Film Review: Laaga Chunari Mein Daag


Film: Laaga Chunari Mein Daag


Director: Pradeep Sarkar


Producer: Aditya Chopra


Banner: Yash Raj Films


Cast: Jaya Bachchan, Anupam Kher, Rani Mukherji, Abhishek Bachchan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Kunal Kapoor and Hema Malini (special appearance)


Rating: 2.5/5


Pradeep Sarkar’s Laaga Chunari Mein Daag has your regular run of the mill plot with excellent presentation and a predictable end.


In short the movie has a lot left to be desired. While visually Laaga Chunari Mein Daag is a treat to watch with the colours, performances et al, it’s the story and length that falters. Notwithstanding the ensemble star cast, this one fails to leave an impact.


The movie starts with a punch and establishes situations well. However, somewhere down the line, it loses pace in places.


The story goes thus… Badki (Rani Mukherji) and Chutki (Konkona Sen Sharma) live a fun-filled life in Banaras with their parents played by actors Anupam Kher and Jaya Bachchan.


While Badki is aware that the family is in desperate need of money, the younger one is carefree and is also protected from the family’s woes. However, when things take a turn for the worse, Badki decides to go to Mumbai and seek a living for the family.


Desperate and without any backing, she fails to land a decent job due to her lack of education. In the end she succumbs to pressures and becomes an escort girl for select high class ‘clients’ and that too was told to take that route by a well wisher (Suchitra Pillai).


And then the simpleton from a small town turned into a swan in the big bad city and became a sophisticated call girl. Soon thereafter Chutki lands herself a job in Mumbai in an advertising agency and comes to live with her sister. This leads to a series of lies and secrets from Badki’s end to protect her new identity from her sister.


The younger one finds love at work in Vivaan (Kunal Kapoor) and decides to get married. In the meanwhile, the older one too had a chance encounter with a stranger – Rohan (Abhishek Bachchan) in one of her trips abroad with her boss but didn’t pursue it further keeping in mind her situation in life.


What follows are secrets being unveiled and hearts being broken but all culminating in a happy ending.


On the whole, thanks to the stellar cast, the performances are good throughout the film. Jaya Bachchan truly excels in her role. Her portrayal as the hapless mother who unknowingly pushed her daughter into the ugly world of prostitution is commendable. She brings out the emotions well and leaves you teary eyed. While Anupam Kher doesn’t have too many dialogues, he does manage to emote well and fits well in the role of a typecast father who wished he had a son and doesn’t think too much of his daughters’ capabilities.


Rani does justice to her role and never falters whether as a simpleton from Benaras or as a sophisticated girl. She slips into these characters with ease and panache. Konkona manages to hold her fort too. She delivers well in the confrontation scene with her sister near the river side after knowing the truth. The chemistry between the two sisters is brilliantly captured.


Abhishek’s performance in the film is effortless since he doesn’t have too many scenes in the first place. Add to that the fact that his character sketch is devoid of any hard core emotions or drama and hence it is not really worth a mention. 


Kunal Kapoor comes across as a pleasant surprise. After Rang De Basanti, performance wise this is one of his better films. Hema Mailini in her cameo as a courtesan looks beautiful and stunning.


The typical villains in the film – Tinnu Anand and Sushant Singh are reduced to being mere puppets not to mention a laughing stock in the end. The actors surely get wasted in the film as they veer directionless. Their threats and scares come across as lame. One thinks, there was no place for them in the first place since their roles were so limited and didn’t contribute much to the storyline.


After Parineeta, expectations certainly were high from Pradeep Sarkar but as has already been mentioned, the movie has a lot left to be desired. Moreover, since the subject of the film is centered on women, the film had immense scope for drama and emotions, which was not dwelt upon or utilized well.


While Konkona and Kunal look good on screen together, Sarkar fails to capitalise on bringing out the chemistry between Rani and Abhishek. This more so because Bachchan has a very limited screen presence and hence his love for Rani – despite all odds – stands out like a sore thumb and is unconvincing. This plot could have been carved better as one would have loved to see more of them together.


What’s more, the film’s biggest problem is the climax, which turns out to be a damp squib sans any drama and confrontations. To cut a long story short, it was flat and boring.


The length of the film needs trimming too as the full three hours tends to get a bit tedious along the way. A much crisper storyline could have worked in favour of the movie. Cinematography and camera movements are well crafted. The music of film is good and pacy but the background score is not anything to write home about.


All in all, it’s worth a one time watch just for the actors. While they will manage to bring in the crowd, word of mouth may not help better the film’s cause at the box office.