Laxmii

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Laxmii
Laxmii poster.jpg
Release poster
Directed byRaghava Lawrence
Produced byFox Star Studios
Cape of Good Films
Shabinaa Entertainment
Tusshar Entertainment House
Written byRaghava Lawrence
Farhad Samji
Sparsh Khetarpal
Tasha Bhambra
Based onKanchana (2011)
StarringAkshay Kumar
Kiara Advani
Music byScore:
Amar Mohile
Songs:
Tanishk Bagchi
Shashi–DJ Khushi
Ullumanati
CinematographyVetri Palanisamy
Santhana Krishnan Ravichandran
Kush Chhabria
Edited byRajesh G. Pandey
Production
company
Fox Star Studios
Cape of Good Films
Shabinaa Entertainment
Tusshar Entertainment House
Distributed byDisney+Hotstar
Release date
  • 9 November 2020 (2020-11-09)[1]
Running time
141 minutes
CountryIndia
LanguageHindi

Laxmii is a 2020 Indian Hindi-language comedy horror film written and directed by Raghava Lawrence, marking his directorial debut in Hindi cinema. A remake of his own Tamil film Kanchana (2011), it stars Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani in the lead roles,[2] whilst Ayesha Raza Mishra, Rajesh Sharma, Ashwini Kalsekar and Sharad Kelkar play pivotal roles. Kumar, also produced the film under his Cape of Good Films and Fox Star Studios, along with Tusshar Kapoor's newly launched production company,[3] Tusshar Entertainment House and Shabinaa Entertainment. Lawrence co-wrote the script along with Farhad Samji, Sparsh Khetarpal, Tasha Bhambra, with Samji adapting the screenplay and dialogues to the Hindi version.[4] The film was announced on January 2019, whilst the principal photography began on April 2019 and ended in March 2020. The film revolves around a man who gets possessed by the ghost of a transgender person.

Laxmii was originally scheduled for a theatrical release on 22 May 2020, but the release was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was later streamed digitally through Disney+ Hotstar on 9 November 2020, across India, thus becoming the first big-budget Indian film to release on a streaming platform, and was not released theatrically in India,[5] while being released in theatres in the United Arab Emirates, Fiji, Australia and New Zealand. It received negative reviews from critics and audience, with the writing, screenplay, narration and performances of the cast members being criticised, although Akshay Kumar and Sharad Kelkar's performance being praised.[6]

Plot[edit]

Asif does not believe in ghosts. He lives with his wife Rashmi and his late brother's son Shaan. They're invited to Rashmi's parents' Ratna and Sachin's house for their silver jubilee. Rashmi's father disapproves of the couple as Rashmi had eloped with Asif without her parents' permission, but her mother is kind to them. On arriving, Asif and his family face an accident but no one is hurt. They meet Rashmi's brother Deepak and his wife Ashwini. Asif and Shaan visit grounds which are believed to be haunted. While he is putting stumps into the ground, the stumps hit a buried body. Blood from the body gets on the stumps and Asif washes them; the blood is thrown into a lemongrass plant.

Ratna, Ashwini, and Deepak all have supernatural experiences. Ratna and Ashwini visit a priest; he tells them three ways to verify a ghost's presence. When all three steps he mentioned happen, it confirms that there is a spirit in the house. Asif makes a lemongrass tea with the same plant where the blood was washed. When he drinks it, the ghost possesses him, and he begins to act effeminate. The family confronts him and it is revealed that there are actually three ghosts who have possessed him: a violent transgender woman, a man, and a mentally disabled boy. Asif's family hires an exorcist who drives the spirit out of his body; the ghost of the woman, trapped, reveals her story.

Laxman Sharma alias Laxmii is a transgender woman who was disowned by her parents. She is offered shelter by a man named Abdul Chacha, who has an intellectually disabled son. Regretting that she could not become a doctor, she adopts another transgender girl named Geeta and works hard to support her financially. When Geeta leaves to study medicine abroad, Laxmii buys a plot of land intended to construct a hospital for the poor. Her property is unlawfully taken by the crooked MLA Girja. Laxmii angrily confronts Girja, who kills her, Abdul Chacha, and his son. Before she dies, she vows to kill Girja, his wife, and his henchmen. The bodies are buried in Laxmii's own ground.

After hearing her story, Asif is touched. Risking danger, Laxmii possesses Asif once more. As Laxmii, he confronts Girja and gruesomely disposes of his henchmen. Girja seeks refuge in a Goddess Laxmi's temple, which Laxmii cannot enter. Asif forcibly makes Girja come out and Laxmii kills him, getting her vengeance. A few months later, Asif has constructed the hospital for Geeta as per Laxmii's wishes. He also unites with Rashmi and her family. It is revealed that Laxmii exists symbiotically in Asif's body to help him out when the need arises.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In January 2019, media reports suggested that Akshay Kumar will star in the remake of Kanchana (2011),[13] directed by Raghava Lawrence, who also signed to helm the Hindi version of it, thus making his debut in Bollywood,[14][15] whereas Kiara Advani, plays the female lead.[16][17] The film marks Kumar's return to horror comedy-genre after a decade since Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007).[18] Sources claimed that the sequences in the film will be different as of the original counterpart.[19] Farhad Samji, who directed the actor's Housefull 4 (2019), wrote the screenplay for the film,[20] with sources claimed that the work took six months to complete the adaptation.[21] The film marks the debut of Tusshar Kapoor's stint as a producer,[22] who bought the rights of the film, post licensing his production house in early 2013.[23] On 22 April 2019, the film's title was revealed as Laxmmi Bomb.[24] The titular poster featuring Kumar was released on 18 May 2019.[25]

