Looop Lapeta: A Refreshingly Entertaining Concept

Looop Lapeta: A Refreshingly Entertaining Concept

Looop Lapeta, an official remake of the 1998 German film Run Lola Run,  is highly engaging with good comic reliefs and has surprising heartwarming moments. While it is not a masterpiece, it is definitely worth watching  ( maybe even re-watching) for its refreshingly entertaining concept. 

Following the idea of hyper-narrative, we see three different scenarios of Savi (played by the excellent Taapsee Pannu) trying to save her boyfriend Satya (enacted by the impactful Tahir Raj Bhasin). Savi, who used to be hurdles track and field athlete and is now a caretaker of a disabled old man, has to run against a stipulated time to procure a large sum of money to save her boyfriend, Satya, who does pretty much nothing apart from aiming for short cuts (gambling in casinos). 

How she manages to get the huge amount of money i.e., 50 lakhs in about 70 mins is divided into three scenarios where we see a diversity in her decision making and the consequences of those decisions. Choosing between finding the lost money, to beg or borrow money, or to rob a jewelry shop. Not getting the money would lead to major actions being taken by the mobster whose money Satya has lost. This crossroad of confusion is what the suspense-thriller entails.

In a 2 hours 17 minutes long film, these three scenarios are neatly wrapped while giving backstories and additional narratives of certain key characters to make the scenarios more entertaining. When the various character lines merge into the storyline to form a circular loop is the highlight of the film. There were various times that I screamed and showed amazement at the proceedings of the film. 

Therefore, the script writing is highly engaging keeping the audience's attention and interest heightened till the very end. The dialogues were slightly boring, repetitive, and came across as borderline annoying. They served the purpose of helping the story progress, but not in the most effective or amusing way. For example, the repetition of the amount of the 50 lakhs multiple times by multiple characters seemed like a long stretch. 

The writers intelligently incorporated the mythological story of Satyavan and Savitri to foreshadow the eventual happenings of the film. The subtlety prevalent in this foreshadowing was quite unique and refreshing. This amalgamation is definitely a good move to make the complicated hyper-narrative movie a relatively easy watch for the common audience. Quite evidently the lead characters were named Satya and Savi for the referencing of the mythological story to work perfectly.

(No, nobody is going to get 50 lakhs for cracking this. Sigh) 

While we are at it, does the title have three Os because there are three narratives in the film? This might be a stretch and a mere coincidence, but if it was intentional, it was a pretty smart move.

(I took more than 70 minutes to figure this out so I am clearly not exiting the looop)

The background music was extremely experimental and definitely stood out. The track used for opening the three different narratives was an amazing fusion of Marathi lyrics being sung in a Spanish accent. There were other rap-influenced tracks and even a typical Hindi movie slow song in the concluding moments. This is a mixed bag of fresh and riveting music played out well for the suspense thriller. Tapping the senses effectively, it helped in changing moods and perspectives when required while keeping us completely absorbed by the movie all the time.

The editing and cinematography were executed well to heighten tension. The camera technique of moving in on the character while zooming out the background was used at key moments to bring out a sense of confusion, stress, or a character being dazed. Another montage of contrast between Savi's eyes and Satya's mouth and vice versa was appealing to the eye. The rotational camera movement and edit jumps helped to show a recap and the beginning of a new narrative in an entertaining way. The moment the rotational shots would start, I would feel a strong rush of intrigue to know how the next narrative would unfold. 

The animated sequence which provides a background to Savi was an interesting way to skip a flashback montage. The use of animation and double role in the typical ‘looking in the mirror motivation speech’ took away the cliche from it and made the scene more emotionally resonating.

Since it is a film based on the concept of hyper-narrative, it is important to acknowledge how tricky the concept is. It banks itself on the intellect and keen attention of the audience. Such a narrative usually requires a deliberate cognitive engagement of the audience because they need to remember the premise and the different components of the multiple narratives. By using the repetition technique, the makers have taken care of the involvement of finer details that might skip the audience's minds. The makers have also started every narrative from the same crucial point which helps the viewer to track back the whole premise and ensure a lack of confusion.

Even though the original filmmaker, Tom Tykwer, deserves to be applauded for such prodigious thinking and clarity in execution, the maker of Looop Lapeta, Akash Bhatia did an exemplary execution too.

The acting by Taapsee Pannu is refined and does justice to the character. Her moments with her father were really well performed. She has certain nuances, like a small glance or a suppressed smile which tend to remain memorable. Since Looop Lapeta is an adaptation of Run Lola Run, naturally it is driven by the female protagonist. Therefore, Taapsee had more to play with because her character had more realism, layering, and grounding. 

On the other hand, Tahir Raj Bhasin was charming and impactful. With his performance as a supporting character,  it was quite evident that the actor has more capability to himself. Hopefully, he will be casted in meatier roles in the future and be given more character context to work with. 

Writers could have given more depth to Satya's character than making him a unidimensional dependent gambler boyfriend whose name could be easily spelled as “l o s e r”. However, kudos to the writers for making the other eminent characters, influencing the narratives, humorous. They have peculiar character traits which will really draw you into the camaraderie of all the characters while they are constantly crossing each other’s path. The mobster’s catchphrase “if you know what I mean” or the fact that the jeweler’s sons being dumb in a hilarious way to help the strategically placed comic reliefs.

The costume design and apparel of Taapsee Pannu and Tahir Raj Bhasin were quirky and went well with their characters. The ringlets in Taapsee’s hair were definitely attractive and fashionable. Also, it was good that the reference to time and watch was done in a measured way else it would have been irritating and would have drawn the audience away from the running narrative.

Length-wise, Run Lola Run is a tightly packed film with a running time of 1 hour 21 minutes. Looop Lapeta runs for an hour longer. However, the editing is still tight and doesn't allow for the audience's attention to slip away or for a leeway of any sort of boredom. 

Looop Lapeta is an exhilarating, immersive experience, which has the ability to entertain you with its intelligent concept, experimental background, and humorous characters. 

Watch the trailer here.

It is now streaming on Netflix.

Author Biographical Note: Vanshika Lakhani is pursuing her degree in Mass Communications and Journalism from Jai Hind College. She is also an alumnus of St. Xavier’s College from where she studied Arts. She reviews films, web-shows, books, and music. Her reviews have also been published on other portals like Film Companion and Café Dissensus Everyday. She is a huge content enthusiast and enjoys talking to people who tell her about new content to consume. Now she is associated with Explore Screen: The Cognitive Dialogue as an intern.

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