Abhishek Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Aditya Roy Kapur, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Rohit Suresh Saraf, Pearle Maaney, Asha Negi, Inayat Verma, and Paritosh Tripathi.
A multi-narrative film is something that director Anurag Basu could only do with courage and conviction. Add to his name some phenomenal names in his star cast, and Ludo definitely raises intrigue with the trailer. How does the film fare? Let’s find out.
Released on November 12, 2020 on streaming platform, Netflix, Ludo brings together the cast of Abhishek Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Aditya Roy Kapur, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Rohit Suresh Saraf, Pearle Maaney, Asha Negi, Inayat Verma, and Paritosh Tripathi. The killing of a guy named Bhinder, connected to the eccentric criminal Sattu (Pankaj Tripathi) leads to an intersection of various stories and people as they connect in deadly yet funny circumstances.
I have a lot to say about the storyline and how well-connected each story was. The editing, especially in the first half, is crisp and really brings together the narrative that Anurag Basu is trying to bring out. The background score does wonders for the film, especially the song that repeats itself numerous times throughout the film, “Oh Beta Ji”. Technically speaking, the sequences, especially with Abhishek Bachchan, are really well shot. Something about the way Abhishek’s face is shot gets to me every time.
That brings me to the performances, and we’ll start with Abhishek Bachchan first. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a huge Abhishek Bachchan fan. There is something endearing about him and the way he plays Bittu in Ludo is effective in that I completely empathise with him. The sequences with Inayat are just so well-done, and the moment closer to the end of the film, when he is trying to make eye contact with a little girl (no spoilers!), it brings tears down my cheeks. Rajkummar Rao needs to do an out and out commercial film because there is just so much potential in him, even after all that he has accomplished. He is endearing as Alu but he really stands out with Fatima Sana Shaikh in his troubled sequences with her. Fatima essays her character very well. Aditya Roy Kapur probably has a character that seems to suit his general body language, and he is quite effective as Akash. His chemistry with Sanya Malhotra is actually absolutely brilliant. Pankaj Tripathi constantly brings a smile to my face, and honestly, the ease with which he does what he does, baffles my mind. I wish I saw more of Asha Negi. I liked Rohit Suresh Sarah a lot as he brought out his helplessness with quite literally very little dialogue. Pearle Manney did well.
To be quite honest, I was hooked to Ludo. I would have probably wanted 20 minutes scrapped from the film – perhaps taking out a couple of the overlapping sequences, and taking some of the hospital sequences away would have worked better. Regardless, the film deserves quite a bit of praise. Anurag Basu, kudos.