Laandhar Movie Review: A middling police procedural let down by sub-par writing

Laandhar Movie Review: A middling police procedural let down by sub-par writing

At its heart, the film is a police procedural, a genre that the film ultimately fails to deliver on
Laandhar(2 / 5)

In Sajisaleem's Laandhar, Vidaarth plays Aravind, a high-ranking police officer. His wife, Jaanu, suffers from a condition that causes her to lose consciousness when she is extremely fearful or anxious. The film starts with such an interesting set of characters and the setting has the potential to bring about organic twists and turns of their own without the addition of any external narrative devices. However, Laandhar fails to leverage the strength of the premise, and the amateur writing debilitates the few positives, leaving the audience questioning the story's purpose and meaning.

Director: Sajisaleem
Cast- Vidaarth,Swetha Dorathy,Vibin,Sahana,Pasupathi Raj, Gajaraj

The incoherent writing is evident from the start, making it difficult for the audience to follow the narrative. The film opens with Aravind's encounter with an illegal liquor racket, a scene that, in the context of the film, lacks significance beyond displaying Aravind's bravery and heroism. The scene then abruptly shifts to an intimate scene between Jaanu and Aravind at their home. The randomness doesn't stop there, as the film takes another detour to introduce us to another couple, Nakul and Manju. These sudden transitions disrupt the flow of the film and are followed by a song that adds to the overall lacklustre experience.

At its heart, Laandhar is a police procedural, a genre that the film ultimately fails to deliver on. The film, which revolves around a story that happens overnight, is told through a nonlinear narrative approach. As it goes back and forth, detailing the events, you cannot help but think that had the writing focused on developing either a thrilling narrative or a compelling police investigation, the film could have at least done justice to its genre. Instead, Laandhar feels like a lost opportunity, a film that meanders on the road less taken—more precisely, the film loses itself by trying to deliver a novel approach. The lack of focus on a particular character dilutes the impact. In the pursuit of giving attention to several different characters, the film loses its footing and instead makes it difficult for the audience to form an emotional connection with any single character. For instance, while we are following Aravind, who is after an investigation, we are interrupted by the story thread that follows Jaanu. At the same time, we are bombarded with a back story for Manju and Nakul.

While the writing can be blamed for the mediocre experience, the performance of the main characters also does not help. Vidaarth delivers a functional performance that fails to hold our attention. On the other hand, Sahana's Manju has a significant screen time and she squanders most of it. As a character who is supposed to show immense emotional turmoil, the actor does not leave anything memorable. However, while the actor fails to impress us, the performance thankfully does not pull down the quality of the film even further. Nakul and Swetha Dorathy's characters, despite having little impact on the plot, demanded better performances. Apart from the writing and performance, music also fails to elevate the film. The music placement often felt like a mismatch to the scenes as sometimes it comes off as forced. Instead of serving to elevate the emotions of a scene, the music merely felt like it was there to fill up the silence.

The final act of the film features a car chase sequence that adds some excitement. However, the sequence goes on for quite a while, testing our patience, and the actions portrayed might seem excessively dramatic, making it difficult to take them seriously. 

Cinema Express