Filming[edit]

The principal photography of the film began on 22 April 2019.[26][27] The film came in the middle of controversy after Raghava Lawrence, quit the film in May 2019,[28] as Kumar released the first look without consulting him.[29][30] It was revealed that the director does not have any credit, in the poster which resulted him to quit the film.[31][32] In June 2019, Lawrence announced his return to direction,[33] after sorting out issues with Kumar.[34][35]

The second schedule of the film began in August 2019.[36] The song "Burj Khalifa" featuring Akshay Kumar and Kiara was filmed at Dubai in January 2020.[37][38] The climax scene of the film was shot at Mumbai on 26 February 2020,[39] and filming was completed in 1 March 2020.[40][41]

Soundtrack[edit]

Laxmii
Soundtrack album by
Tanishk Bagchi, Shashi–DJ Khushi and Ullumanati
Released27 November 2020[42]
Recorded2019–2020
GenreFeature film soundtrack
Length14:57
LanguageHindi
LabelZee Music Company

The film's music was composed by Tanishk Bagchi, Shashi–DJ Khushi and Ullumanati while lyrics written by Vaibhav Shrivastava, Vayu, Gagan Ahuja, Farhad Samji, Anup Kumar and Ullumanati. The background score was composed by Amar Mohile.

The song Bam Bhole is the remake of the song of the same name, by its original artists, Viruss and Ullumanati. The original song was released on an independent label called Acme Music, in 2017 and is a superhit song with more than 200 million views on YouTube.[43]

The song Mata Ka Jagrata is a medley of the songs Apna Time Aayega from Gully Boy, Kala Chashma and Main Nikla Gaddi Leke from Gadar: Ek Prem Katha.

Track listing
No.TitleLyricsMusicSinger(s)Length
1."Burj Khalifa"Gagan AhujaShashi–DJ KhushiShashi–DJ Khushi, Nikhita Gandhi, Madhubanti3:07
2."Bam Bholle"UllumanatiUllumanatiViruss3:40
3."Start Stop"VayuTanishk BagchiRaja Hasan3:13
4."Maata Ka Jaagrata"Farhad SamjiTanishk BagchiFarhad Samji4:57
Total length:14:57

Release[edit]

On the announcement of the first poster release, the film was scheduled for a release on 5 June 2020.[44] On 26 August 2019, a new release date was announced, where the film's release will be advanced to 22 May 2020,[45] coinciding with the festival of Ramzan.[46][47] The release was further postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[48] In May 2020, it was speculated that the film will be released directly through streaming platforms.[49]

On 29 June 2020, Disney+ Hotstar conducted virtual press conference where Akshay Kumar announced that the film will release through the streaming platform,[50][51] exclusively as part of Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex initiative which was a result of theatres being shut down due to COVID-19 pandemic.[52][53] The rights to stream the film was sold to the platform, at an amount of nearly 100 crore.[54] On September 2020, it was announced that the film will be scheduled for a release on 9 November 2020,[55] coinciding with the eve of Diwali season.[1][56] The film was also theatrically released on the same date in select overseas markets such as United Arab Emirates, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.[57][58][59]

While the film was originally titled Laxmmi Bomb, the film's title was altered due to legal notice sent to the filmmakers on behalf of Shri Rajput Karni Sena. According to the notice, the film's title was considered to be disrespectful to Goddess Laxmi, thereby hurting Hindu community's sentiments. The notice also demanded a change in the film's title and said that the current one sends out a wrong message to the society. On 29 October 2020, the film's title was changed to Laxmii.[60][61][62]

Reception[edit]

Anupama Chopra, editor-in-chief of Film Companion wrote, "The writing is awful. The message of inclusion is noble but also obviously fraudulent because the film itself contradicts it. There is so much shrieking that it might induce a headache and perhaps the worst sin – the ghost, before it enters Asif’s body, is basically a wig with a fan behind it."[63] Taran Adarsh reviewing for Bollywood Hungama gave two stars out of five and opined that the film was no match to the original Tamil film Kanchana, the Raghava Lawrence's screenplay is weak, horror had no impact. He praised the performances of Akshay Kumar, Sharad Kelkar and felt that the support actors were okay. Concluding the review he said, "Laxmii lacks the punch. One expected so much more from this film, but it clearly disappoints."[64]

Anna M. M. Vetticad of Firstpost opines that the film is 'shrill' with loud storytelling. She finds Akshay Kumar’s acting insufferable but praises the portrayal of Laxmii by Sharad Kelkar. Rating it with one and half stars out of five Vetticad concludes, "Irrespective of its aims, Laxmii serves to further otherize the already ostracised trans community. It is also tacky and insufferable."[65] Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express gave one star out of five and opines, "Akshay Kumar-starrer is a two-hour clutch-your-head, can-I-really-be-watching-this nonsense, from beginning to end.."[66] Pallabi Dey Purkayastha of The Times of India gave the film two stars out of five, calling it "more noise and less fireworks", she concluded, "Laxmii sets out to be a satire against age-old beliefs and biases – we get it! – but the insipidness of the narrative and whatever follows thereon, butchers the lessons it originally desires to impart."[67] India Today's Divyanshi Sharma wrote, "Laxmii is the perfect watch with your family this festive season. The film has its faults but its heart is in the right place."[68]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]