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‘Laal Kaptaan’ Movie Review: Even Saif Ali Khan’s career-best performance can’t save this rusty, brutish and over-lengthy film
Sunil Lulla, Anand L Rai
Saif Ali Khan, Manav Vij, Zoya Hussain, Deepak Dobriyal
Bollywood Bubble Rating
What’s It About:
Post the Buxar war, in the late 18th century Bundelkhand, a sagacious and disturbed bounty hunter (Saif Ali Khan), in the garb of a Naga Sadhu, goes on a killing spree. Aided by his sidekicks he travels in a quest to find and kill his arch-nemesis. Will he be able to quench his thirst? Will he be able to attain nirvana after killing his nemesis? Well, for that you’ll have to watch the movie.
How many times does Saif Ali Khan need to prove his mettle over and over again? He has done so numerous times in the past, yet he doesn’t attain the cult stardom status of his contemporaries like Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, and Aamir Khan have achieved. He proves himself once again in ‘Laal Kaptaan’. He has let go of his royal good looks and when you see him onscreen as the Naga Sadhu out for a bounty. He is so good, that you will totally forget that in real life he is a Nawab. Saif Ali Khan’s rugged avatar and the intensity with which he pours his heart and soul into this character is totally mesmerizing. With weapons in his hand, dreadlocks on his head and an ash-smeared face, he is the one who will transport you to a different level altogether. This is, without doubt, Saif Ali Khan’s career-best performance.
Deepak Dobriyal, Manav Vij and Simone Singh are splendid in their minimal screen space. They leave an impact on the plot of the story, which all culminates at the climax. Zoya Hussain, who is such a brilliant performer, and she did well on the less screen time she got.
Well, pretty much everything else.
The first and foremost problem with the film is the length. The film keeps on going and going and going. You are left hanging at times in need for a break, as the duration seems a bit too long. Could have been chopped easily by 20 mins here and there. The storytelling seems to be unhurried, which makes you at times, lose interest in the flow of the movie.
The storyline of the movie looks good on paper, but when you are made to watch it on screen, it doesn’t come out to be as riveting and intriguing. The screenplay by Navdeep Singh and Deepak Venkatesha seems to have left characters half baked. The script develops characters who are all hunky-dory about their angst for their motherland and display anger at every given opportunity, but they are inadequately cut off at times, and you are left wanting for more from them.
Director Navdeep Singh, who has given us some brilliant films in the past, seems to have worked on this dream project a bit too long. His vision may have been at the correct place, but when that comes out on the screen, it has translated that well. He seems to have squandered an opportunity of having Saif Ali Khan play one of the best characters of her life. The loose ends left after pretty much every scene leaves you wanting for more, and the worst part is that your quench for the answer doesn’t even end at the climax, as you’re left high and dry. It’s a chance gone to waste.
The music of the film by Samira Koppikar is rustic, but there isn’t a single track that will stick on to you after you’ve left the screens.
Sonakshi Sinha‘s blink-and-miss appearance couldn’t also grab the eyeballs it should have ideally done. It seems like, it was an after-thought to have added her character to the flow of the story.
Overall, a lot more was expected from the film, which didn’t end up delivering.
SKIP IT! I am going with 2 stars just for Saif Ali Khan’s stupendous performance, which could have made the film one of the best this year, yet somewhere things just go haywire.
‘Laal Kaptaan’ hasn’t been promoted that well. Saif Ali Khan himself, after a stage, didn’t want to push the film that much, and he headed out to shoot for ‘Tandav’ instead of promoting ‘Laal Kaptaan’. That itself gives you a hint. Plus, Friday morning shows at many PVRs were canceled, which gives you an understanding as to how the movie wasn’t marketed well in order to draw in the masses for the first day first show. It will be difficult for ‘Laal Kaptaan’ to put forth a brilliant box-office figure for the weekend. People are much rather going and watching Hrithik Roshan-Tiger Shroff‘s ‘War’, which is still in high demand in theatres.
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