Lost movie review: Yami Gautam has slipped into the role of a journalist quite comfortably, but this film is beyond redemption.
Lost is one of the few recent films I’ve seen where a great build-up leads to a rather dull climax, leaving you with many unanswered questions. Lost, directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and starring Yami Gautam, has an intriguing premise, but it turns out to be a half-baked attempt at addressing some important issues. At one point, you feel like the big reveal will take your breath away, but when it happens, there isn’t much that surprises you.
Set in Kolkatta and inspired by true events, Lost tells the story of Vidhi Sahani (Yami Gautam), a young crime reporter who is married to Jeet (Neil Bhoopalam) but lives with her nanu (Pankaj Kapur). She is looking into a case after a young theatre activist, Ishaan Bharti (Tushar Pandey), goes missing. Soon after, Vidhi discovers the involvement of a girl Ankita Chauhan (Pia Bajpiee), who was in a relationship with Ishaan and is now running for an MLA seat under the aegis of a well-known political leader Ranjan Varman (Rahul Khanna).Will Vidhi be able to connect the dots and track down Ishaan? Are Ankita and Ranjan really responsible for his disappearance? All of these points are traced by Lost, but it never hits you hard enough or emphasises the main issue. The first half is engaging, but the second half fails to maintain the momentum.
Written by Shyamal Sengupta and Ritesh Shah, the story has way too many loose ends that are difficult to overlook. It picks and drops pace without caring too much about holding on to audience’s interest. Bodhaditya Banerjee’s editing is patchy at places and some portions look abruptly stitched together.
The main issue I had with Lost was that it tried to cover too many topics and could not do them all justice. There are references to gender bias at work, deep-seated patriarchy, system corruption, marital problems, and naxal terror. Vidhi’s parents, who oppose her profession, refer to crime journalism as a “mardon wali field” in one scene. And we hear Nanu come to her defence, defending the notion as “progressive” for the twenty-first century. A video call between Vidhi and the leader of the Naxalite group is shown in another sequence, but it does not trigger you. As a result, everything remains on the surface, and the track never receives enough attention to make an impact.
Though salvaging a half-baked script is difficult, some performances stand out. Gautam effortlessly slips into the skin of a crime reporter and never leaves her character. She never goes overboard, and the control she exhibits while performing emotionally charged scenes is admirable. Khanna’s performance as the brash politician is outstanding. Not only does he have a charming screen presence, but his grasp on character makes you want to see more of him. Onscreen, Kapur is a joy to watch.
The film gives him plenty of opportunities to deliver some heavyweight lines, mostly to Gautam when she’s in a pickle. The scenes between Gautam and Kapur are extremely endearing and moving, and may be the film’s high point. Bajpiee has so much potential, but I felt her character lacked depth. She has many facets as Ankita, but something was off. Bhoopalam is completely wasted in the story and contributes nothing that advances the plot. His few scenes with Gautam are completely forgettable.
Lost is watchable if only for Gautam’s excellent performance, which does not disappoint and remains true to her craft. Otherwise, the title is taken quite literally in the film.