Looop Lapeta Review: Tahir Raj Bhasin plays second fiddle but never fails to hit the right notes. Looop Lapeta is also enlivened by the supporting acts, especially by Manik Papneja and Raghav Raj Kakker.
Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Hani Yadav, Gaurav Pareek, Manik Papneja and Rajendra Chawla
Director: Aakash Bhatia
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)
No matter from where one chooses to begin, a loop is a loop, a globular entity that entraps and enervates. In Looop Lapeta – the loop in the title has three o’s to denote the triptych that constitutes the comic thriller – it also suggests the cycle of life that two down-on-luck lovers want to control, if not wriggle out of.
Given what it is dealing with, Looop Lapeta has a legitimate reason to go round in circles although when the heroine runs – she does so not for her own life but for her trouble-prone boyfriend’s – she is on a course that is more zigzag than circular within each of the three time-loops she has to contend with.
Part wild, wacky and wickedly witty, part flabby, flip and flimsy, this flighty ‘remake’ of a German thriller from a quarter-century ago is a film engaged in a futile search for contemporary relevance. But, then, how many searches in life yield results that can be predicted and moderated?
That is the question that Tom Tykwer’s Run Lola Run (1998) had posed in 80 taut, whip-smart minutes where every split-second and every swerve counted. Aakash Bhatia’s Looop Lapeta, out on Netflix, also keeps a count of the minutes as they tick away, but it grants itself several detours that take the film across the two-hour mark without adding much abiding value to the original concept.
Yes, every choice that one makes matters. The one aimed at throwing extra sauce into the concoction isn’t particularly salutary. To account for the added runtime, the screenplay (credited to four writers – Vinay Chhawal, Ketan Pedgaonkar, Akash Bhatia and Arnav Vepa Nanduri) also factors in the quandaries of a heartbroken cabbie and his about-to-be-married girlfriend.
Nor is that all. Looop Lapeta also pulls into its fold a Punjabi jeweller who runs a business establishment in the heart of Goa and must deal with two sons who want to rob his store at the point of a fake gun. The boys mask up and devise ways to barge into the shop and make off with the jewels without letting their old man know who they are. Tall order that!
The cabbie’s story is primarily about his girlfriend who dangles between the man she loves and the call centre executive she is about to marry. She must make up her mind quickly because time is fast running out. Her predicament, like that of the two lead characters, conveys the film’s pivotal philosophy: haste isn’t a waste and no experience is useless.
A feckless young man, Satya (Tahir Raj Bhasin), lands in big trouble when he loses a large sum of money that he has to deliver to his mobster-boss Victor (Dibyendu Bhattacharya). He turns to his girlfriend Savi (Taapsee Pannu) for help. Her life, too, is a mess – she has just discovered that she is pregnant without wanting to be – but she is a woman endowed with the ability to think on her feet.
It helps that she is fleet-footed to boot. An athlete whose dreams of being a champion has been stymied by an injury, Savi runs and runs and runs when Satya makes a hash of a simple delivery. Three scenarios play out one after another with different outcomes but the vicissitudes of fate and the choices and decisions that Savi and Satya only aggravate matters.