Laapataa Ladies Movie Review

Rahul Desai

Solid, Feel-good Storytelling

This is by no means a pathbreaking story. What it is, however, is solid feel-good storytelling. The fundamentals are sound: The balance between levity and gravity, commentary and one-liners, milieu and escapism, urban gaze and hinterland candour.

A Convoluted but Sweet Chaos

It’s also another example of post-pandemic film-making that stays still – and straightforward – because it knows that the average viewer is the one in motion. 

Stagey but Utopian Humour

In other words, Kiran Rao’s second feature revels in a back-to-basics simplicity.  You can see it coming from miles away, but there’s an old-school appeal about a satisfying payoff. A predictable but well-performed conflict.

The Smaller Details are so Sincere that it Hurts

The symbolism of “blooming” – read: blossoming, maturing, coming of age – is scattered across the film. Both names Phool and Pushpa translate to ‘flower’; Deepak means ‘light’ or ‘lamp’; the village that Phool can’t remember is called Surajmukhi (sunflower).

In Praise of Optimism

The freshest aspect of Laapataa Ladies – apart from its cast – is its measured ode to change. For starters, it acknowledges that patriarchy cannot be ‘smashed’ – and that the cinematic flourish of feminism need not be the antidote to deep-set chauvinism.

All it Offers are Colourful Pills

Painkillers, cough syrups and truth-steam inhalations. The design is unpretentious. The intent is honest. The wit is situational. The imperfections are human. The limits are respected. And it doesn’t pretend to be an open-heart surgery of sexism; Rome wasn’t ‘solved’ in a day.