STORY: Several stories with different characters take place simultaneously, only to cross paths in the end. At the center of it all is a notorious criminal, Sattu Bhaiya.
REVIEW: Anurag Basu's 'Ludo' which combines characters, stories and genres begins with a neatly written by Sattu Bhaiya (Pankaj Tripathi). Then, as the same stories and characters appear, so do various other situations. Akash (Aditya Roy Kapoor) and Ahana (Sanya Malhotra) found themselves in a quandary when they discovered that their video clip with the *** was already in the blood of the internet. Since Ahana's wedding was scheduled for a few days with another man, they tried to reach this end. On the other hand, a former prisoner, Bittu (Abhishek Bachchan) is released from prison after six years to see if his wife and young daughter have progressed.
At the same time, when his fiancée, Pinky (Sana Fatima Shaikh) finds out that her husband has been accused of ******, she runs to her childhood sweetheart, Alok aka Alu (Rajkummar Rao) to help with bail and get out.
And elsewhere, a low-income fortune teller, Rahul (Rohit Saraf) and a repeatedly abused nurse at work, Sheja (Pearle Maney) continue their days, unaware that their lives will soon change dramatically.
At first, ‘Ludo’ seems to be hitting on a lovely basis. A catchy opening track, a compelling start and a quirky construction are able to set an interesting tone. Then, as more characters are introduced prominently in each backstory, they slowly slip into pieces of the puzzle - the speed unfortunately begins to decline. And that can be one of the biggest challenges in the film because as it tries to get into all the stories and characters, the story begins to overflow. So before one can fully plant a character, the string is left to move on to something else. And that too at the speed of mitigation, by the narrator (Anurag Basu) makes the appearance of the all-encompassing and meditative on morality and the conflict between what is sin and virtue. Cinematic therapy, however, has some Basu signatures on the trademark - the blues and reds hues, the play of the lamp and the shadow that sets the visual tone (cinematography - Anurag Basu). There is a black comic doll, a sweet romantic aid and various other characters thrown into them unknowingly. Background and soundtrack (Pritam), no doubt softens the processes.
Combined actors make some reliable games - Pankaj Tripathi is pretty honest and obviously enjoyed playing a badass criminal. A picture of Rajkummar fan Rao Mithun is a hat and brings a lovely touch to it without getting hammy. Abhishek Bachchan made an impact like Bittu. Fatima Sana Shaikh as a humble part, which is part of what makes Pinky happy, is a revelation. Sanya Malhotra and Aditya Roy Kapoor hold hands well for certain moments of their love. Rohit Saraf who has a few conversations but has an interesting track record. And Pearle Maney leaves a picture.
'Ludo' has some sparkling moments, some edgy, quirky and live with you, but it also has some subdued ones and some seem silly and unsatisfactory. The screenplay (Anurag Basu) disperses and travels in the middle of the road but if one is unable to climb over those bumps (during a two-and-a-half-hour operation which may seem too soft), ****** ties it all up neatly, including -quassessential badass quotient and surprises included. Watch this one with its remarkable games and its fascinating mix of character characters. In the end 'Ludo' tries to make a bigger point about judging anyone by the decisions they make.
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