Free Press Journal

Movie review: Laal Rang – Colored by ‘blood’ ties



Cast: Randeep Hooda, Akshay Oberoi, Pia Bajpai, Meenakshi Dixit, Rajniesh Duggall, Shreya Narayan, Rajendra Sethi

Director: Syed Ahmed Afzal

Rating: * * *

Runtime: 147 mins

A fairly realistically drawn bromance set within the confines of the blood mafia in Karnal, Haryana, this film has Akshay Oberoi and Randeep Hooda assaying the principal roles of two friends , Rajesh and Shankar, drawn closer by ties of Blood. And I am not talking about the cousinly variety here. Rajesh, a low-rung Government employee’s son, has dreams much bigger than his station. With underhand help from a close relative, he hopes to get into laboratory school. Once there, he meets up with the local ruffian, Shankar,  who has himself enrolled in the course, in order to generate enough connections to make blood his area of business. Rajesh is quickly recruited to speed things up and carry on the illegitimate business with utmost secrecy. His girl friend Poonam (Pia Bajpai), a fellow student, continues to be clueless about his money source until the cops get involved and Rajesh is on the brink of going to jail.

While the story does have it’s far-fetched moments there’s also plenty of rustic grit to help keep you interested throughout. The non-linear narration also helps drum up interest while the performances add to the likeableness of this outing. Akshay Oberoi’s performance is completely immersive. He doesn’t allow his pretty boy looks to come in the way of his assay of a small town boy caught up in a stranglehold of his own avariciousness. Randeep Hooda, takes great pains to make Shankar distinctive but the writing fails even his thespians skills. Nevertheless, his performance is also a noteworthy effort. Rajneish Duggall brings in a fair bit of magnetism with his distinguished assay of a Police officer hot on the trail of the blood mafia. Pia Bajpai, Shreya Narayan, Rajendra Sethi and the rest of the cast do well not to stray beyond the confines of their character’s region, attitude and dialect.

Cinematographer Dhirendra Shukla does a magnificent job lensing this localized thriller. The visuals are framed with expertise given to creating a distinctive mood and developing a sharp tone befitting the subject matter. The music though- both background and songs, are totally off-putting. Too many unnecessary scenes detailing the ‘bromance’ mar the overall effectiveness of this venture. If only this film was shorn of some of it’s ‘bromantic’ indulgence, it would have been a much more worthier experience.