We all have different dreams and aims in life but one common dream for most is to get wealthy. But the reality of life is that despite slogging for years, most people are able to barely survive financially in today’s world. Rajesh Krishnan’s comic caper LOOTCASE uses this as a crux and spins a funny story out of it. So does LOOTCASE manage to tickle the funny bone of the audiences? Or does it fail to entice? Let’s analyse.
LOOTCASE is the story of a common man who gets rich overnight. Nandan Kumar (Kunal Kemmu) resides in a chawl in Mumbai with his wife Lata (Rasika Dugal) and son Aayush (Aryan Prajapati). He works in a printing press and has a hand-to-mouth existence despite working hard and being the next contender for the ‘Kirori Mal Employee of The Year’ in his office. Meanwhile, MLA Patil (Gajraj Rao) has got a goon eliminated who is associated with the gangster, Bala Rathore (Vijay Raaz). Bala decides to take revenge. He finds out that Patil is going to send a sum of Rs. 10 crore and a controversial file, which consists of details of his shady dealings, to his party head. Patil sends two of his men – Omar (Sumit Nijhawan) and Abdul (Shashi Ranjan) – to get the suitcase, filled with money and the file. Bala’s men Rajan (Nilesh Divekar) and Graduate (Aakash Dabade) intercept Patil’s men and a shootout begins among them. Bala’s men get hold of the bag but have to escape without the moolah as the police lands up suddenly. But before running away, they hide the suitcase near a public toilet neatly and decide to come back in an hour’s time to retrieve. As luck would have it, Nandan happens to use the toilet minutes after the shootout is over at that exact same place. He gets hold of the suitcase and realizing that nobody is nearby, he takes it with him. He hides it in the house of his neighbour Ramlal (Ghanshyam Garg) who is away for a fortnight. Nandan now starts to spend the money gradually on his family. Lata gets a bit suspicious though. Meanwhile, Patil is distraught when he learns about the missing suitcase and he gets Inspector Kolte (Ranvir Shorey) to retrieve the bag for him. Kolte realizes that finding the bag is next to impossible. The CCTV at the shootout site is non-functional. Also, Kolte believes that some local gangster has looted the suitcase. Nandan, meanwhile, hasn’t done anything to arouse the suspicion of the police or even the gangsters. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
Kapil Sawant and Rajesh Krishnan’s story is nothing new and might remind of similar films in this space or genre like DELHI BELLY , EK CHALIS KI LAST LOCAL , BLACKMAIL , PHIR HERA PHERI  etc. But Kapil Sawant and Rajesh Krishnan’s screenplay is highly effective. There are tons of funny moments in the film which will raise loads of laughs. Also, these comic scenes are not urban or niche and have a pan India appeal. A few developments however are unconvincing. Also, the killing of the character in the first scene and its repercussions could have been better explained. The file plays an important role in the film and it doesn’t get its due in the film. Thankfully, the plusses outweigh the minuses. Kapil Sawant’s dialogues are very witty and funny. In fact, the smart one-liners elevate impact considerably.
Rajesh Krishnan’s direction is smooth and uncomplicated. There are multiple tracks in the film and all of them progress well. There’s no jerk in terms of sequence change. At a few scenes, he falters but overall, it’s a decent film debut of this director who has earned fame in the web series and advertising space.
LOOTCASE takes a while to settle. The initial 15-20 minutes are spent in introducing various characters. Once Nandan gets hold of the suitcase, the film goes on a high. The scene where he is splurging for his family’s happiness is endearing. But it’s the supporting characters that really add to the humour tremendously. Whether it’s MLA Patil’s psychological tactic of getting work done or Bala giving references of animal’s scientific names and even promoting National Geographic to Kolte’s sarcasm and aggressive behaviour, most of these characters have unique traits that not only keep the interest going but bring the house down. In the second half however, the film drops. The song ‘Pavitra Party’ is forced while Nandan attempting to buy a flat is silly and needlessly adds to the length. Nandan keeping the wet currency notes on terrace for drying is also quite unconvincing. But the interest is revived once Kolte goes to the bank and gets some details about the bag thief. The climax is maddening and it’s interesting to see how the humour has been kept intact. The final scenes raise lot of questions which are left unanswered but no complaints though.
Kunal Kemmu delivers a genuinely fine performance. His comic timing is first-rate and he underplays his part very well. Rasika Dugal is lovely and plays the role of the righteous housewife to the T. She is the emotional backbone of the film and hence stands out from the rest. Gajraj Rao is excellent and the way he persuades others to get his work done will be loved. Vijay Raaz does his deadpan humourous act yet again but this time, he’s equipped with a novel character trait and that helps. Ranvir Shorey is the surprise of the film. He brings out the humour with his aggression and sarcasm. At places, it’s his scenes that work the most. Vijay Nikam (Nandan’s boss Vasant Goenka) doesn’t get to do much but shines in the pre-climax. Aryan Prajapati is entertaining. Sumit Nijhawan and Shashi Ranjan are okay and same goes for Atul Todankar (PA Subhash). Nilesh Divekar and Aakash Dabade however have a good screen presence. Ghanshyam Garg, Digvijay (Jameel), Sachin Naik (auto driver Keshav Prajapati), Manuj Sharma (Faizu) and Preeti Sharma (Real estate salesperson) are decent. Himanshu Sharma (Supermanav) is nothing great but what’s disappointing is that such an interesting character doesn’t get utilized properly in the film.
Music is nothing great. ‘Laal Peti’ is soothing while ‘Pavitra Party’ is wasted. ‘Muft Ka Chandan Chandan’ is played in the end credits. Sameer Uddin’s background score has the wicked and quirky feel.
Sanu John Varughese’s cinematography is appropriate. The chawl scenes are especially well shot. One can feel the characters struggling to survive in a small space. Rateesh UK’s production design is very authentic. The chawl and printing press look straight out of life and probably shot in real locations. And the book shop is a lovely set and well thought of. Divvya and Nidhhi Gambhir’s costumes are realistic. Manohar Verma’s action is a bit gory especially in the end. Anand Subaya’s editing is neat and except for few scenes in the beginning of second half, nothing in the film is unwanted or forced.
On the whole, LOOTCASE is a highly entertaining and funny film which works due to its superb writing, smooth direction and effective performances.