Ludo: Unfolding the black comedy genre

Netflix’s Ludo is a board game trying to push larger-than-life tales that somehow fails to take off

By   |  Published: 13th Nov 2020  7:17 pm

The cast does the winded script justice. In a wrong twisted account of four relationships failing and facing huge problems, it carries shades of Mani Ratnam’s Yuva. This time there is a streak of comedy which actually proves to be chuckle worthy but disturbing the serious flow of a tale which is stated through the eyes of the narrator: Anurag Basu himself who talks about good and evil, Duryodhan and Pandavas and how there are no clear answers to abstract questions.

Like the board game the squares and the dice is cast in the lives of four different persons completely unconnected to one another. The central space of connect is Sattu Bhaiya (Pankaj Tripathi) the local goon who has his den set up with the usual side kicks but at a designer locale.

Most guys reach out to him for justice of some instant raw variety. The first couple is Aakash (Aditya Roy Kapoor) who is out to save the marriage of Shruti Choksi( Sania Malhotra) who is about to get married. The challenge is a blue film clipping involving Aakash and Shruti that has gone public. The care free couple are on the road to save the marriage and track the source of the clipping.

Pinky (Fatima Sana Sheikh) is happily married to Manohar Jain (Paritosh Tripati) or so she believes. She smells a rat and tries to get to the truth only to land in fresh trouble. Aloo aka Alok (Rajkummar Rao) who is madly in love with her would do anything to save her though each attempt is as futile and disastrous as the earlier one.

Freshly employed Rahul Awasti (Rohit Suresh Saraf) has no roof to live under and a job where he is constantly harassed by the floor manager. He runs into this nurse Srija Thomas (Pearle Maaney)

Then comes the most morbid experience of Bitto (Abhishek Bachchan) and his estranged wife Asha (Asha Negi) and is fighting hard to get to seeing his daughter Ruhi. He runs into Minnie (Inayat Varma) who plans a kidnap to garner the attention of her busy parent. All at some stage run into Satto Bhaiya who himself is on the run. He in turn is hospitalised under the care of nurse Kutti Latha (Shalini Vatsa)

In a criss cross of the characters and their fate, Anurag tries to hard sell the tale of how there is a streak of evil in most of us and how we are all on the run. It’s bright spots notwithstanding the narrative is tedious and you are required to follow it up carefully. The past present delineation is often confusing.

Most of the actors in this heavily cast film perform well, except for Rohit Suresh who looks stoned. Fatima Sana Shiek too has a single expression thorough the run of the narrative. Noteworthy are the cameos from the likes of Pearle Maaney, Shalini Vatsa, Ishtiyaar Khan (as the Inspector).

Rajkummar Rao tries his best to be a Mithun fan and would being honest to himself agree that this is not among his better outing. Aditya Roy Kapoor is out again as the jilted lover. After a sabbatical Abhishek cries for attention and plays an intense role. The film is worth seeing for his performance and that of Aditya Roy Kapoor.

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