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Raghava Lawrence’s ‘Laxmii’ is the Hindi remake of ‘Muni 2: Kanchana’, his 2011 Tamil horror-comedy that a bunch of people have since called out for being quite transphobic. But, hey, that was almost a decade ago and he’s got a chance to revisit the script now. Surely Lawrence would’ve taken those criticisms into account, right? Right?
I should mention that I haven’t watched ‘Kanchana’, so I went into this Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani-starrer with an open mind. But even before Hotstar released this film, it had already gotten into too much shit to ignore. It had to change its title because the OG one (‘Laxmmi Bomb’) offended someone’s religious sentiments. Then someone got wind of the fact that the married protagonists were a Muslim man and a Hindu woman, which prompted its own outrage cycle. And then, of course, there’s the slight matter of the datedly bad potrayal of the trans community in the film.
Now, I’ll obviously never be able to understand or tell you about alllll the ways ‘Laxmii’ is transphobic and offensive, so I urge you to read up on what more knowledgeable people have to say. Or you can just follow the hashtag #BanLaxmii on Twitter (just ignore the tweets asking Hotstar to #BanLaxmii for its Love Jihad content, because… you know… not a real problem that the world needs to be concerned with right now). Having said all that, this is still an Akshay Kumar film where he takes over a real-life cause (that he has nothing to do with) for a community (that has no representation in the film) with his surface-level attempts at preaching progressiveness and #GoodVibes. So, of course, there’s still plenty wrong with the film that I do feel qualified enough to tell you about. Let’s dig in, shall we?
This recap brought to you by our lovely producers and wise intellects Minam Gao and Vighnesh Vatsal.
Also, a HUGE shoutout to some of the members who make all of this possible:
That shrewd mastermind, Nihas Basheer
A sly ninja, Shweta Narayan
The funnest of ’em all, Nishita Jha
That one-named star, Aparna
That always-fun hang, Shrikala Kashyap
An above-average alliterator, Sheebani Sethi
And that artistic genius, Nirali Shah
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