Looop Lapeta, starring Taapsee Pannu and Tahir Raj Bhasin, is an adaptation of the brilliant Run Lola Run, reimagined in an Indian context. For those who have watched the original, there are no surprises waiting for you at the end of the film. Yet, it is gripping from the word go, says our review. Looop Lapeta is currently streaming on Netflix.
Taapsee Pannu has been running a lot these days. If it isn’t her zapping past the white sands of the Rann of Kutch in Rashmi Rocket, she is running from the law in Haseen Dillruba. In Aakash Bhatia’s Looop Lapeta, currently streaming on Netflix, she once again runs, and runs hard to save Tahir Raj Bhasin. Adapted from Run Lola Run, Looop Lapeta offers no surprises in terms of the ending, yet it is gripping. And we’re crediting Aakash Bhatia’s quirky Indian mythological twist for that – some might frown, but most will connect.
Savi (Taapsee) is an athlete, an extension of her Rashmi Rocket avatar if things had gone south for her there, now struggling to come to terms with the fact she will never run again after a freak accident destroyed her knee. She contemplates suicide, jumping off the hospital terrace she’s admitted to. She hovers over the ledge, her life flashes before her eyes in animation – a hat tip to Run Lola Run right there – when Satya (Tahir) enters her life and the terrace, struggling to light a smoke with a damp maachis ki teeli. Sparks fly, and both their lives change tracks.
The original Run Lola Run doesn’t give us the back story of these lovers. But Looop Lapeta does, and it later also helps justify how an average girl like Savi can run like that across the streets of Goa to save Satya. Much like Maani, Satya is sketchy, always finds himself in trouble, and has a gambling problem. Savi makes him swear he would never set foot in a casino ever again. He agrees, but trouble still finds him. He loses a bag of Rs 50 lakh, that was to be delivered to Victor (Dibyendu Bhattacharya), on the bus – unlike the metro in the original – and now he is literally counting his last minutes, 80, to be exact, for he knows he will be chopped up for this grave slip.
Run Lola Run doesn’t delve into the characters Lola is running into on the streets. Looop Lapeta does that too. Jacob, the taxi driver’s true love, Julia, is getting ready to walk down the aisle, half-heartedly, with Robert. ‘Julia weds Robert’ heads the sign outside a church – and yeah, we will let you chuckle at that. The jewellery store that Satya decides to rob – instead of Maani’s grocery store – also gives us three unique characters, Mamlesh the jeweller and his two nikamma sons. The sons plan to rob the store themselves because baap ka maal hai, literally. And then there is the pot-bellied cop, chasing Savi, stopping in between to bargain for fresh fish. While Run Lola Run gives us the stories of these side characters in polaroid flashes, Looop Lapeta makes them a part of the narrative. Was it too much? Honestly, no. Because it gives the story some depth and adds much scope for laughter.
The concept of being stuck in a time loop remains the same. Savi restarts at a point where she gets one more chance to save Satya. Drawing a parallel with the story of Savitri-Satyavaan, Looop Lapeta adds another dimension. That the lead characters were already named Savi and Satya (short for Savina and Satyajeet, respectively) was a dead giveaway, but we don’t mind.
There’s little to fault in Taapsee Pannu’s performance. She’s reached a level of acting accuracy that she’s her own competition, and she wins every time. Tahir Raj Bhasin was deliciously good in this one. After a really thanda show like Ranjish Hi Sahi, Tahir is finally getting his due with Looop Lapeta and Kaali Kaali Ankhein before that (both on Netflix). He’s been waiting at the threshold for way too long, since Mardani, that is. Shreya Dhanwanthary as Julia, had a bitsy role but was granted a monologue that she delivered to perfection. Move over, Kartik Aaryan.
The music in Looop Lapeta does exactly what it did in Run Lola Run – hold the whole thing together. The quirky screenplay and the play of retro and neon colours add an extra edge.
Towards the end, as Savi exits the casino, she bumps into a red-haired girl in another hat tip to Run Lola Run. And that’s what we like best about Looop Lapeta – it doesn’t try to copy, just adapt, while staying perfectly conscious of the material that mothered it. Watch Looop Lapeta as a tribute to Run Lola Run, and not a remake, and you will enjoy it.