Director: Anurag Basu
Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra & Pankaj Tripathi
Written by: Anurag Basu & Samrat Chakraborty
Streaming On: Netflix
LUDO is the story of a few characters coming together and crisscrossing, with Sattu (Pankaj Tripathi),a dreaded gangster connecting them all together. The film starts off with him committing a murder. From here, the stories of the other characters, running parallel to this slowly begin to unravel. Akash (Aditya Roy Kapoor) and Ahana (Sanya Malhotra) find themselves in a pickle after a video of them having sex goes viral, just before Ahana was about to get married to someone else. Akash approaches Sattu to help him out of this pickle. At the same time, an ex-convict, Bittu (Abhishek Bachchan) is released from prison after 6 years, only to find his wife has moved on. To top it, he has been summoned by Sattu bhai to meet him. Parallel to this, Pinky (Sana Fatima Shaikh) finds that his husband has been accused of the murder which had been committed by Sattu bhai (a fact unknown to her) and approaches her childhood love Alok aka Alu (Rajkummar Rao) to help bail him out. Besides them, a down on luck salesman, Rahul (Rohit Saraf) and a nurse who is repeatedly bullied at work, Sheeja (Pearle Maney) have their lives turned around when they’re held hostage by Sattu to help him out. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
The film is excellent on paper and that excellency *almost* translates on to the screen. Being an Anurag Basu film, it wasn’t surprising to find a lot of expectations from this one, especially after how impressive the trailer was. To sum up the film, it delivers on the expectations and fully entertains you. But despite that, the film has its downside where it feels like a lot of things are happening and too many characters to look out for. The film’s pacing was its biggest drawback. It started off well but soon it was losing the pace.
Technically, the film is great. Anurag Basu and Rajesh Shukla have done a wonderful job with the cinematography; the film’s visuals gave a trademark Anurag Basu vibe. Editing by Ajay Sharma is decent, although you wonder if he could have done to improve the film’s pacing, as it seemed very inconsistent. The music in the film by Pritam is nice, but isn’t of the chartbuster variety. Although, his work on the BGM seems far better than on the music. The costume design and the production design are brilliantly done and seem realistic.
Performances in the film are great too. Abhishek Bachchan gives a fine performance, although the character development doesn’t seem upto the mark. Pankaj Tripathi is in form, as usual. Despite him playing a gangster again, he has made this role seem different to his other roles. So kudos to him on that, as well as the writing. Aditya Roy Kapur plays his part well and does seem apt for the role. Rajkummar Rao is at his brilliant best. Sanya Malhotra does well. Fatima Sana Sheikh leaves a mark. Rohit Saraf has a good screen presence. Pearle Maney makes a wonderful debut. The rest of the cast offer good support.
Director Anurag Basu delivers an entertaining film despite its flaws and gets some terrific performances from his ensemble cast.