‘Laapataa Ladies’: A Master Class in Loss, Love, and Laughs

What happens when a man takes home the wrong bride? Hijinks galore and a searing treatise on how society treats women.

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A still from 'Laapataa Ladies' (2024).

Snigdha Sur


April 27, 2024


8 min

“What’s your secret?” police officer Manohar (Ravi Kishan) asks Deepak (Sparsh Srivastav). “I’ve been trying for years and still haven’t lost my wife.”

The year is 2001, and Deepak, a young man from Nirmal Pradesh (a made-up Indian state neighboring Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh) — squarely in the country’s central Hindi belt — has mistakenly brought home the wrong bride after a long boat, train, and bus journey. You see, she was wearing a veil, and all the newlyweds looked similar in their red bridal wear. But there is one problem. Unlike in some other arranged marriages, Deepak loves his equally young and naive wife, Phool (Nitanshi Goel), and misses her. He needs her back. 

When Manohar asks Deepak for a photo of his bride, Deepak pulls out a colorful snap of himself in a beige suit and Phool, replete with a red ghoonghat. This will be helpful, Manohar jokes as he chews his paan. The scene sets the tone for one of the most hilarious stories about India’s hinterland that isn’t overly preachy and constantly makes you guess its intentions.

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