Till 15 years back, Subhash Ghai was called the showman of Bollywood, a title that was once associated with Raj Kapoor. He did justice to it with blockbusters like Karz, Hero, Ram Lakhan, Saudagar, Khalnayak, Pardes and Taal.
Cut to 2014, there's little buzz around Kaanchi which is a launchpad of Mishty. Did Subhash Ghai do justice to his showman tag?
You cannot miss the Ghai flavor in Kaanchi. Mishty plays a typical Subhash Ghai heroine. Merge the personalities of the female protagonists of Taal and Pardes in your head, and you will get Kaanchi. Like his previous films, Ghai has also played a cameo in one of the songs. But what we missed in Kaanchi was Ghai's magical touch that transformed an ordinary tale into a gripping one.
Kaachi is a village belle from Uttrakhand's Koshampa. She is free-spirited, innocent and challenges established norms. It is Binda (Kartik) who stands up against corrupt brothers Shaam Kakra (Mithun, a politician) and Jhoomar Babu (Rishi, a businessman). Kartik's brutal murder transforms Kaanchi from a vulnerable girl to a fighter who will not give up till she changes the system.
The narrative of the film is way too slow to capture the attention span of most sections of the audience. The film that lasts for 2 hours 20 minutes could have been easily wrapped in less than 2 hours. Ghai for sure needs a good editor for his next. There's something wrong with the storytelling style as well, as it doesn't hook you enough.
The film has a message though - if you are determined enough, you can win any battle.
The most impactful scene of the film comes towards the interval, when Kaanchi declares she cannot bear the injustice anymore and disconnects from her mother to connect with her true self.
The climax of the film is stretched though. By then, you desperately want the film to end.
For a debut venture, Mishty has done a decent job, but she has a long way to go. Mishty's performance is not as natural as her face. Veterans Mithun and Rishi steal the show, especially Mithun who plays a subtle but crooked character with aplomb. Rishabh Sinha who plays Mithun's son has a very good screen presence. Chandan Roy Sanyal (of Kaminey fame) delivers a strong performance.
Overall Kaanchi has a soul that is lacking in a lot of films today. It has a message also, which one can take back home. What it lacks is the grip, the magic and the experience of a Bollywood film.