Film Review: Lakshmi – As Fake As It Can Get

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Lakshmi Cover PicInsensitive, Amateur, Tacky and Far Away From Reality. That’s what Nagesh Kukunoor‘s Lakshmi is all about.

Lakshmi, is a story of a fourteen year old girl Lakshmi (Monali Thakur) who is kidnapped from her village and forced into prostitution. She then fights back and wins the case against her traffickers.

What comes to us as a shock is the way Nagesh has handled this film. He has taken a very potent plot in Lakshmi, that of s** trafficking, something that is very real and relevant all across the globe, but then has very mercilessly added sensationalism just to create drama. Repeated shots of Lakshmi applying vaginal cream, washing her private part before going for next customer, man undressing, all this again and again makes it look very cheap and below the belt.

Scenes where six to seven men ravage Lakshmi repeatedly, sometimes within hours are very repulsive and forced.

In LakshmiNagesh Kukunoor essays the role of a pimp, Chinna, who kidnaps Lakshmi and hurls her into a brothel in Hyderabad. Here, Lakshmi seeks comfort in alcohol to ease her woes and learns the trick of the trades to lure customers. She befriends her older roommate and finds a sympathiser in the mistress, Jyoti (Shefali Shah), who is in the business to fund her daughter’s engineering education. What follows are events that suggest Lakshmi has accepted her fate. But she runs away only to be caught and subjected to more brutality.

Shefali Shah as Jyoti is brilliantly in her thankless role of the brothel’s madam. Ram Kapoor as a kind, out of work lawyer and a social worker is effective. Satish Kaushik as a nauseating pedophile makes your skin crawl, but then the film belongs to singer turned actress Monali Thakur. As the child forced into premature womanhood, Monali’s portrait of ravaged innocence will haunt you.

All in all Nagesh Kukunoor‘s Lakshmi is nothing but a force shocker and fake cinema.

Rating: **