Movie Review – Laapataa Ladies


Love can make you resilient, and passion can make you a fighter! to break free

Laapataa Ladies, recently released on Netflix is a simple and beautiful take on women’s journey of self-discovery, empowerment, and courage. Among other things, the message that stands out in the movie is that the concept of feminism is not something confined to the elite society or intellectual class, but it can be cherished even among the village women, despite their innocence and naivety.

This movie, a rare one among the usual Bollywood movies that have already captured many hearts, is about how two brides get switched because of identical-looking ghoonghats(veils) in a jam-packed train compartment as they head to their husbands’ homes.

One of the brides, Jaya (Pratibha Ranta), finds herself lost but is determined to find herself as she befriends herself into the family of the man who wrongly took her to his home. The other ‘real’ bride Phool (Nitanshi Goel) finds herself left at the wrong railway station to find her way to her true love. The movie earns the ‘beautiful’ tag in its sweet depiction of village women learning to live life on their terms, breaking patriarchy.

It gives a glimpse into small revolutions at the microscopic level – look at how Jaya makes small but effective changes in the lives of the women with whom she interacts: the women learn to find themselves and be open about it with small interventions Jaya makes. Similarly, despite the harsh atmosphere she was left in, Phool is learning about being independent and doing things for herself thanks to Manju Mai’s blunt remarks and thus molds herself to live up to her circumstances. The change in her was pronounced when the ghoongat fell off her head in the last scene while walking with her ‘real’ husband Deepak (Sparsh Shrivastava): she did not bother to lift the veil to cover her head as she learned to see herself as equal to him. These are instances from the movie where it gives out loud very subtly.

The film moves at a good pace and every scene gives away the right emotions. There is drama, romance, suspense, and mystery and all these elements are balanced, without going overboard. No character is felt out of place and even the soundtrack fits perfectly in the milieu of the film.

The premise of the film could sound a bit dark, but director Kiran Rao spiced it up with heartwarming remarks that sounded profound, especially from Manju Mai( Chhaya Kadam). Unlike the cliched depiction of side characters in a Bollywood movie of this genre, Shyam Manohar( Ravi Kishan) and Chhotu( Satendra Soni) also join the circle of compassionate people who extend a helping hand for the two women.

Laapata Ladies once again prove that women filmmakers and writers can be more sensitive and creative in handling heavy topics like self-exploration and regressive practices prevailing in society.

However, the film sometimes falls into too much optimism- Although Phool has to hide herself from an unruly group in the beginning, the remaining part of her stay at the railway station seems just like fantasy- you cannot be expecting such benevolence all around you in this harsh world. Same with Jaya- she finds herself at a police station that not only rescues her from her wicked bridegroom Pradeep – who has killed his first wife and opted for a second marriage just for dowry – but also pushes her to follow her dream.

Laapata Ladies is a simple movie that never gets preachy with the message it wants to deliver and is narrated in a fun, light, and right way.