Movie Review: Laal Rang
Read City 1016's Lokesh Dharmani's verdict on the film
Director: Syed Ahmed Afzal
Starring: Randeep-finally-a-solo-film-Hooda, Akshay-not-Kumar-or-Khanna-but-Oberoi and Pia-not-related-to-Manoj-or-Atal-Bajpai
Laal Rang izz a flim about making bizzness of bloods banks. Randeep Hooda, like all ladiezz log would say, izz hooaaattt. The film izz a very eslow, miksing social issuez and lou livez and not doing justice to any.
If you struggled reading and deciphering the last paragraph, trust me you might need a translator to decode half the dialogues of the film. It is so Haryanvi heavy that Datto of Tanu Weds Manu Returns sounds like Whitney Houston.
But the language is not a problem of the film. The pace is. The film is so slow that if it was the only one running a race, it would yet come last.
The film began with a tight focus on a sign that read Trauma Center. I smiled if it was a mean pun for us for the next two and a half hours? It almost was.
The film started with a serious issue of blood bank commercialization, showcasing how buying and selling blood is a crime yet so rampant in our country. Alas, the film never delved deep into the issue instead kept repeating itself. There are scenes, long scenes, displaying all Haryanvi literature, showing all intensity…so rural that naïve audience in the theatre say ‘oh so real.’ Alas the scenes don’t lead to anything. No build up, no crisis, no denouement.
For instance, Ramesh (Akshay Oberoi) at the climax of the film seeks Shankar’s (Randeep Hooda) apology. The scene could have ended with a simple ‘no’ from Shankar. Instead this is what happens-
Ramesh asks for forgiveness.
Shankar- *threatens*, *evil laugh*, *snorts* *offers him a bike ride*. Err whaaaaa??
The bike zooms off. They both reach at a wedding.
Shankar offers Ramesh to attend the wedding. No wait, it gets more bizarre.
Ramesh goes down on his knees. Cries, asks for forgiveness. He asks Shankar for another chance, to save his life.
Shankar laughs some more. Makes faces. Gives gyan. Lots of gyan. Then they go for another bike ride.
And just at the moment you expect Shankar to give a final answer whether or not he would help Ramesh, a song starts playing. I literally tore my hair out exasperated.
The writing smartly weaves in a couple of blood phrases; has ke khoon bada raha hain, tere mooh khoon lag gaya hain, an interesting pun to the movie about blood banks but this dialogue baazi becomes too exhausting, too predictable, too contrived, too loopy and just too much.
Randeep Hooda is one of the most underrated actors in our industry. He is on home territory as this Rohtak boy gets the body, the language and the body language of a Haryanvi chora perfect to a T. The character seems like an extension of his real self; charming, cocksure and deliciously arrogant.
Akshay Oberoi is too chic to play a chaprasi’s son. In fact in one of the scenes, he looks so handsome in a denim shirt that as he steps into his rather modest poor house, it feels like someone has delivered gourmet French food in the ghettos. He does show promise in a couple of emotional scenes though.
Pia Bajpai plays the small town Poonam whose Rapidex English is as cute as contrived. Her dialogue delivery evokes a smile or two, the repetition of which makes it all gimmicky and boring. She pluralizes everything that she says and it begins to bore. She even misses the accent and bad grammar briefly and mouths a rather anglicized I DON’T KNOWWW!!! She looks pretty though and has played the character rather well.
The film has a couple of eve teasing scenes, scenes where women are ill treated or discussed with disrespect. It’s understandable as long as the film doesn’t glorify these chauvinistic characters. However what appalled me the most was the audience’s reaction to these scenes. Every time a girl was teased in the film, the theater reverberated with cheap laughs. I wanted to stand up on my seat and shout, IT’S NOT FUNNY. IT’S A CRIME. SO SHUT UP ALREADY. What’s so funny about a man being sleazy about a woman is so frigging beyond me. Argh.
Laal Rang could have been red hot alas turned out to be like a red flag to a bull. Don't be in the red, spend your weekend on a beach or at a shopping mall and paint the town red or else you will see red. In a line, the film loses fizz sooner than you expect. Watch it only if you like Randeep Hooda. He is fab in the movie.