A Subhash Ghai movie has to be a minimum of 2.5 hours. Nothing lesser. On that count Kaanchi qualifies by just a bit. It has an excruciatingly long run time of 151 minutes. Half way into the 2nd half you catch yourself nodding off at least once. If your tolerance levels are not as high as mine, this could happen about 20 minutes into the first half itself.
That is the genre of movies that Shri Ghai chooses to make. Slow, long, family viewing melodramas that have very little difference from the previous one. From Vidhata (1982) to Khalnayak (1993) it was the family action melodrama. From Taal (1999) to Kaanchi (2014) the melodrama remains but the action has depleted to a “flash and you miss it” level. But at the heart of it all, it is a Ghai Melodrama.
For a while there, the music was at least memorable. These days, that has also disappeared. Instead we find shady songs where lines from some of Ghai’s own movies and some newer movies are alternated with the line “Kambal Ke Neeche”. I am quite certain that Ghai was the lyricist for this specific song and not Irshad Kamil.
Coming to the story – believe it or not, there is one. Kaanchi aka Sigri (Mishti) is the 19 year old daughter of Shaheed Suraj Singh – a jawan in the Indian army. She stays with her mother and sister in the Koshampa Valley in Uttarakhand. It is an area provided to rehabilitate Army Jawans and their families after completion of service. Mishti is in love with her childhood buddy Balli (Kartik Tiwari) and they are to be married.
However, all is not going to be too good in Koshampa which is due to be converted to the Koshampa Mega City. Of course, the corrupt powers-that-be are hand in glove with this development. Led by Shyam Kakda (Mithun) and his brother Jhoomar (Rishi Kapoor), the valley is set to be handed over to developers who are keeping the Kakda’s happy. The story is about Kaanchi’s fight for justice after losing her fiancé.
The story takes ages to unravel itself and the execution is as tacky as can be associated with Subhash Ghai. Green Screen shots are clearly visible. Continuity errors across the board. No attention to detail – AT ALL. Of course the concept of editing is alien to Ghai.
There is not much of acting on display either. Kartik Tiwari has not been in the best of form since PKP. He has built a six pack to distract attention but that doesn’t do much good. Newbie Mishti – Ghai’s latest M victim – is impressive in parts. Where the scene requires her to create one, she does a fab job by screaming her head off. And boy can she shriek.
Mithun Da and Rishi Kapoor do themselves no favours by coming on board for their respective roles. Their characters are embarrassing to say the least – especially Jhoomar Babu aka JB. In all, a very boring 151 minutes where I nodded off somewhere in the 2nd half and took a break to grab a bite in the 1st half. I missed nothing on both occasion. You will not miss anything if you skip this one. 4 on 10.
Watch the trailer on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBfhi5q-OFI