Released in 21st Mar 2014, Lakshmi is a narrative of heroism and myriad audacity; written and directed by Nagesh Kukunoor. But the show stopper the movie is Monali Thakur who has played the role of 14 yr old Lakshmi and her fight against trafficking.
Child trafficking which is still existing in various parts of India is the main theme of the movie. Releasing the movie wasn’t really a cakewalk for Nagesh Kukunoon who had to go through numerous censorship issues.
The film won several awards at various festivals including Mercedes Benz Audience Award for best Film, for Best Narrative at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on 13 January 2014. The movie was also screened at Toronto Reel World and Melbourne Indian Film festivals. It was also screened in London Asian Film festival.
The 14 yr old girl Lakshmi (Monali Thakur) was sold by her relatives and was thrown into the world of prostitution. She was raped and beaten viciously everyday but struggled to endure with help of few other girls and her never say die attitude and finally testified against her perpetrators at the court and got them booked. The film is based on some real life incidents and first ever convicted case from Andhra Pradesh where Kukunoor visited and met few victims. The movie is inspiring and brings into light the effort of a small girl to expose the human trafficking by politician and human trafficker nexus. The movie is enormously distressing and not for a light hearted entertainment.
You would love to hate Satish Kaushik who plays the brothel owner. You can’t hate Shefali Shah who plays the madam of the brothel. Kukunoor as the pimp is at his wittiest best. But the best one among them is Monali Thakur whose role wasn’t too effortless to play. In the entire movie, she tells her dialog mostly in her expressive eyes and the innocence in her face. Even after you leave the theater, the actress who sang the melodious “Sawaanr loon in Lootera” and “Dholi Taro” will stay in your mind for a long time to come.