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LUDO is breezy and engaging!

A well-constructed anthology with great ideas, terrific performances and some truly funny moments. However, with a repetitive second half and a predictable end, LUDO lowers the bar it set with its great beginning. Nevertheless, it’s entertaining enough to deserve a watch this holiday weekend!

LUDO – From a resurfaced sex tape to a rogue suitcase of money, four wildly different stories overlap at the whims of fate, chance and one eccentric criminal. With elements of mythology representing the butterfly effect, where events are tied with one another just like the roll of the dice.

The narrative unfolds like a fable, and right from the word go, there is bustle, which hooks you on. Literally narrated by the director Anurag Basu himself, the film’s main strength lies in its fresh treatment and creative storytelling. Sticking to its non-serious tone, writer/director Basu makes no effort in explaining the rationale behind the series of events that unfold. This goes well with the mostly funny and fast paced screenplay, that’s instantly riveting. The four stories, running simultaneously, and conveniently intertwining as and when required, sometimes makes little sense, but always makes for a fun watch. It’s only in the last half hour that you start realising the length of this two and a half hour film, because of the loop that the screenplay gets into.

What LUDO lacks in heft, it makes up for with its inventiveness and terrific acting. While all the four stories have their unique strengths and weaknesses, the one involving Bittu, played by a monotonous Abhishek Bachchan feels the weakest and the most underthought of the lot. All the other plots boast of something interesting, both in writing as well as in acting. Some special elements like the use of Bhagwan Dada’s classic song “Kismat ki Hawa Kabhi Naram Kabhi Garam”, bring an unusual flavour to the film. The music by Pritam is lively and the colourful visuals of the film further enhance the viewing experience.

Of the actors, Pankaj Tripathi and Rajkumar Rao steal the show. While Tripathi playing the relentless don is the highlight from the start till the end, Rao’s intensity as the classic victim of “Ek Tarfa Pyaar” (Unrequited Love) is unbelievably consistent. Sanya Malhotra and Aditya Roy Kapoor also put up a great show as the new age lovers who’re stuck in a precarious situation. All others play their parts adequately.

To sum up, despite all its flaws and hiccups, LUDO is creatively satisfying, and an enjoyable ride. Totally worth a watch!

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