OTTplay Logo
settings icon
profile icon

Lootere review - Rajat Kapoor and Vivek Gomber-led series sails through choppy waters, and it gets tough to escape

Lootere review: Navigating the murky narrative seas, the series by Hansal Mehta dives into piracy and perplexity.

Lootere review - Rajat Kapoor and Vivek Gomber-led series sails through choppy waters, and it gets tough to escape

Last Updated: 09.40 AM, Mar 22, 2024

Lootere story:

In the waters off the Somali coast, pirates engage in a high-stakes game involving the lives of innocent people and valuable cargo bound for foreign shores.

Lootere review:

When I think of Somali pirates in Indian films and series, I vaguely remember Bharat (2019), the Salman Khan-starring Ali Abbas Zafar film. There's a sequence in the film where the superstar's titular character fights off the pirates in the most non-violent way by playing Bollywood songs for them. Well, there's definitely a mention of Bollywood and love for it by Somali pirates in Lootere, which takes you on a journey that might intrigue you and also exhaust you at the same time.


Hansal Mehta is having a great run in the OTT space with Scam 1992, Scam 2003, and also Scoop. This time, as a showrunner, he has tapped into the world of Somali pirates, which we have been hearing about for years, with probably some believing it to be a myth because of the rampant way they attack ships and give hostile treatment to the people aboard. Anshuman Sinha and Shaailesh R. Singh have crafted a story that delves into a previously unexplored area, and we now understand why.

While watching Lootere, I, as a viewer, also felt that I had been taken hostage to watch the show, and getting out of it was just getting more difficult every moment. It's not a world that I am comfortable being in, but I definitely gave it a watch, and unlike you all, who are only going to watch the first two episodes, I have completed the eight-episode-long series.

In the first episode, we witness Vivek Gomber (Vikrant Gandhi) resolutely striving for re-election in the upcoming port presidency elections in Mogadishu. But when the UK-Kyival reaches Somalian waters, horrible news hits him. The port has just a few people aboard, and most of them are Indians except three (Pakistanis and Bangladeshi), as they are in transit from Ukraine to Mogadishu. The crew consists of the captain, AK Singh (Rajat Kapoor), three engineers, fellow naval officers, and a pregnant woman, the wife of one of the crew members. For obvious reasons, the men of the ship ensure the safety of the two women on board from the pirates.

Meanwhile, Bilal Ali's (Gaurav K. Sharma's) employment of pirates to aid him shocks Vikrant. Gomber plays the role of a businessman who has an Indian origin and has settled in Somalia. He has a wife, Avika (Amruta Khanvilkar), and their son, Aryaman. They belong to the world of Somalia and have lived life according to that culture itself. However, while he devises a confused plan to escape the mess, this attack causes more chaos than he could have ever imagined.

On the other hand, in order to regain command of the ship, Captain A.K. Singh and his crew devised a scheme. However, in the first two episodes, as the world we are setting changes, things go haywire as expected.

What I actually liked about Lootere is that it treats the whole series just like its viewer—less explored but getting into the depth of it. Yes, not everyone who watches films and series would enjoy this disturbing world of pirates and their actions, which are beyond menacing. However, Sinha and Singh spearheaded the effort to demonstrate to viewers that, despite the entire series not taking place in India, it undoubtedly has its origins here.

In one of the sequences, Aamir Ali, who works for the High Commission of India, keeps on addressing Gomber's character as Gandhiji, which is respectful because of the last name but taunting for the actions that are exactly opposite to what Mahatma Gandhi preached.

Indian actors portray the characters, including Chandan Roy Sanyal, who sits in Ukraine, unaware of the fate of his ship stranded in the middle of the ocean. However, as the episodes unfold, each lasting 45 minutes, you find yourself fatigued, just as the characters who wait to close the shop yearn for their money and return to their "normal" lives.

There are many disturbing visuals; well, why is that even a surprise? However, some moments definitely send chills down the spine, but you just feel at the end of it that it was just for an effect. 

With many characters spreading from India and Somalia, too many cooks come in to create a series that is longer and, due to that, sluggish. Many scenes seemed unnecessary to me, primarily because I was growing weary of spending eight long hours in this world.

Gomber, who plays Vikrant Gandhi in the series, has suave looks and plays the character of a spoiled and irresponsible businessman well. The actor does have the panache of someone without remorse. On the other hand, Rajat Kapoor brings calm to the chaos with his act as the captain of the ship, citing that nothing is in his hands anymore and all he can do is just give in and be patient, unlike his crew members, who definitely feel trapped and want to take matters into their own hands to get out of it.

But if you ask me, with such a meticulous cast and longish series, what stayed with me in the end? It's the background score and the title song, both composed by Achint Thakkar. Well, ever since the title track of Scam, this has captivated my attention, and I simply couldn't get enough of it.

Lootere is a trap with a large ship, and you might not want to go beyond two episodes, but if you get sucked into this world, the wait is very long to get out of it. Caution!

Lootere verdict:

A grim depiction of Somali piracy seen through Indian eyes, Lootere ventures into unexplored seas. The series has admirable intentions of delving deeply, but it has trouble keeping up with its own tempo, which makes the you feel lost and confused.


    Get the latest updates in your inbox