The film starts with a message flashing on a mobile screen. “Good decisions come from experience, experience comes from making bad decisions,” it reads. But what is it that pushes us to take a certain decision? Is it free will, is it all predestined? Can a single moment really change the course of our entire life?
The way the story is structured we would be tempted to look for a deeper philosophical meaning and ruminate on the role of chance and the thematic exploration of free will. But to truly enjoy Looop Lapeta I’d suggest you surrender to the eclectic energy and vibe that the film throbs with.
Based on the German experimental thriller Run Lola Run it isn’t a very faithful copy. The original was a taut 80 min thriller while this is more spread out. Directed by Aakash Bhatia it is almost 2 hours long, takes its time to set up the premise, which then plays out as three different scenarios.
Savi (Taapsee Pannu) gets a frantic call from her boyfriend Satya (Tahir Raj Bhasin) who has lost Rs 50 lakh. The money belonged to his unforgiving, ferocious boss and so he fears for his life. Rs 50 lakh in 50 mins is essentially what Savi needs to save her boyfriend from becoming a dead turkey. We are regularly treated to wicked shots of a marinated turkey in an oven as Savi hits the road running.
Each second counts and so does what we choose to do at that designated moment. As the story pans out in 30 min segments with minor changes and recurring motifs and characters, it plays on the idea of how a small change can have a ripple effect and alter the outcome fully.
The narrative structure is imbued with Yash Khanna’s arresting camera work. The frantic pace and urgency are matched by the use of animation, split screen montages, and a deeper color palette. Rahul Pais and Nariman Khambata’s background score complemented the relentless run towards a more favorable outcome.
Taapsee Pannu’s free-spirited performance and full-bodied commitment give her character a credible potency even in situations that seem implausible.
As for the generous dollops of humor, the jewelry store owner played by Rajendra Chawla and his sons Manik Papneja and Raghav Raj Kakker give us plenty of reasons to crack up. It’s this playfulness that ultimately works for Looop Lapeta though a tighter edit would have heightened its impact.