Tom Tykwer’s German film Run Lola Run was novel in several ways when it released 21 years ago. Its kinetic, futuristic language supplementing a dark comic grain made it a tour de force even though the film had little going for it in terms of story or character. It was a triumph of form over material, of pyrotechnics over character and story—almost like a cinematic video game, as if an arrant and hip Berlin film-maker had reinterpreted Groundhog Day to suit a post-MTV, post-Matrix generation of movie-goers.
The inspiration and motivation for Akash Bhatia to direct and co-write Looop Lapeta, the Indian adaptation of Run Lola Run for Netflix, is obvious from the very first frame. He wanted to replicate the film, and not reimagine or reinterpret or contextualise it for a world that runs largely on digital natives in 2022.
Satya (Tahir Raj Bhasin) stops Savi (Taapsee Pannu) from committing suicide. Savi is a sprinter who loses her ability to compete in track and field after a grave knee injury. Satya is a small-time gambler who also works for a gangster Victor (Dibyendu Bhattacharya).
Satya and Savi soon become inseparable as lovers. The thorn in this seemingly poetic hook-up: Satya literally can’t get anything right, and Savi believes she can do anything.