Looop Lapeta review: This Taapsee Pannu, Tahir Raj Bhasin-starrer is an unnecessary and boring remake of Run Lola Run

Looop Lapeta review: This Taapsee Pannu, Tahir Raj Bhasin-starrer is an unnecessary and boring remake of Run Lola Run

With little new to add to the concept, the film does not even have the verve to seduce us with the style

Shantanu Ray ChaudhuriUpdated: Saturday, February 05, 2022, 11:01 PM IST
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The question that keeps haunting me about Looop Lapeta is: What’s the point of remaking a 23-year-old film that in the first place wasn’t the ‘classic’ or ‘avant-garde’ work lazy nostalgia has made it out to be? Though critics over the years have read so many subtexts into it — free will, determinism, the ripple effect the minutest of our actions could have, etc. — Run Lola Run is little more than a flashy concept, a triumph of style over substance, whose visually arresting template acquired a certain cult status. In his review of the film, Roger Ebert characterised it as, ‘Essentially a film about itself, a closed loop of style… and at 81 minutes it isn’t a second too short.’

With little new to add to the concept, Looop Lapeta does not even have the verve to seduce us with the style. It tries to provide an Indian spin to the narrative, underpinning the relationship between Savi (Taapsee Pannu) and Satya (Tahir Raj Bhasin) with a reference to the mythological Savitri-Satyavan tale. But as spelt out by Satya, it sounds like so much hokey ho-hum. And with 50 minutes added to the runtime of Run Lola Run, the Hindi remake is flabby, robbing the film of the kinetic frenzy, the breakneck pace that made the original enjoyable.

In Run Lola Run, each of the three loops play out in real-time for all practical purposes — of 20 minutes each. Looop Lapeta takes 30 minutes to set up the loops and detail the dynamics between Savi and Satya, and 30 minutes in each loop. The padding comes in the form of unfunny and unexciting detours. There’s a subplot involving two bumbling sons of a jeweller who plan to rob their father’s store — a plan that Satya, too, is contemplating to make his way out of the mess he finds himself in. Then there’s the lovelorn taxi driver who refuses to entertain customers, mopping as he is over his lover getting married to a more eligible suitor.

Over the three loops, these side stories too will get resolved, but as a viewer, I cared for neither the characters nor the humour, which reaches for wackiness but only ends up infuriating. Consider this: to underline the impossibility of the money that Satya has to make good to his mobster boss, there’s an exchange between characters where they scream the words ‘50 lakhs’ at each other. It isn’t funny in the first instance, but it gets plain tiresome when it is repeated ad nauseum between sundry other characters.

Given the dearth of any real substance, the filmmakers rely on the artifice of lurid and splashy colour schemes, bizarre camera angles, split screens in every possible layout — diagonal, horizontal, vertical — speeded frames, freeze frames, a hyperkinetic soundtrack. In fact, everything but the kitchen sink. After a point, these just show up for what they are: superfluous gimmicks. Talking of gimmicks, it is the kind of film which gets its smart-kicks from words on the screen like ‘10,51,200 minutes earlier’ (which is in effect two years) or in the sight gag of a bulb literally lighting up above Satya’s head when he gets an idea.

With Rashmi Rocket behind her, Tapsee is no stranger to running, though I found her trying a little too hard to convey the kookiness of the whole thing, while I wonder whether Tahir, competently over-the-top, is feeling breathless what with the run he is having over the last month.

Ebert ended his review with, ‘I would not want to see a sequel to the film, (though) what it does, it does cheerfully, with great energy…’ This flimsy remake, which scores on none of the quotients Ebert commended — cheerfulness and energy — only makes me wish they had left the original alone. Sometimes, the best tribute is not to touch an original.

Title: Looop Lapeta

Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Tahir Raj Bhasin

Director: Aakash Bhatia

Platform: Netflix

Rating: 2 stars

(Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri is an award-winning publisher, editor and a film buff)

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