In life and games, one thing is common - there’s a lot of uncertainty. Ludo is one such game which too has lots of skepticism as to who will win around a square board with four different colors. In the game ludo, it isn’t about how well you begin but how well you play. And Anurag Basu’s movie Ludo is also about different lives that come across throwing light on sin and virtues of the world. Every story in the film is highlighted by Ludo’s four colours.
Anurag Basu himself welcomes one to his world with an opening top shot – two people (Yamraj and Chitragupta) discuss random things about life & death revolving around Sattu Bhaiya (Pankaj Tripathi), Bittu (Abishek Bachchan), Aalu (Rajkummar Rao), Akash (Aditya Roy Kapur), Rahul (Rohit Suresh Saraf).
Sattu Bhaiya is the rolling dice in the film as he is linked with every other characters directly or indirectly. Apart from the above mentioned names, there are a few more which should be mentioned.
It’s just 5 days for the wedding of Shruti (Sanya Malhotra) when she needs to get out of a trouble. Pinky (Fatima Sana Shaikh) needs help to settle down a crime against her husband. Sheeja (Pearle Maaney) is a nurse from Kerala who got some big dreams. Mini (Inayat) does not get the right attention from her parents. All of these ladies play a pivotal role in bringing the men into the game.
The best part here is that the script has been packaged well enough with each narrative having a backstory. The plot develops parallelly but ultimately reaches the same spot smoothly. There are some moments that seem pointless but do sparkle with quirky takes. Each characters got a cartoonish layer to it but it’s the uniqueness of these characters that stays with you.
It’s amusing to see how Anurag Basu has even used the pretext with regard to the pandemic. “Lots of people died just because of Corona. Did they commit some sin,” goes a dialogue. While the whole of script runs on emotions, it’s also got a heady mix of comedy, drama, action, revenge and romance.
Apart from the dark comedy approach, the credible performances by the ensemble cast works here. Pankaj Tripathi as the smiling assassin is ‘bindaas’ and reliably good. Abhishek Bachchan balances emotions and get perfectly into the character of Bittu. Rajkummar Rao is a charmer in his Mithun avatar and brings fun with his dance movements. Fatima Sana Shaikh is subtle enough to grab attention. Sanya Malhotra is delightful while Aditya Roy Kapoor as ventriloquist is cool. Rohit Saraf as feckless boy and Pearle Maaney as typical Malloo are perhaps Basu’s best find. The scene where she asks ‘Malayali aano’ (are you a malayalee) is just too relatable. With just a very few dialogues, both Rohit and Pearle manages to make space for themselves with their impactful acting. Child artiste Inayat Verma perfectly gives tenderness to her character. Not much has been told about Shalini Vatsa, the kind-hearted head nurse.
The film brings forth the mantra ‘Ludo Is Life, Life Is Ludo’ with a crazy ride. On the surface, it might be just an entertainment package but if you look deeper, the flick does offer some life lessons too like how the game Ludo is!