Looop Lapeta is a Netflix Original Bollywood remake of Run Lola Run, directed by Aakash Bhatia. If you don’t know anything about this film, I’m not going to reveal its greater premise, as I believe the initial shock value is a massive part of what makes the movie work as well as it does. But essentially, it begins with former professional and all-star runner, hobbled by a career-ending fall, Savi (Taapsee Pannu) finding out she’s pregnant and moments later, receiving a frantic phone call from her boyfriend, Satya (Tahir Raj Bhasin). He’s managed to get himself into some trouble with his boss after losing a giant bag of cash he’s meant to return to him in less than 80 minutes. Savi and Satya race to recover the money before it’s too late.
What I love the most about this movie above all is its directing and editing. It does such a great job merging comedic timing and line readings with creative cutaways and other camera trickery. Were it not for these elements, the film would have probably fallen as flat as Savi. But with good callbacks, a touch of absurdity, a willingness to take the action in virtually any unexpected direction conceivable, and some of the best “what’s on the cellphone” graphics I’ve seen, Looop Lapeta has the clear influence of a Bollywood action comedy but with unique filming and timing.
My biggest struggle with the movie, at first, was with Satya. Frankly, he sucks. And before I got a grasp of what kind of movie this was going to become, I was bracing for a dull romance. He reminds me too much of pretty much every smarmy, conventionally attractive man who thinks they can get away with anything. But it turns out, that’s kind of the point, and you’re not supposed to like him all that much. Savi’s attraction to Satya is based largely on the fact that he isn’t just the middle-of-the-road type. Over the course of the movie, you actually grow to feel guilty that you hated him so much from the jump, especially as Savi has this exact conversation with her father throughout the story (K.C. Shankar). He’s still annoying, but you grow to laugh at him with some endearment.
Another one of Looop Lapeta’s strongest elements is its music. A great soundtrack gets you pumped up whenever the movie is on the run and some slow moments whenever you’re meant to catch your breath and take things more seriously. The multiple overlapping side plots, including two bumbling brothers trying to rob their father, a bride-to-be in love with another man, and Savi’s father’s new boyfriend, each provide the movie’s more tender moments as well as great comedic relief at once. The frantic pace of everything refuses to let anything stay too serious for long, but at the same time, the drama and emotion these scenes bring help to round out the movie fully.
Of course, nothing about the film would even work if it didn’t have a good lead, and Pannu certainly is one. While her character isn’t necessarily deep, nor is the story as a whole, she still manages to bring depth to her emotions as this non-stop film takes her to every corner of emotion there is. Really, the cast as a whole was quite good, with some obvious colorism issues aside, as it was rounded out by the pure comedy of Bhupesh Bandekar, Raghav Raj Kakker, and Manik Papneja as a try-hard cop and the aforementioned brothers respectively; as well as the satisfyingly menacing Dibyendu Bhattacharya as Satya’s boss Victor and an excellent and emotional monologue by Shreya Dhanwanthary as the forlorn bride-to-be.
Looop Lapeta is a fresh take on an always intriguing genre of movies, bolstered by its comedic timing, sharp direction, and editing. Its various overlapping plots and characters are each endearing in their own ways and altogether make for a very enjoyable, fast-paced action-comedy.
Looop Lapeta is streaming now on Netflix.
Looop Lapeta is a fresh take on an always-intriguing genre of movies, bolstered by its comedic timing, sharp direction, and editing. Its various overlapping plots and characters are each endearing in their own ways and altogether make for a very enjoyable, fast-paced action-comedy.