Monday, July 20, 2015

Fantasia 2015 Film Review - Ludo

Teens have a difficult time trying to get together for some private fun in Kolkata. Their parents are checking their phones, pushing them to dress more conservatively, threatening potential dates and in some cases barring them from going out.  Ria (Suboliha Sen) has to deal with all of these annoyances when she tries to go out for a night on the town with her friend Payal (Ananya Biswas) her boyfriend Babai (Ranodeep Bose) and his pal Pele (Sumendra Bhattacharya) who may be a match for her.

The four meet up ride mopeds around town hit a club and eventually end up at a food-stand. There two corrupt cops flag them for violations then demand cash to avoid a trip to the police station. Next the foursome try to rent a hotel room but do not have any luck. Payal suggests that they go to a shopping mall at closing time which they do and meet an older frail couple that are hungry for food and water.

Directors Quashiq Muckheje and Nikon loose direction of the film early into the second act. The premise of sex seeking teens looking for a spot to release their desires turns into an exploration of an ancient demonic game that lures then binds unsuspecting players.

The production would have been cleaner if started with the main plot point and focused on the brother and sister (Joyraj Bhattacharya) and (Rii) who are eternally linked to the board game. Instead   the main story plays as an interlude making the audience wonder when they will get back to the hormonal quartet.  The board game itself is very repetitive. On every turn the players sit transfixed constantly shaking a weathered dice in a glass bottle. The soft cloth board has not discernible markings except a glowing centrepiece the initial element that draws players into the fold.

Ludo is a poorly crafted and positioned film. The focus of the piece changes early into the second act and the story bogs down in an attempt to tell the tale of an ancient cursed game. The writers had some elements to work with here but the end product is jumbled and flawed and not a film that I can recommend.

* 1/2 Out of 4.

Ludo | Quashiq Muckheje /Nikon |India | 2015 | 90 Minutes.

Tags: Borad Game , Curse, Siblings, Shaman, Temple, Kolkata, Teens, Nightlife, Shopping Mall, Condoms.

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