The most fascinating thing about films or any other audio-visual content is their ability to manipulate time. One of the finest popular filmmakers to play with time convincingly is Christopher Nolan. Whether successful or not, each among Inception, Interstellar and Tenet, have treated time as a character and are distinct in their treatment. Over the years, many Hindi films seem to be inspired by Nolan's storytelling, be it Ghajini or Roy or Arjun Patiala. Most of them clearly and miserably failed to do justice to time within a story structure or even the idea of time as a character. This is what Looop Lapeta gets right. It tries to play with time and the fact that it does so convincingly, is refreshing.
The film revolves begins with two lovers – Savi and Satya trying to find regular jobs and wanting to live a more settled life. Before they reach their happy ending, Satya messes up at work and now he needs Savi to save him before his gangster boss, Victor (Dibyendu Bhattacharya) chops him and cooks him like a turkey. This happens in three loops and these loops feel like three life stages, broadly – childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
In the first loop, that is the childhood stage, everything is happening for the first time, both for the characters and the audience. The first loop focuses on this naïveté, reflecting in the decisions and actions of Savi (Taapsee Pannu) and Satya (Tahir Raj Bhasin). While Savi is speaking to Satya, she is unaware of her surroundings, be it the fight happening in the room above or a pot falling from the balcony. She is too caught up with her own mess to ask her father if he is okay or not. Savi is also not confident about her love for Satya. On the other hand, Satya is unaware of the possibility that his bag could be stolen in a public bus if he loses his attention and that he should have taken a private cab instead. The brothers – Gappu (Raghav Raj Kakker) and Appu (Manik Papneja) are planning to fake a robbery at their father's jewellery store but it fails. The characters and the audience are also not prepared for Satya's death.
In the second loop, that is the adolescence stage, the characters are more aware but they are always in a hurry. This eventually makes them unprepared for everything that is about to unfold, like the stage itself. Therefore, this time Savi knows that the pot is about to fall but still is unable to stop it from falling. When her cab meets with an accident, she manages to crawl and come out of it and also notices her fellow passengers struggling but chooses to continue with her pursuit. We also come to know about the reason she is upset with her father. Although she knows she has hurt him, she still chooses to ignore it. When Julia (Shreya Dhanwanthary) shares her concerns about marriage, Savi advises her to choose the guy who can give her a comfortable life and not the one who loves her. This scene tells us that Savi does love Satya, for sure, but is just tired of dealing with the mess that comes with him. Unlike the first loop, the father (Rajendra Chawla) comes to know that the robbers are none other than his sons and slaps them. By this time in the film, the audience along with Savi and Satya, are also aware about the possibility of a shootout. Therefore, when Julia's lover, Jacob (Sameer Kevin Roy), confronts Savi with a gun, the audience and Savi are not taken aback by the possibility of Satya's death.
In the third and final loop, that is the adulthood stage, the characters and the audiences are better prepared for what's coming their way and have a more mature way of approaching it. Therefore, this time Savi manages to hold the pot before it falls on the ground. She also calls up her father and apologises to him. She helps Jacob reunite with Julia. On the other hand, Satya realises that he needs to stop burdening Savi with his problems and sort them by himself. Even the fake robbery at the jewellery store eventually succeeds and the police get involved. Savi is determined to save Satya but is also happy to see Satya trying to sort his mess, too. She also becomes confident of her love for Satya and wants to get married to him.
Director Aakash Bhatia along with his co-writers Dr. Vinay Chhawal, Ketan Pedgaonkar, Arnav Vepa Nanduri are able to successfully and convincingly adapt Run Lola Run into an Indian setting. The visuals of the film, shot by Yash Khanna, are dominated by orange and green hues. The orange hues are symbolic of the adventure that the characters are on. The green hues are symbolic of the refreshment with which the films goes from one loop to another. The dark and cluttered rooms, be it the restaurant kitchen or the cluttered bathroom or the gymnasium office or the bedrooms, are also symbolic of the chaos in the mind of all the characters. The editing by Priyank Prem Kumar and the music by Rahul Pais and Nariman Khambata, also add to that sense of chaos. Taapsee Pannu embodies Savi's restlessness with ease. Tahir Raj Bhasin is brilliant as the annoying yet endearing Satya. Looop Lapeta is one hell of a fun and trippy ride. It gets the time-bending genre right.