Kaanchi Movie Review: Not Really Unbreakable
When it comes to a Subhash Ghai film, you expect one simple thing - It has to be THE Subhash Ghai film. Period. You don't look for any re-invention, you don't look at anything experimental, you don't vouch for anything new age. All that you look forward to is a drama of yore that earned Subhash Ghai the title of Showman.
Sadly, Kaanchi doesn't come anywhere close to that. Right through the film you try to hunt for elements that bring back the memories of some wonderful work by Ghai that is remembered till date. However, there are just a few faint glimpses one experiences but by and large, the film hardly comes across as a product which has a trademark Subhash Ghai touch to it.
The film takes a long time to come to the point as well. The opening sequences are so much stretched that one wonders what is taking so much time for Mishti and her lover Kartik to unite. However, while one waits for that to happen, there are elements added around a company [owned by Rishi Kapoor and backed by his elder brother Mithun Chakraborty] looking at taking over the township where Mishti and Kartik live. A few unconvincing sequences follow where concepts of right versus wrong and fighting for one's own rights are established.
In the middle of this there is another angle of a youngster [Rishabh Sinha] added into the plot which had seemed like a quick pass-by to begin with. However, and to one's surprise, it turns out to be the crux of the plot, which doesn't quite make you go wow. In fact his transition from I-Am-A-Peace-Loving-Painter to See-I-Have-The-Power-To-Be-Misused is done in such a manner that one wonders whether the kid never got a chance before in his lifetime to be spoilt and turned into a brat!
Nevertheless, there are some hopes that come in once the film marches towards the interval point as there are some reasonably well paced and pitched dramatic sequences that are put together. Still, though you don't step into the second half with many expectations, what amazes you is the manner in which Kaanchi goes further downhill. Mishti's visit to Mumbai, the way she meets her childhood friend turned cop [Chandan Roy Sanyal], the ease with which she gains an entry into the lives of Rishi Kapoor and Mithun Chakraborty, the sting that she carries, the social/political workers that she approaches - it is a free fall.
This isn't all as in the middle of this all, there are four to five songs interspersed in the second half, two of them entirely picturised on Chandan Roy. At number of instances there are forced references made to Ghai's own work from the past. The pre-climax of the bigwigs getting arrested left, right and center is of convenience too and so are many escapes that Mishti makes. You just hope, albeit faintly, that the climax would bring in a high to the plot but the fight sequence that follows is just average and by the time an epilogue featuring CBI official Adil Hussain arrives, Kaanchi surprisingly gets into a Prakash Jha zone.
In the middle of this all one does hunt for positives and it has to be said that Mishti comes across as a really beautiful girl with freshness about her. With baby flesh on her face, she comes across every bit as an innocent girl though her modus operandi leaves a lot to be desired. Also, she clearly makes an attempt to 'act' rather than coming across as natural. Comparatively Kartik does well during his screen time and it is apparent that he has opened up a lot since his Pyaar Ka Punchnama days. Mithun Chakraborty is good, though he turns monotonous after a point. Rishi Kapoor clearly chose this role for old time sake with Subhash Ghai. Rishabh is just about okay while Chandan has his moments occasionally.
Eventually, there are attempts being made to project Kaanchi as a film that comes as a message. How one wishes though that Subhash Ghai makes an out and out commercial entertainer with larger than life appeal with the likes of Dr. Dang, Chuniya, Mandhari and Roshan Mahanta. Now that would be one movie watching experience for sure!