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Movie Review: 'Kaanchi'

'Kaanchi' 
U/A; Drama
Director: Subhash Ghai
Cast: Mishti, Kartik Aryan, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Rishi Kapoor, Mithun Chakraborty
Rating: 

Fifteen years ago, Subhash Ghai came up with Taal, undoubtedly one of the most memorable Hindi films till date. Just like in that blockbuster, the acclaimed filmmaker once again sets his story against the picturesque backdrop of the hilly regions in Northern India. Sadly, this is where the similarity between the two films ends. Kaanchi shows promise in the beginning, but soon enough, its potential is lost even though the climax offers some inspiration. If only the movie could convey its message in a concise fashion.

Kaanchi
Mishti and Kartik Aryan in 'Kaanchi'

So while the film focuses on the eponymous protagonist who is seeking revenge, her plans appear to be weak. She’s an ordinary girl who is committed to love and finding the truth but her circumstances seem to be too flimsy, and one can see gaping holes in the plot.

As far as the film’s pace is concerned, the first half barely offers us any clues about the emerging plot. Besides, too much emphasis is laid on the usual elements one finds in a signature Ghai film (read: unnecessary songs and lines that try to be funny but are anything but that). The music barely touches you; the songs are remarkably dull. The film picks up towards the end when the blood hits the screen. Here you see glimpses of what could have been an interesting thriller; but unfortunately, the predictable drama takes away from it all.

On one hand, the film has a story that’s worth sharing. Without getting into the finer dynamics of corruption, the film highlights the nexus between politicians and businessmen. And the loud cry for change is audible too – a welcome track in the election season. Intriguingly though, the powers-to-be haven’t been stereotyped throughout the film; this is a detour from their run-of-the-mill portrayal.

Performance-wise, the casting is spot on. New girl, Mishti, appears uptight and loud but ends up showing promise in her debut film. As her lover, Kartik Aryan (of Pyaar Ka Punchnama fame) is his usual affable self. Chandan Roy Sanyal is certainly the surprise package of the film; his role as a wayward cop deserves a mention. Rishi Kapoor is convincingly sleazy while Mithun Chakraborty is terrific as a corrupt politician.

Then again, Kaanchi lacks what Taal had: soul. The film seems to be in an unnecessary hurry and to be fair, its running time shouldn’t have exceeded two hours.

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