Laapataa Ladies Review: Kiran Rao’s Film Unmasks Patriarchy With Feminist Commentary Masked With Humour!

The lost ladies found women empowerment!
Laapataa Ladies Review: Kiran Rao’s Film Unmasks Patriarchy With Feminist Commentary Masked With Humour!
hauterrfly Rating: 5 / 5

Kiran Rao has made a directorial comeback after 14 years with her film Laapataa Ladies (pronounced as laapataa ladiej). Produced by Aamir Khan Productions, this film stars Sparsh Shrivastava, Pratibha Ranta, Nitanshi Goel and Ravi Kishan in lead roles. Set to release in theatres on March 1, Laapataa Ladies literally means lost ladies and this film might be just what we need in 2024. Under the garb of humour, this film unmasks social issues caused by patriarchy and reminds us why feminism is important for our world. So without further ado, let’s dive in to know what makes this film a must-watch.

The Plot Of Laapataa Ladies

Deepak Kumar (Sparsh Shrivastava) marries Phool Kumari (Nitanshi Goel). Excited to bring his newlywed bride home, the groom takes her home on a train. But chaos ensues when he gets off the station at night but his bride is accidentally left behind after he confuses Pushpa/Jaya (Pratibha Ratna) to be his bride, all thanks to all the brides wearing ghoonghat on the train. Upon realising this, Deepak rushes to the Police Station to seek help from a corrupt cop (played by Ravi Kishan). But there’s one problem, the only picture Deepak has of Phool is from their wedding where she’s posing with a ghoonghat. On the other hand, Phool is stuck at the railway station in a different village and seeks help from a Maanju Mai (played by Chhaya Kadam) who empowers her. As Deepak’s search for Phool continues, something about Pushpa doesn’t sit well. Ravi Kishan’s cop investigates her and with her truth he goes on to uncover the social norms that hold women back, showing society the mirror.


Sparsha Shrivastava as Deepak Kumar: After his performance in Jamtara, Sparsh delivers another hit performance as the innocent groom, Deepak. The innocence is visible in his eyes along with his love and longing for his bride Phool as he leaves no stone unturned to find her. The pain and struggle of a man looking for his bride are brought to life by Sparsh’s pure and nuanced portrayal of Deepak. It’s beautiful to see him reminisce about his wife before he is reminded that he lost her due to ghoonghat.

Also Read: Laapataa Ladies Song Sajni: Arijit Singh’s Latest Melody Is Perfect For Pyaar Ka Mahina!

Nitanshi Goel as Phool Kumari: Nitanshi breathes life into the naive Phool. What makes her portrayal of this character even more special is the way she takes her through Phool’s character arc and growth as she holds onto her belief that her husband will come looking for her while learning the importance of empowerment and its true meaning with Maanju Mai. From her faith in her husband to his memories, Nitanshi Goel let her big beautiful eyes do the talking.

Pratibha Ranta as Pushpa/Jaya: Pratibha eases into her character and adds to the mystery of the plot making one wonder what’s cooking and it’s definitely something fishy. However, the newcomer actress brings more than just freshness to the film. She showcases the contrast between Jaya and Phool in a subtle but powerful manner.

Ravi Kishan as a Police Officer: Ravi Kishan is a seasoned actor and it goes without saying that his powerful screen presence is unbeatable. In this movie, the actor makes you dislike him and then he makes you laugh along with a heartwarming moment towards the end of the film. This corrupt cop is sure to steal your heart.

Supporting Cast

Chhaya Kadam plays the powerful Maanju Mai who serves as an inspiration and a guiding force that Phool needs in her life. This world would be a better place if every woman had a Manju Mai to remind her that society scams women out of their agency, rights and life. Satendar Soni, Durgesh Kumar and more actors played their parts with conviction to amp up the script.

Verdict: A Nuanced Feminist Commentary Powered By Performances!

Sparsh Shrivastava’s Deepak Kumar is a man with EQ in the times when we’re surrounded with films with toxic male characters. He is emotionally vulnerable and a total green flag man who gets a first hand experience of the downsides of patriarchy. He may not be a feminist but he’s sure on a journey to be a feminist ally that our society needs. His character arc is proof that irrespective of education and social strata, being a decent human being requires men to open their eyes and see how patriarchy affects them. Nitanshi Goel and Pratibha Ranta’s Phool Kumari and Pushpa Rani/Jaya are two contrasting women, one who comes to terms with how society has oppressed her under the garb of protection, while the other fights for her rights (even if her method is a little twisted). But both of them are on a journey of women empowerment in their own ways.


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Also Read: Laapataa Ladies Trailer: Kiran Rao Promises A Hilarious Feminist Commentary In Her Second Directorial!

Sneha Desai, Biplab Goswami, and Divyanidhi Sharma have written a beautiful, nuanced film with memorable dialogues that keep you laughing as you witness the beautiful journey of two women who take off their ghoonghat and break norms in their own ways. Kiran Rao’s direction brings more value to the film. With perfect comic timing and punchlines, this film unmasks patriarchy and misogyny without being preachy which makes it a must-watch. Kiran Rao’s film shows the mirror to society and reminds them how concealing social issues and evils reaps no benefits. Kiran Rao will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions in this film ensuring that you laugh, smile, cry and feel pride without feeling bored for even a second. She keeps viewers hooked to the screen from start to end and the cinematography elevates the film further. The filmmaker ensures that the film leaves a deep impact and gives people food for thought while keeping it light-hearted at the same time.


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I must add, that the music of the film is just as good (Psst…I’ve been listening to Sanji on a loop while writing this review). Laapataa Ladies highlights gender stereotypes and uses humour to comment on it without trying to teach us a lesson. Kiran Rao’s film is all about giving us a sneak peek of social issues hiding behind the ghoonghat but she lets viewers be the ones doing the unmasking. What makes this film even more special is the fact that it touches upon several issues like dowry, parda system, education, domestic violence, infertility, female friendships and so much more. Her characters have layers that make them relatable somewhere or the other.


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Kiran Rao builds an emotional connection between the viewers and the characters with her direction while mocking gender stereotypes. For example, when Phool gets to know Manju Mai, she finds out that the woman left behind her abusive marriage to build something of her own and be independent and that she is a cat parent (the lonely cat lady stereotype? Yes?). For all those who think women who decided to adopt cats and ditch men live a lonely life, allow Kiran Rao to remind you that these women are also empowered and independent. Her characters have shades of grey but they balance it out beautifully. Like Ravi Kishan’s cop is greedy AF, but he’s not someone who will let his greed lead to injustice. Another moment that is etched in my mind is when Phool hides behind a dustbin that reads “use me”. Yeah, society has groomed her to be used as a woman who builds a man, his home and his family but it’s the cat lady who taught her to be better. On the other hand, Pushpa aka Jaya is someone who is fighting for her own rights and she’s willing to cross lines in order to do the right thing for herself. She’s equal parts selfish and selfless and she’s a reminder that women need to be selfish for their own sake and selfless enough to empower other women.


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Kiran Rao’s tale of two lost ladies has found its way to women empowerment with feminist commentary laced with humour.

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Janvi Manchanda

​​She uses her pen to slice through patriarchy. She could be Geet one day, Wednesday Addams next. Writing is the bane of her existence and the object of all her desires!

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