Director Nagesh Kukunoor heads back to his successful territory of going after the victory of the helpless people and with Lakshmi he somewhat manages to grab his lost glory. Unlike the director’s other films, Lakshmi treats its content by showing us the rough side of the plot without any cover ups.

The story revolves around the 14 year old central protagonist Lakshmi. Lakshmi became a victim of the human trafficking mafia in Andhra after her father sold her for money.  The minor girl had to go through many traumas which made her react against this business, against which the laws were too weak. The determination of the girl to fight against the biggies in this game and how she succeeds in bringing them under the scanner is what this movie talking about.

It’s really painful to see the torture the poor 14 year old had to face and many times I had to close my eyes. And when the doctor explains the reason why all these happened to her, we will feel ashamed about the pathetic society. Even though Kukunoor wasn’t successful in creating a grand stage for the victory of the innocent girl, he was able to make us feel the unpleasant side of the brothel. A serious question about the rehabilitation of sex workers was also raised in this socially committed film. The film seems to be designed for a really low budget as there are very less exterior shots. The second half has our central protagonist legally fighting against some big people and the movie was still stuck inside the walls.

Monali Thakur really impressed me with her performance as Lakshmi. The childlike innocence in her face was there in all the conditions of her character’s life and we can sense Lakshmi’s determination in her eyes. Satish Kaushik was really a good choice for that role. Nagesh Kukunoor himself plays the second predominant antagonist and he was really good.  Special appreciation for Shefali Shah and Flora Saini for their flawless performances. Small yet pleasing performance by Ram Kapoor.

Nagesh Kukunoor has treated the movie in his usual way with less background scores and gradual character transformation. The surprise for me was in his decision to conceive the idea with all its vulgarity. Creating a disturbance in the viewer’s mind so as to grab their attention to the issue was necessary and I think this roughness will certainly succeed in doing that. There is less focus on the background from which Lakshmi is coming and what she can expect in the future. Also the constrained canvas in the second half makes things slightly short of impact. The screenplay is nicely paced and it handles its characters effectively. Cinematography was good. The edits lacked perfection. The music was nice and the background score was okay.

Overall, Lakshmi succeeds in creating the disturbance in your mind with its realistic taking. By casting such an innocent face who acted really well, Nagesh Kukunoor has succeeded in making Lakshmi worth watching. My rating is 3/5 for this movie.

Final Thoughts

By casting such an innocent face who acted really well, Nagesh Kukunoor has succeeded in making Lakshmi worth watching.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.

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