|Directed by||Raghava Lawrence|
|Produced by||Fox Star Studios|
Cape of Good Films
Tusshar Entertainment House
|Written by||Raghava Lawrence|
|Based on||Kanchana (2011)|
Santhana Krishnan Ravichandran
|Edited by||Rajesh G. Pandey|
Fox Star Studios
Cape of Good Films
Tusshar Entertainment House
Laxmii is a 2020 Indian Hindi-language comedy horror film written and directed by Raghava Lawrence in his first Bollywood directorial. A remake of his own 2011 Tamil film Kanchana, it stars Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani in the lead roles. Ayesha Raza Mishra, Rajesh Sharma, Ashwini Kalsekar and Sharad Kelkar play pivotal roles. The film revolves around a man who gets possessed by the ghost of a transgender person.
Laxmii was the first big-budget Indian film which was streamed digitally on Hotstar on 9 November 2020 and was not released theatrically in India due to the COVID-19 pandemic, even though it was released in theatres in the United Arab Emirates, Fiji, Australia and New Zealand. It received negative reviews from critics and audience.
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.
- Akshay Kumar as Asif
- Kiara Advani as Rashmi
- Sharad Kelkar as Laxman 'Laxmii' Sharma
- Aryan Preet as Little Laxmii Sharma
- Rajesh Sharma as Sachin Rajput, Rashmi’s father
- Ayesha Raza Mishra as Ratna Rajput, Rashmi’s mother
- Manu Rishi Chadha as Deepak Rajput, Rashmi's brother
- Ashwini Kalsekar as Ashwini Rajput, Deepak's wife
- Tarun Arora as MLA Girja
- Muskaan Khubchandani as Palak
- Prachee Shah Paandya as Girja's wife
- Adhvik Mahajan as Angad, Girja's younger brother
- Vinita Joshi as Anjali
- Mir Sarwar as Abdul Chacha
- Rajesh Dubeay as Pandit Ji
- Vijay Jasper as Peer Baba
The film was announced in the second half of January 2019 by the director of its original version i.e. Raghava Lawrence with Akshay Kumar in lead role. Principal photography began on 22 April 2019. In January 2020, the song "Burj Khalifa" was filmed in Dubai. The filming was wrapped up on 1 March 2020.
On 29 June 2020, Disney+ Hotstar conducted virtual press conference where Akshay Kumar announced that the film will release on Disney+ Hotstar exclusively as part of Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex initiative which was a result of theatre shut down due to COVID-19 pandemic. However, it was later decided to release the film in countries where theatres re-opened such as United Arab Emirates, Australia and New Zealand.
On 29 October 2020, 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. Initially titled Laxmmi Bomb, it will now be released as Laxmii.
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."
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." 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." 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.."
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."
|1.||"Burj Khalifa"||Gagan Ahuja||Shashi–DJ Khushi||Shashi–DJ Khushi, Nikhita Gandhi, Madhubanti||3:07|
|3.||"Start Stop"||Vayu||Tanishk Bagchi||Raja Hasan||3:13|
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- Purkayastha, Pallabi Dey (10 November 2020). "Movie Review: More noise and less fireworks at display". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
- MumbaiNovember 9, Divyanshi Sharma; November 10, 2020UPDATED:; Ist, 2020 15:31. "Laxmii Movie Review: Akshay Kumar brings the bomb in this Diwali blockbuster". India Today. Retrieved 18 November 2020.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)