#Review: Impressive VFX artistry fails to save ‘Laxmii’ from sinking

At the heart of the story of Laxmii is the man’s exploration of his feminine side full of empathy and compassion but with a plot as thin as a tissue, poor slapstick comedy and a weak screenplay, this movie hardly tickles the funny bones or picks brains. It, however, successfully manages to get on the nerves and; in short bursts, baffle you with imagery.

The movie opens with Aasif played by Akshay Kumar (a Muslim), married to Rashmi played by Kiara Advani, (a Hindu girl). It being quite a digression from the nationalistic style of cinema that Kumar has been known for playing in the recent past, the beginning ushers a breath of fresh air. Asif finds it hard to get accepted by Rashmi’s family but he eventually wins their hearts and gets possessed by a transgender’s spirit as the screenplay progresses.

Fronting as as a horror-comedy, based on the director’s 2011 Tamil original, Kanchan, we do see a fair amount of visual effects with shadows hovering about in the dead of the night, moving furniture and ghoulish appearances enhanced with CGI and computer-generated heads when the possessed Asif screams.

Asif is a granite dealer and doesn’t believe in superstition. With Laxmii stepping in, the whole progressive facade falls out of the window. Ironically the film is steeped in stereotyping in the name of trans rights advocacy. 

Asif, who firmly believes that there is no such thing as ghosts gets possessed by the spirit of a transgender person named Laxmi, who wants revenge from the ones who wronged her when she was alive. What happens once Asif gets possessed plays out in the rest of the movie.

However, with all its gimmicky elements and weak writing, Laxmii has impressive production values and high-quality visual effects which are worked upon by After Studios. 

The real stunner in the film is Sharad Kelkar. His portrayal of Laxmi is brilliant. Towards the end of the film, he stuns with his emotive eyes and impeccable mannerisms.