Saturday, April 23, 2016

review: LAAL RANG

How Much Can You Depend on Randeep Hooda's Bod On A Motorbike?

2.5 stars

Mini Review:

It's a welcome change watching dark comedy on the screen. And the writing is good, the scenes are outrageous and the chuckles are genuine. There's also the smashingly good bod of Randeep Hooda and his evil grin riding on a classic motorbike. If only the the film could be held together a little smartly...

Main Review:

Stealing and selling blood for profit is not exactly something you want to chuckle at. But when the crazy haired, goggle-eyed lanky man who steals blood packs is called 'Dracula' you can only but laugh. 

Then you watch wide-eyed at Shankar. He's all-knowing, smirking, smoking, seducing 'sargana' (the head) of the blood smuggling operation. He has attitude and an obvious sexuality that makes mothers hide their daughters in the basement, and hospital admin department ladies swoon. And he owns an RX100 bike. A classic now. Yes, yes, that's Randeep Hooda. 

The young man who is the young apprentice who is super-impressed and wants to be like Shankar. Alas, Akshay Oberoi who plays the role of Rajesh, the apprentice has no other expression than 'male ingenue'. This role needed someone who could express more than amazement at meeting Shankar. He is supposed to carry the story forward, not make us want to tell him to stop staring and blink.

The writing is sharp and even though it is in Haryanvi Hindi, it is fun to hear the dialect. The supporting cast is brilliant. Neelam the Admin lady (Shreya Narayan), Babuji the Blood Bank official (Rajendra Sethi), Piaa Bajpai is Poonam - Rajesh's love interest who consistently uses plural of every word (thanks to Rapidex English Speaking Course) shine in their roles. So why is this such an average movie?

The music is so forgettable it actually gets in the way of the story. And the long, lingering shots of the motorbike are not really a homage to the classic bike but just shameless product placement. The first time the apprentice waxes lyrical about the bike, you smile because that's the awe you felt too, and you remember how you bowed and scraped so your brother/best friend took you for a ride on their first motorbike. But then you see those long rides again and again and again as well as a buying of the bike from the showroom scene too. It's unnecessary and very obviously a product placement. 

The biggest carp one could have against the otherwise fabulous script, is it does not answer the question the film starts with: the apprentice's wife needs blood at the hospital, so does he buy blood? The film waffles in many places.

But it does have the brazen boy Shankar grinning at the women in the audience with a, 'Come, ride on my bike with me' invitation. Even though it makes for amazing eye candy, it does not a movie make.


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