Netflix’s Looop Lapeta, featuring Taapsee Pannu and Tahir Raj Bhasin, is pumping riot of thrill and fun but doesn’t quite stick the landing. An official remake of the 1998 experimental thriller, ‘Run Lola Run’, this film revolves around a woman, Savi, who rushes to procure 50 lakh rupees in 50 minutes to save her boyfriend’s life. However, she soon finds out that her day is stuck in a time loop.
Set in Goa, the plot of Looop Lapeta seems pretty straightforward to begin with. We are introduced to Savina “Savi” Borkar (Pannu), a former athlete who opts to live an impoverished life with her gambling addict boyfriend, Satya (Bhasin) after an injury wrecks her knee. However, she takes up a job as a caregiver for an 88-year-old man.
Satya, who works in a restaurant, asks his boss, Victor (Dibyendu Bhattacharya), for some salary in advance. The boss is willing but asks him to run an errand first. The task is simple, Satya is supposed to deliver a package to an unknown man, collect a bag containing 50 lakh rupees in it, and return within 80 minutes.
Satya is up to the task but Victor warns him that should something go wrong, he’ll have to pay with his life. The collection part goes well but Satya starts smoking up some marijuana with a stranger on a bus and attracts the attention of the police. While trying to evade his chasers, he jumps out of the bus and forgets the bag, which is picked up the stranger who offered Satya the joint.
Realising what he’s lost, Satya calls Savi, who’s busy snorting cocaine in her old client’s bathroom, for help. She instructs him to look for the bag while she visits her father for help. Savi interacts with various characters on her way who turn out to be more important than she initially realises.
Satya on the other hand tries to rob a jewellery store which he succeeds in doing but is unfortunately shot and killed by the owner. As Savi mourns over his body, the time rewinds and she finds herself back in her client’s bathroom with Satya calling her for help. Unsure why fate has put her in a loop, she runs out again wondering what she can do differently to prevent Satya’s death.
Tahir Raj Bhasin as Satya is a breath of fresh air. He’s eccentric, goofy and just a treat to watch. His nervous charm is what lights up every scene he’s in and he also shows that his comic timing is quite strong.
Taapsee Pannu is as good as ever playing the fierce and determined Savi. She emotes her comedic desperation in a successful manner but isn’t versatile enough to come across as a Goan girl. Even though she is at her best, her character doesn’t feel any different to what she has done in her past films.
The supporting cast is spectacular with the amount of screen-time they have. Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Rajendra Chawla, Sameer Kevin Roy, Raghav Raj Kakker, Manik Papneja, among others add the perfect amount of spice to Looop Lapeta to make it thoroughly enjoyable.
Looop Lapeta is a visual treat. Credits to the debut feature film director, Aakash Bhatia, and DOP, Yash Khanna, who enthral viewers with their use of unique camera angles, fast paced edits, and vibrant colours.
The time loop thriller concept is very well explored and doesn’t feel botchy or forced. There is enough going on in the film to keep you engaged but it’s not so over the top that you feel confused.
There are subtle deviations from the script of ‘Run Lola Run’ but they are well done considering the film has to cater to an Indian audience. However, they don’t take away the essence of the original.
Apart from time, the film comically yet successfully deals with themes of homosexuality, mythology, co-dependency, and marriage among others. It also emphasises on the butterfly effect by highlighting how all of Savi’s actions lead to different consequences.
The music, animation and other visual effects of the film are also top notch. The title track composed by Sidhant Mago, Mayank Mehra and sung by Jay Anand alongside Mago is going to stay with you for a long time.
Unfortunately, the film doesn’t come without caveats and the first one among them is the writing. The script is fast paced but isn’t tight enough.
Aspects like Savi’s backstory, the overly explored romantic angle between the lead pair, among other things that take away the adrenalin form the viewing experience.
Also, the changes that cater to an Indian audience come at a cost and that is the runtime. The original was an 80 minute ride of constant madness whereas Looop Lapeta stretches itself to a runtime of a 131 minutes.
Some comedic gags — mostly the ones including Appu (Manik Papneja) and Gappu (Raghav Raj Kakker) — feel cringy and don’t land as well as they could have.
Furthermore, Looop Lapeta ignores a few things from Run Lola Run that made it quite an impactful film. One of the most relevant of those aspects is the protagonist’s fractured relationship with her father which had deeper and disturbing layers in the original compared to the remake.
Looop Lapeta is inventive, thrilling and full of surprises. Even though it may not be consistently gripping, it is a fresh concept for the Indian viewers and boasts enough positives for you to definitely put it on your watchlist.