Ludo is a dark comedy crime film directed by Anurag Basu. It tells five different stories complexly intertwined, each representing the colors of the Ludo game.
Sattu Bhaiya (Pankaj Tripathi) is an eccentric gangster who plays the dice of the game. His actions from murdering a building contractor to settling old scores with his previous gang member altered the course of fate for the other characters.
Bittu (Abhishek Bachchan) is one of Sattu Bhaiya’s previous gang member and represents the red portion of the game. He is released from jail only to find out his wife has remarried and his daughter now believes her stepfather is her actual father. When Bittu runs into a little girl who faked her own kidnapping, he helps her with her quest.
Meanwhile, Alu (Rajkummar Rao) represents the green side. Alu is a quirky restaurant owner who is still head over heels for his already-married high school crush Pinky (Fatima Sana Shaikh). When Pinky’s husband is falsely arrested, Alu helps Pinky rescue her husband.
The yellow side consists of Akash (Aditya Roy Kapoor) and Shruti (Sanya Malhotra). Their sex video was uploaded onto the internet and so, both of them try to track down the culprit before Shruti gets married.
Rahul (Rohit Saraf) and Sheeja (Pearle Maany) form the blue side. Both these youngsters have big dreams and somehow becomes involved with Sattu Bhaiya when Rahul witnessed one of Sattu Bhaiya’s murders. They then become Sattu Bhaiya’s target when they stole money after an explosion at Sattu Bhaiya’s hideout.
Anurag Basu’s Ludo is an entertaining mess. It intricately weaves the five different storylines together and still manages to bring them all together in the end. The different ‘colors’ of the game interacted with each other at different points throughout the whole show and we as the viewers get to watch the different pieces of the puzzle come together to build the entire story. The main characters are also very eccentric (especially Pankaj) which drove the plot and made the whole film enjoyable. I laughed several times throughout the film at the ridiculous things that happened, from using a tractor to break into a hospital to the multiple times Pankaj survived. The only part I do not fully enjoy is the blue part, where the blooming romance between Rohit and Pearle seems to fall short compared to the other relationships in the film.
Now let’s talk about the stellar cast. Anurag Basu seemed to have assembled a mini Avengers into the show with big names such as Pankaj Tripathi, Abhishek Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao and Aditya Roy Kapoor, and as usual these cast delivered. One scene that really stood out to me is one where Abhishek was trying to get his daughter’s attention. It was a silent scene and his emotions through his eyes were enough to break my heart into pieces. Also, Pankaj is solid as usual. He played the badass criminal with a soft spot for women and delivered a lot of memorable scenes. My favourites include the time when he tried to cling on to the tractor to escape the hospital and him surviving the final shoot off to meet the nice nurse lady with a lot of money only to get hit by a bus ala Mean Girls.
If there’s something that I don’t like about the film, it would be the first 30 minutes of the film where lots of characters were introduced left and right. I came to understand the concept of the film later on where many characters were needed to play out the five parallel storylines and perhaps the need for plenty of character introduction. However, I still think there were characters and scenes that the show could do without, for example the Gods of Death who play Ludo and occasionally narrate the plot whenever they feel like it. The time can be used to develop the other main characters more or the blue color plot, which like I mentioned, I feel a bit lackluster.
If you like dark comedy, this would be a great watch.
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