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Times of India
Sandhya is not your regular, next-door girl; she is a special one. But her protected upbringing puts her in a confused position when she wanders off into Mumbai one day.
A few years ago, cinematographer Mahesh Limaye made his Marathi directorial debut with 'Yellow', a film revolving around a special child. Another cinematographer, Laxman Utekar, tries his hand at handling a subject about a special girl in 'Lalbaugchi Rani'. But when you compare the two, the former is a much better product. It's not that 'Lalbaughchi Rani' is a bad film; it just doesn't engage you. Having said that, the film does have a feel-good factor.
Sandhya (Jamkar) ventures out of her house with her parents on her 24th birthday after a long time. What starts as a happy day for the special girl and her family soon turns into a nightmare when Sandhya goes missing in Mumbai. Despite the worried parents' best efforts, it seems impossible to find Sandhya. On the other hand, Sandhya keeps meeting new people and experiencing the soul of Mumbai. Her innocence is such that it can turn even the most hardened criminal into a nice person. But do Sandhya's parents find her? Or is it too late already?
Normally, this style of filmmaking is not one that many makers adopt and understandingly so because it takes a lot to keep the viewers involved. The film is technically sound, especially the cinematography. It shows us the people one might come across, the fast-paced life and even the dark areas of a city. But it falters in the execution.
Dialogues become repetitive and so do the situations. After a point it's more about getting to the end of the film rather than enjoying it. For a film that is only about two hours long, this film turns into a tedious watch. Add to it the over-the-top portrayal of Sandhya by Jamkar and you have a film that presses more wrong buttons than the right ones. The otherwise versatile Jamkar goes overboard, something not expected from a seasoned actor like her.
'Lalbaugchi Rani' is more about exploring the multi-faceted character of Mumbai than anything else and in that, it excels. If you want to watch it for that, please do.