Lakshmi- Undoubtedly the bravest film you will watch this year!

It takes serious guts to even think of attempting a film like Lakshmi, let alone make it. And this is why I have developed a new found respect for Nagesh Kukunoor. The man who seemed to have lost his way in the last few years, returns with a film which I assure will knock the socks off you. A story of a 14 year old girl doomed to a life of flesh trade and her triumphant emergence amidst the debris is the stuff legends are made of. And for that very reson alone, Lakshmi is a legendary film.
The film narrates the journey of 14 year old Lakshmi (Monali Thakur in top form in her debut) who is sold by her father into a life you wouldn’t wish for your worst enemy. Chinna (Nagesh Kukunoor) who is the devil incarnate himself is the man who buys her along with few other girls. He is the younger brother of a politician (Satish Kaushik in form after years) who runs a brothel in the garb of a ladies hostel. The film displays in graphic detail Lakshmi’s transformation from a child woman to a prostitute. She finds solace in the brothel headmistress (Shefali Shah in a terrific role) and her roommate who understand her pain. As she gets used to the life of a sex worker, she never really lets go her ambition to break free and when a NGO guy comes to the rescue of her and other brothel girls, it is only Lakshmi who stands up for a fight. And along with her lawyer (Ram Kapoor in a terrific cameo), Lakshmi shows the world that its not the age which matters, it’s the mileage.
The gut wrenching story of Lakshmi which is supposedly a true story has been narrated in a o holds barred manner by Nagesh Kukunoor which makes it such a riveting watch. And the performances he extracts out of his star cast is just fantastic. In fact it wouldn’t be erroneous to say that this is the finest cast ensemble we have seen in a film this year. And the production design which adds to the agony is top-notch. The grime, the filth of a brothel has been duly replicated. And the music by Tapas Relia is strength of the film. Never really interfering and just flowing with the film, the songs leave an indelible impression. Nagesh Kukunoor manages to do the double whammy here. His acting is incredible in the film. To transform from the soft spoken director we know of to the monster he portrays in the film is insanely good. But it is Monali Thakur who takes your breath away as the titular Lakshmi. If it was her voice which won me over in chartbusters like Sawaar Loon and Zara Zara Touch me, its her acting which I have fallen for this time.
Lakshmi is a film which should be made a mandatory watch. It’s a film with a heart and soul and most importantly, it doesn’t shy away from calling a spade a spade. This is cinema in its truest sense.

One thought on “Lakshmi- Undoubtedly the bravest film you will watch this year!

  1. Am proud of the opportunity I got to play an important role in LAKSHMI and be part of such wonderful film. Thanks Nagesh and Elahe

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