Links: On Sonakshi Sinha, Lootera, Despicable Me 2

I didn’t think you could have a cuter baby than Baby Boo in Monsters Inc., and then Margo of Despicable Me showed up. She’s just as adorable in Despicable Me 2. But the stars of this sequel are the minions. They’re just amazing. Guaranteed to make you giggle.

lootera-posterIn the world of Bollywood, that was Lootera week. This meant a chance to write in support of Sonakshi Sinha who has been the butt of all sorts of fat jokes because she’s not size zero.

The tag of beautiful has finally been attached to someone who is not extreme, but regular. Sinha looks ridiculous only when she doesn’t choose her sari wisely and when an image of her is placed next to the thinspiring women of show business. Most of the time, she makes most of us do a double take and realise that we may be pretty and magazine cover-worthy just the way we are.

Ok, maybe not just the way we are. Maybe with some styling, a little plastic surgery and some weight loss, but let’s not make this all about me.

The fact of the matter is Sinha is not your average girl next door. Her father is Shatrughan Sinha, for crying out loud. Even if you ignore that detail, genetics triumphed to give her a truly lovely face (despite the cracks made at her forehead). But unlike most Bollywood actresses, she doesn’t come across as affected. She carries herself confidently, you can tell when she’s genuinely smiling and when she’s just posing, and she’s neither obese nor skinny. The one thing average about Sinha is her figure. And the combination of all these physical factors is unexpectedly refreshing. Though perhaps the sweetest victory of all is the fact that thanks to Sinha’s success, we now have writers who have survived on lettuce and tomatoes for most of the 21st century telling us to “love our curves”. Take that, drinkers of skinny lattes, and go get yourself a cupcake.

Sinha was worth cheering for, given her excellent performance in Lootera. Lovely as she was, she didn’t redeem Lootera for me. The film was long, too slow and the attempt to do a vintage Indian take on The Last Leaf by O’ Henry was maudlin and unconvincing.

Lootera fumbles as a love story and without this pivot, Pakhi and Varun’s story wobbles awkwardly. For instance, you have to wonder how loving a relationship is when a woman learns the man she loves has been shot, but doesn’t ask him anything about his injury. Varun’s redemption is supposed to lie in the elements of the story taken from O Henry’s short story, “The Last Leaf“. However, Pakhi’s identification with the tree is forced and it’s difficult to tell if Varun’s behaviour is motivated by guilt or true love.

Possibly because Lootera’s pace slows down to make slugs seem like F1 drivers in the second half, Motwane injects melodrama into the last few minutes of the film, but this move backfires terribly. After all the restraint and delicacy that is Lootera’s charm for most of the film, the sight of Varun hanging from a tree’s branches like George of the Jungle is a letdown for fans of Ranveer Singh, Motwane and O’ Henry.

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