Laxmii Movie Review Rating: 2/5 Stars (Two stars!)
Star Cast: Akshay Kumar, Kiara Advani, Sharad Kelkar, Rajesh Sharma, Ayesha Raza Mishra, Manu Rishi Chadha, Ashwini Kalsekar
Director: Raghava Lawrence
What’s Good: It improves some things from the original but are they enough?
What’s Bad: Despite improvements, the film still carries forward the same story which should’ve been buried with Kanchana/Laxmii (an inside joke for those who have watched Kanchana or for those who are reading this after watching Laxmii)
Loo Break: Choose as per your convenience, just don’t miss the best part of the film – Bumbholle song towards the climax
Watch or Not?: Those who have watched Kanchana, stay away from this one & even those haven’t watched Kanchana can stay away from this one
Asif (Akshay Kumar) & Rashmi (Kiara Advani) are a happily married couple but with a predictable caveat. Rashmi’s parents didn’t accept them because of their conservative thinking restricted them from accepting a Muslim son-in-law. Somehow on their 25th wedding anniversary, Rashmi’s mother Ratna (Ayesha Raza Mishra) convinces her husband Sachin (Rajesh Sharma) for having their daughter present at a party.
Asif is your practical man who doesn’t believe in ghosts and keeps chanting he’ll wear bangles if he ever encounters one. As shown everything in the trailer, Asif gets haunted by a spirit of a transwoman Laxmii (Sharad Kelkar) who is wandering to kill a group of people for her revenge. How this affects Rashmi’s family and what is Laxmii’s backstory is what the film is all about.
Laxmii Movie Review: Script Analysis
A day before watching Laxmii, I watched Kanchana from where this is adapted from and did a piece on what Akshay Kumar’s film needs to go better than the original. It does better a few required changes, starting with an impactful background score. Was Farhad Samji needed to accompany Raghava Lawrence in modifying the script? No! After watching the humour in the film, I believe Raghava could’ve done a better job solo or with someone else. Though controlled, the funny portions are never funny enough. Comical sequences come across as forced as Salman Khan’s cameo in Shah Rukh Khan’s Zero.
The biggest concern of the portrayal of a transgender character remains null and void because the story is entirely the same with some minor changes. The script polishes the wrong edges keeping the final product equally mundane but worse. The original film released in 2011 and even the modifications of the story just couldn’t compensate the nine-year difference through which the base concept of cinema has been dynamically changed. The melodrama is still a significant part of the script, which just doesn’t make sense in the world of smart comedy.
The confusion between staying as a smart comedy and still going out loud, hampers the qualities of narrative. That’s where Kanchana takes the cake away because it knew it has to be loud, and hence few of the comical sequences worked better over there. Farhad Samji’s brand of comedy couldn’t mix with Raghava Lawrence’s style of filmmaking, and they both affect each other in the long run.
Laxmii Movie Review: Star Performance
Akshay Kumar plays two roles in the film, Asif and Laxmii’s ghost and both are polarising when it comes to showcasing the actor in him. As Asif, he’s pretty ordinary and does something he can do while sleepwalking. But his portrayal as Laxmii is what wins him some brownie points as an actor. He just beautifully explodes in the song Bumbholle proving why he’s the perfect choice among the A-listers to do such kind of role.
What is even Kiara Advani doing in the film? This is one of those films which many actresses can’t say no to because of the kind of exposure they promise. What they don’t understand is what are they even doing in the film to get the exposure for? It’s like writing a sh*t feature article and still taking credits for the same because your name is getting the exposure? Is that even needed?
Remarkable actors such as Rajesh Sharma, Ayesha Raza Mishra, Manu Rishi Chadha and Ashwini Kalsekar are joint-victims suffering from a weak script and forgettable dialogues. Sharad Kelkar’s stint as the real Laxmii is just about okay and crosses the line to be a caricature.
Laxmii Movie Review: Direction, Music
The major bottom-line of Raghava Lawrence’s direction is – he has shot an outdated 2011 story with all the latest 2020 types of equipment having a good set of actors by his side, which are poorly victimised by shabby character sketching. He makes sure the film looks clean and good, ignoring the actual problems with the story.
Amar Mohile’s background score remains to be the best improvement from its predecessor. The horror portions, though not scary at all, feel good because of the BGM. None of the songs has anything to make them a repeat listen.
Laxmii Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Kanchana didn’t need a remake & hence Laxmii isn’t a film anyone asked for. It’s one of those stories which are manageable for the period they released in & shouldn’t be revived. So, reviving Laxmii (read: Kanchana) from the dead wasn’t a good option after all!
Laxmii releases on 09 November, 2020.
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