‘Lootcase’ Movie Review: Kunal Kemmu, Rasika Duggal Shine In This Fun Film

Tatsam Mukherjee
·2-min read
Rasika Dugal and Kunal Kemmu in a still from 'Lootcase', streaming on Hotstar.
Rasika Dugal and Kunal Kemmu in a still from 'Lootcase', streaming on Hotstar.

It’s an ancient set-up: a ‘common man’ chancing upon a fortune after an illicit deal has gone south. This almost folklore-ish event, however, feels particularly novel in Rajesh Krishnan’s Lootcase because of the film’s cultural specificity. It’s nearly two in the morning when Nandan Kumar (Kunal Kemmu) is returning from his night shift at a newspaper printing press, (presumably) taking the last train home. As he lights up a cigarette during his long walk between the train station and home, which appears to be his daily ‘ritual’, he’s immediately believable as the ‘common man’ protagonist. Nature calls, and Nandan rushes into a typically central suburban gully, one that bustles with people and vehicles during the day and is equally secluded at night. Done with his business, when Nandan tries to get on with his unremarkable life... he accidentally topples over a bright-red suitcase. Is this a bomb? Is this a trap? What’s a posh-looking bag doing in a mandi like this? There’s no lock on it.

It’s not the first time we’re witnessing a scene like this, but in Lootcase it works because of how it plays out like an anecdote from a friend. It might seem silly and far-fetched, but you’re hooked.

This whole genre is as watchable as it is, not because of how it makes us ruminate about philosophical things. But because we imagine ourselves in the protagonist’s shoes. What would I do? Would I tell my family about it? How would I duck questions about my sudden-improved lifestyle from nosy neighbours? If you’re asking yourself these questions ten minutes into the film, you know they’ve got you by the collar. But like we’ve seen in the case of Kaalakandi (or even Delhi Belly in my case and three other people), even an ‘edgy’ cast and colourful dialogue can often translate into an underwhelming film. Lootcase is better. The entire ensemble of actors, even while essaying archetypes, are served with delicious dialogue (by Kapil Sawant)....

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