"Lootera" is a lovingly crafted rarity, a big budget Bollywood offering that makes no compromises and sticks to conviction. Meticulous to detail, richly photographed and lavishly mounted this is a piece of work that not only is a feast to the eye but tugs at your heart strings and does it rather painfully. Varun (Ranveer Singh) and Palkhi's (Sonakshi Sinha) love story is touching, poignant and heart breaking and as good as it gets for any romantic. Sonakshi and Ranveer carry their roles extremely well, particularly Sonakshi as the mischievous and spoilt Palkhi who's world turns upside after she falls in love with the mysterious Varun. The two are ably supported by veteran Barun Chanda, Arif Zakaria and Divya Dutta along side a scene stealing turn by Vikrant Massey as Deb, Varun's associate.
The cinematography is sheer poetry with the 1950s sets painstakingly created to such authentic detail. The whole idea behind the film seems to have germinated from O Henry's short story "The Last Leaf" whose story however only takes up the last act. The film is a testament to how much Hindi Cinema has evolved over the last few years with the advent of a niche market known as the classes. Just as I was beginning to warm up to the idea of looking forward to more such gems I was rudely brought back to reality in the form of a three minute drivel - the trailer of "Chennai Express" - Hindi Cinema is not entirely out of the doldrums - atleast not yet as long as there still is an audience for the likes of "Shower Rock Can" and co. There is hope though in the form a new brigade of film makers such as Tigmanshu Dhulia, Sujoy Ghosh, Reema Kagti, Dibankar Banerjee and ofcourse Anurag Kashyap, in the meantime I am going to check out Vikramaditya Motwane's first venture "Udaan".