Note : This is a personal comment on the issue and not just a review. All opinions here are personal.
The plight of prostitutes and child sex workers has been strongly depicted.
Before I begin reviewing I would like to convey my feelings towards women. I respect and adore women. It's tough and painful to be women. Women bleed more in their lives. A girl bleeds when she matures to a woman, she bleeds when she has her first sexual intercourse, and she gives her blood and mass while becoming a mother. Additionally, she has to undergo a certain pain almost each month till her menopause. So, as such the anatomy of women is intricate and indeed it takes a lot of pain to bear the bleeding. In some cases, it can be a matter of life and death too. So, most women have multiple lives embedded in a lifetime. If we as humans subject a women to any further pain then it is simply inhuman. In the due course of the film, a girl is subjected to lot of pain, and thus the tag line "Are We Being Human" is rightly justified.
I am completely against prostitution, yet if it has to be an ailment in the society then better legalize it. I am all for the legalization of prostitution. Coz, only then women can claim the right stake and they need not have to live a life in disguise or fear. If they bargain a petty amount with their customer(animal) as of now, then post legalization they can demand the same and if that animal fails to pay, they can take some action. Firstly, they can live a legal life of dignity which is so much abhorred by the hypocritical society of India. So if sex workers or prostitutes have to be even considered as equal humans, their job must be legalized. This will keep the mafia and other dark forces out of this and I hope so that gradually forcing women into this kind of profession shall mitigate. Only after legalization, I believe they can claim their rights as girls and need not be put behind the bars for no fault of theirs.
Okay, now coming to the review, this is a film that is about child trafficking. The title is aptly put as Lakshmi. It indicates the irony of our society where when a girl is born, it is said, "ghar mein lakshmi aayi hai" (Lakshmi! the goddess of wealth has come home) and as the girl grows, she is sold by parents for money, to acquire wealth. Thus, the title and the name of the protagonist is rightly put and it is wonderful of Nagesh Kukunoor to have such thoughts and present them in a provocative way.
Acting by each and everyone is fine. The casting of Monali Thakur as Lakshmi is bang on. I am now a fan of this girl, who took the most challenging role in the recent times and played it with sensibility. Nagesh himself played as the villain. He was ruthless and terrific. Kudos to a director who can play a brutal negative role in his own film. The youth of a girl was raped and ravaged, there are moments that have haunted me and are lingering still in my mind.
The music was good. I loved two songs "Sun Ri Baavli" and "Sun Suguna Re". They will be on my playlist for long time. The editing was precise, cutting out the unnecessary elements, and yet sticking to the needed things, which are a need to be shown, only then will evocative emotions come out from the viewers. When we say "this should not be shown" it essentially means that the particular thing has made an impression on mind, you make like it or not is subject to choice of conscience.
There are movies made on this subject long back but I cannot recall one in last 10-15 years. This one is not for the weak hearted and it takes a lot of guts to see it in the first place. The makers and actors need a huge applause for presenting it. Great work team.
Personally, I like the below lines on prostitution.
Written by great "Sahir Ludhianvi" for the song "Jinhe Naaz Hai Hind Par" in the film "Pyaasa" in 1957.
"yahaan peer bhi aa chuke hai jawaan bhi
tan-o-mand bete bhi abba miyaa bhi
yeh biwi bhi hai, behan bhi hai maa bhi
jinhe naaz hai hind par woh kahaan hai"
My translation for those lines :
The aged and the young have come here
The sons and the fathers too have come
These girls are wives, sisters and mothers too
Those who are proud of the nation, where are they?
A 4/5 for the film. It's not flawless, and I will not be seeing it again, I wept badly after seeing this, and the scenes are still haunting. Perhaps, I will see only if it is a must. Yet, it is a must must see film, for those who are concerned about a girl child.