anything to find her.
.
Kiran Rao also masterfully uses totems to first establish a stereotype and then smash it down. Like the penguin Use Me Phool hides behind, for she's been reared to be 'used' in ghar-grihastha, or the little cat in Manju Mai's kholi, self-sufficient, licking her paws, all snuggled up in her alone-ness and not loneliness, just like Manju herself. All strung together like pearls in a beautiful necklace called Laapataa Ladies.

Laapataa Ladies Performances

Newcomers Pratibha Ranta and Nitanshi Goel deserve your attention in Laapataa Ladies. It works in their favour that both their roles are strongly author-backed. And complementing the nurturing they receive in the writing, they blossom like two delicate flowers on the screen. Sparsh Shrivastava made a thunderous impact in the Netflix series, Jamtara. But here he tugs at your heartstrings. His helplessness pours out of his rather expressive eyes and even his dishevelled hair. You feel sorry for him and hope everything is alright for him by the end of the film.
.
It would be unfair to say a seasoned actor like Ravi Kishan takes the cake in Laapataa Ladies, considering the three other primary characters are so young and so promising. But he does. And for the aam junta who has watched Ravi Kishan on screen - laughed and cried with him - this is a firm and quite frankly a jolting reminder that there is nothing that this actor cannot do. The flavour he brings goes beyond the meticulously written dialogues in the script. It is simply his own secret masala.
.
Kiran Rao, over a cup of tea, told us that the success of a film like 12th Fail gives her hope as a maker that a Laapataa Ladies can hold its ground at the box office. We hope that Laapataa Ladies stirs up a storm.
End of Article

Latest Movies

DogMan Review Luc Besson-Caleb Landry Jones Dog Revenge Saga Is Both Odd And Oddly Satisfying

Caleb Landry Jones,Jojo T Gibbs,Christopher Denham,John Charles Aguilar

Critic's Rating

starstarstarstarstar

4

Drama,Crime,Thriller

1 hr 54 mins

Bastar The Naxal Story Review - Of Agony Misplaced Anger And Hidden Agendas

Adah Sharma,Yashpal Sharma,Naman Jain,Raima Sen,Shilpa Shukla

Critic's Rating

starstarstarstarstar

2

Action,Crime,Drama

2 hr 8 mins

news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news