Lootcase movie review: This half-baked comedy squanders away its wealth of talent
Lootcase movie review: Kunal Kemmu, Rasika Dugal, Ranvir Shorey’s talents are wasted in this film, which is not even trying to be funny.Updated: Jul 31, 2020 19:57 IST
Director: Rajesh Krishnan
Cast: Kunal Kemmu, Rasika Dugal, Ranvir Shorey, Vijay Raaz, Gajraj Rao
First time director Rajesh Krishnan said that he wanted ‘actors’ for his film Lootcase, not just pretty faces. He said he was willing to wait to find the right fits for the characters, even if it took two years. To his good fortune, he scored every actor on his wish list immediately. However, not so fortunately for the actors, it may not have been the best decision they made.
Watch Lootcase trailer:
Lootcase employs the talents of Rasika Dugal, Ranvir Shorey, Gajraj Rao and Vijay Raaz, all of whom are among the best actors working in the country. After Delhi Crime, Manto, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Titli, Badhaai Ho, Monsoon Wedding and Gully Boy, it’s obvious why they were on Krishnan’s wish list. But the film gives them little leeway to showcase their talent, looking instead like an uninspired job done on the side. Even Kunal Kemmu’s efforts—who seemingly had a tonne of fun playing the lead—appear wasted thanks to the halfway intelligent script.
Kemmu plays Nandan Kumar, a technician at the printing press, with a nagging wife—played by Duggal—and no money to keep her happy. They live with their son in a tiny flat in Mumbai where sugar, flour and patience runs out quite quickly. They can’t always pay the rent or think about recreational family time beyond the monthly visit to the Chinese food stall. But after you witness their happy dates over manchow soup and a healthy, regular sex life, things do not seem desperate enough to need intervention by a suitcase full of cash.
But just like an urgent need to pee in the street, the suitcase arrives in Nandan’s life, bringing him immediate release from his misery. However, neither the street nor the suitcase are his to claim. It belongs to a wicked politician, played by Gajraj Rao. He employs two goons to transport the money across the city when they are attacked by the members of a rival gang, the leader of which is played by Vijay Raaz. After a messy shootout, the gangs make a run for their lives, away from approaching police, leaving the bag lousily hidden on the sidewalk. This is when Nandan chances upon it. Feigning a moral code, he asks an empty road if the bag belongs to anyone and make a run for it a second later.
Once securely in his arms, he makes the suitcase his side squeeze. He gives her a name, pays her daily visits, keeps her existence a secret from his wife, has long conversations with her and even loads her with kisses. Nouveau riche Nandan begins spending crunchy Rs 2000 notes with little caution despite his wife’s growing suspicion. On the other side, the minister has coaxed cop Ranvir Shorey to find the missing suitcase. Now as many as three different parties are looking for Nandan and the suitcase full of cash.
The cat-and-mouse chase and the sudden wealth in the hands of the unprivileged has often made for great comedy in Hindi cinema. Hera Pheri, Malamaal Weekly and Khosla Ka Ghosla are among the prime examples of the same. But the writing on Lootcase is so mediocre that humour is hard to come by. Not just the dialogues, even the characters themselves are written with lazy, empty motifs that never serve the story. Vijay Raaz’ goon leader likes to show off his knowledge of the animal world, Gajraj Rao believes in gaslighting every person he meets and it all gets tiring by their second appearance in the film itself.
On a macro level, the film never challenges themes of class divide or fighting against one’s morals. Even characters are largely cliches. The righteous wife is nagging and the goon cannot be trusted, the politician is wicked and the cop is violent.
One interesting aspect of the film is how it shows us the true intentions of Nandan behind bringing the bag home. In a fight with his wife, he puts the blame squarely on her and her aspirations in life. But we saw how he almost humps the suitcase with affection so perhaps that reasoning never really lands. Later in the film, Nandan is faced with the same dilemma again, which is how we learn of his true self.
Lootcase is almost unwatchable but for the actors it boasts of. They have a tonne of fun with the little they have been given by the unintelligent, unexciting script. We just wish director Krishnan has made better use of the treasure he landed on.
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