Laapataa Ladies: A Well-Made Feministic Tale That Shouldn’t Be Missed

After making a respectable debut with ‘Dhobhi Ghat’, Kiran Rao goes a step ahead with this ‘Laapataa Ladies’— a perfect example of feel-good storytelling with solid content.
  • Main Cast: Nitanshi Goel, Pratibha Ranta, Sparsh Shrivastava, Ravi Kishan, and Chhaya Kadam
  • Director: Kiran Rao
  • Producer: Kiran Rao and Aamir Khan
  • Music Director: Ram Sampath
  • Cinematography: Vikash Nowlakha
  • Genre: Comedy – Drama
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Published in: Southfirst

There are two ways of making a feminist movie. One is the heavy drama mode where everything is amped-up and the other is feel-good storytelling where the focus lies on subtlety without compromising on the core.

Kiran Rao’s Laapataa Ladies belongs to the second category.

On more than one occasion, the film feels like a warm hug.


The story of Laapataa Ladies is about two newlywed brides — Phool Kumari (Nitanshi Goel) and Pushpa Rani/Jaya (Pratibha Ranta).

Sparsh Shrivastava plays Deepak Kumar, the husband of Phool Kumari. On the way back from marriage, Deepak and Phool go through multiple modes of transportation — from a scooter and bus to a train.

A still from the film ‘Laapataa Ladies’. (X)

His friends and family eagerly wait to welcome the new bride. Things take a drastic turn as soon as the bride is unveiled. It turns out that Deepak mistakingly brings another man’s bride instead of his.

This is all because of the multiple newly-married women onboard the train in the same costume.

Naturally, Deepak’s world turns upside down with his dreams of married life crashing.

After the initial shock, Deepak decides to look for his bride along with finding the whereabouts of Pushpa Rani’s family.

Adding to this already chaotic situation is the dubious local cop (Ravi Kishan knocking it out of the park again with his second release of the week).

Director Kiran Rao and her writers have touched upon heavy topics like the importance of education, self-reliance, and the unnecessary practices and diktats women are subjected to.

But at no point does the film feel heavy-handed, this is because of Kiran Rao’s treatment apart from the sharp writing.

Best parts

‘Laapataa Ladies’ is a comedy-drama. (X)

My favourite portions in the film are those involving Phool and her interactions with a street vendor, a beggar, and a chai wali.

There is a unique bond that Phool forms with an elderly lady named Manju Maai (a delightful Chhaya Kadam).

Manju Maai was a victim of domestic abuse. Her husband used to drink alcohol and physically abuse her. His justification is that violence should be allowed in love as it is a way of showing affection, this seems to be an indirect attack on Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Arjun Reddy (2016) and the recent Animal (2023), although it could be unintentional.

Back to Laapaata Ladies, Phool learns important things from Manju Maai and in the process, she becomes self-reliant. There is so much warmth in the way Phool forms a bond with the three, it is a delight to watch.

My other favourite portions of the film are the ones involving Pushpa Rani/Jaya. There is a certain mystery involving her character, she is more than happy to stay away from the person she is married to.

Pushpa Rani develops a strong friendship with Deepak’s Bhabhi and encourages the women to find their voice.

She also plays an important role in Deepak eventually finding Phool.


Laapaata Ladies has many scenes of rib-tickling humour from the fantastic Ravi Kishan. His comic timing coupled with the dialect is top-notch.

At no point, did his performance come across as hammy. In simple terms, Ravi Kishan has an absolute blast as a cop who loves taking bribes but still has a conscience.

Both Nitanshi Goel and Pratibha Ranta are wonderful in their respective roles.

Sparsh Srivastava as Deepak also sparkles in his well-written role. He brings out the sensitivity of Deepak in a pitch-perfect manner.

Ram Sampath’s music is in perfect sync with the film’s nature. Sajni sung by Arjit Singh is a soothing number as is “Dheeme Dheeme” sung by Shreya Ghoshal

The one slight flaw of Laapataa Ladies is a minor subplot involving a crooked politician. It has been patchily written.

Final take

Laapataa Ladies is a small movie with a big heart, highly recommended.

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