You know it is not a tale of this day and age, when the female protagonist in a movie cherishes the mundane act of watching her object of desire shave, secretly through a laced window in her room, while the radio plays “taqdeer se, bigadi hui” from the classic Baazi. Lootera stole my heart in many such delicious moments forged by its creator, adapting only partially the masterpiece once written by O’Henry.
Lootera recreates a time lost in cinema and in life, using nostalgia as the canvas for a simple story of love and its inevitable tragedy .Because where in 2013, do we have the patience and perseverance to sit through the spiel of stolen glances, of concealed smiles and accidental touches. Because rarely in Hindi cinema, we ever experience a build-up of an emotional intimacy. Because in Bollywood, most often, boy meets girl and love happens on auto-pilot or in between a song in an exotic location. But Lootera takes no such short-cuts and we are treated to all of these details- the glances and smiles, the silences and purposeless chatter, pauses and the heartbeat, the euphoria and melancholy – the flesh and blood of any relationship off-screen. Almost every moment becomes a song- sometimes a celebration for the first rush of love in Sawaar Lun or a requiem for a love betrayed in Shikayatein.
You know that it is a superlative work of art, when you become immersed in a film that stars two of your least favorite actors in contemporary times. Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha disappear into the landscape painted by Motwaane, never to surface again as the characters you knew them as thus far. Motwane offers them no crutches – no exquisite clothes or dance numbers, just the depth with which their parts have been etched out and they gently invite you to their sepia colored world making you long for the love of the days of yore.
In cinema of our times, where we are contributing to a 100-crore churner at the box-office every Friday, regardless of the content, Lootera comes as a reminder of how as an audience we have come to settle for less and less, year after year. How little have we come to expect from our cinema which once had the capacity to tickle us, move us or make our hearts ache in remembrance of our own lost love. A time when there were sparse technical tools available to film-makers and story-telling had to be the main show in the deal. The lost time of Guru Dutt-Waheeda Rehman and such. Lootera comes as a reminder of what cinema could be, if only we were a greedier audience.
Watch Lootera – because we have all once loved and lost. If not a person, then a time that never will be.