Rating: 2.5/5 Stars (Two and a half star)
Star Cast: Randeep Hooda, Akshay Oberoi, Rajniesh Duggal, Piaa Bajpai, Meenakshi Dixit, Shreya Narayan, Rajendra Sethi
Director: Syed Ahmad Afzal
What’s Good: Laal Rang brings to the screen a very interesting topic with a full Haryanvi flavor. Randeep Hooda puts up an absolutely brilliant act.
What’s Bad: The director tries to present a serious issue with a commercial twist but fails to get the right balance. Romantic twists and songs form as setbacks to a compelling storyline.
Loo Break: In between the songs could do!
Watch or Not?: Laal Rang is not a movie that boasts of high star values and hence not many would flock to theaters to watch it. Although if you are a fan of Randeep Hooda, this one should be your pick. As an insight into the Blood mafia, this is not exactly a docu-drama so you may not get the detailing here.
Set in Karnal, Haryana, the story revolves around the blood trade business. At its core, the film is about friendship, love and greed.
The narrator of the story is Rajesh Dhiman, a young man who likes to dream big. He is admitted in college for the Diploma in medical laboratory science and soon meets two important people of his life.
Poonam (Pia Bajpai) who forms the love of his life and Shankar (Randeep Hooda) who he is utterly influenced by.
Shankar is a local goon, who runs the illegal blood trade business. Smitten by Shankar’s lifestyle and his charm, Rajesh instantly joins the former’s business. Money can be a bitch and when greed sets in, Rajesh and Shankar have a fall out.
In the midst of this, the new SP of town, Gajraj Singh (Rajneish Duggal) has taken the onus of shutting down this ugly blood business.
Will Shankar and Rajesh get caught for their illegal activities is what forms the rest of the plot!
The writers of the film dilute this social issue to form a part of an entertaining story. Right from go, they aim at a commercial film that throws light on an issue that has been forgotten or even unheard for many.
Filled with dark humor, the script gives you many moments to chuckle more than once at the dialogues.
What’s essential to this story is developing a bond amongst its lead characters Shankar and Rajesh. While the bromance formed is quite endearing, it takes long for the director to establish this, thus stretching the story longer.
While Shankar’s character, typically of a baddie with a heart of gold is also shown to be lovelorn, the back story to it is not as interesting. On the other side, Pia and Rajesh’s budding romance seems quite cute.
After a first half that is entertaining, Laal Rang slumps in the second where predictability sets in. I wish the makers had made a thought of a stronger climax.
Randeep Hooda as Shankar is devilishly charming. The swagger that he pulls off as Shankar, sporting the loud printed shirts, riding the Yamaha RX 100 is completely amazing. He is sure to make the ladies swoon!
Akshay Oberoi surprises with his nuanced act. He plays the youngster fallen prey to the greed of a materialistic life extremely well.
Pia Bajpai does a good job at playing the ambitious Sahranpur girl with a funny English. She maintains the tone quite perfectly all through.
Meenakshi Dikshit does not get much screen time to leave an impact.
Rajneish Duggal seems average for his role.
Syed Ahmad Afzal, who debuted as a director with Youngistaan, failed to create an impact with his last film, in spite of a novel concept. With Laal Rang, the director manages to make a film that is not earth-shattering with its portrayal of a social issue but infuses it with humor and it works.
One major problem with this film is the pace. Dealing with a genre like crime, the film’s pace is too slow in the first half. What could have been easily avoided, form the several scenes where Shankar and Rajesh get drunk and the latter gives him advise on love and life.
A major problem in this film also remains the unnecessary inclusion of songs as the soundtrack is not exactly brilliant.
Editing could have been tighter as a run-time of 2 hours 20 minutes is quite high for a film that has already made its point soon.
The Last Word
Laal Rang is not a boring watch but not a theater must-watch either. This is an entertaining film with a dose of seriousity and has Randeep Hooda pulling off a great role. I am going with a 2.5/5 for this film.