Laal Kaptaan Movie Review, Release Date, Star Cast, Story
Laal Kaptaan Movie Release Date:
18th October, 2019
Laal Kaptaan Star Cast:
Saif Ali Khan as Gossain
Zoya Hussain as Widow
Manav Vij as Rehmat Khan
Deepak Dobriyal as Tracker
Aamir Bashir as Adham
Simone Singh as Begum
Neeraj Kabi as Sadullah Khan
Rudra Soni as Hunter Young
Abhishek Madrecha as Young Rehmat
Vibha Rani as Laal Pari
Laal Kaptaan Movie Review:
Since last year, Bollywood has seen a rise in period films based in the pre-independence era. Not only films based on real-life characters like Manikarnika – Jhansi Ki Rani, Kesari or Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, but also fictional saga like Thugs of Hindostan, Tumbbad or the upcoming Shamshera are being made. Saif Ali Khan’s latest outing, Laal Kaptaan, belongs to the latter category and attempts to tell a revenge drama. So does Laal Kaptaan manage to entertain despite the niche appeal? Or does it fail to impress? Let’s analyze.
Laal Kaptaan is a tale of revenge spread over a few decades. The year 1789 is 25 years after the Battle of Buxar. Hunter (Saif Ali Khan) is a Naga Sadhu who is on the hunt for a man named Rahmat Khan (Manav Vij). Through Noor Bibi (Sonakshi Sinha), Hunter learns that Rahmat is the governor of a state somewhere in North India. At this time, the evil Rahmat snatches away all the treasures of his kingdom and kills his servants. Accompanied by his army, his confidant Adam Khan (Aamir Bashir), his wife (Simon Singh), the wet nurse (Ashika Dey) and their newborn son, he leaves the fort and is on the banks of the Yamuna River. By the time Hunter reaches the fort, there is none other than a widow (Zoya Hussain). Hunter gets injured while fighting with some Pathans on the way and the widow takes care of him and treats his wounds. In return, she requests him to take her with her. Hunter refuses and yet, she follows him. After Hunter and Widow leave, a tracker (Deepak Dobriyal) who specializes in tracking down his whereabouts with the help of his sense of smell and pet dogs, reaches the fort. In no time, the Marathas attack the fort and the tracker agrees to help them find Rahmat. Rahmat was supposed to give a part of the treasure to the Marathas, but since he did not give it, they are trying to find it. Meanwhile, a few days later, Hunter reaches the spot where Rahmat and his army have camped for the night. Hunter quietly enters Rahmat’s tent but does not kill him, which has always been his sole objective for 25 years. Rahmat’s army captures Hunter, but Rahmat does not want him to be eliminated. He wants to know who Hunter really is and why he wants to kill him. Rahmat is also reminded that six years earlier, he had crossed paths with Hunter and the latter told him that he would eliminate him. Even then Hunter had spared him. What happens next becomes the rest of the film.
The story of Deepak Venkatesh and Navdeep Singh is very bad and gives a déj vu of certain period films of Bollywood and Hollywood. Deepak Venkatesh and Navdeep Singh’s screenplay is confusing and ineffective. There are a lot of tracks in the film and except for Hunter’s track, none of them are interesting. Also, the transition between tracks is not smooth. There is a twist in the story unfolding in the pre climax but it comes at a time when the audience is tired of the ongoing work and wants the film to end. Sudeep Sharma’s dialogues are nothing special and are also quite showy. Philosophical one-liners fail to entice. Also, different dialects and even Marathi are used and in the absence of subtitles some lines would be difficult to understand.
Navdeep Singh’s direction is extremely disappointing. He had very weak material in his hand and at the same time he spoils the show with his actions. The film is extremely dry and slow and very few scenes catch your attention. There is also an attempt to add humor to the character of the tracker and show the Pindaris as buffoons allied with the Maratha army. But it doesn’t just affect. Even Avenger seems silly as Hunter crosses paths with Rahmat Khan twice and still doesn’t kill him.
LAAL KAPTAAN has an interesting beginning showing the flashback part. Hunter’s entry is heroic but soon the film goes awry and remains so until the very end, with a few minutes in between. At 155 minutes the film is very long and moves at a snail’s pace. Apart from this the story is very random and also quite confusing. In such a situation, it becomes difficult for the audience to maintain their interest. At the same time, it is also surprising that Hunter has been desperate to find Rahmat Khan for 25 years. And when he finally meets her, he never hits her. The audience will never understand this factor. In the end, the reason is revealed but it is very disjointed and silly.
Saif Ali Khan does really well when it comes to acting. His look is quite dashing and he does wonders in action scenes. Manav Vij also does very well as a villain. His intense eyes work well for such roles. Deepak Dobriyal is a light-hearted entertainer but his performance in most of the scenes doesn’t make him laugh. Zoya Hussain is full of confidence. Simon Singh is decent. Aamir Bashir and Ishika Dey are popular. Neeraj Kabi (Sadullah Khan) gives a good performance in a cameo and the same goes for Chetan Hansraj (Sangram Singh) and Ajay Paul (Thakur). Vibha Rani (Lal Pari) is quite scary as the clairvoyant but the director misses the bus here as he could have done a lot with the character. Madan Deodhar (Maratha captain) is apt and he is the only one who manages to have some laughs. Henry Douthwaite (British officer Theodore Munro) doesn’t have much to do. Sonakshi Sinha is ruined and only for one scene.
Sameera Koppikar’s music is nothing special and the songs are used badly. ‘Tandav’ sounds exciting but comes at a very confusing point in the film. ‘Red Red Nazriya’ could have been a great item song, but it is played only for a few seconds and hence becomes useless. ‘Kaal Kaal’ and ‘Lhoo ka Rang Kara’ do not give the desired effect. The background score of Benedict Taylor and Naren Chandavarkar suits the mood of the film.
Shankar Raman’s cinematography is superb and the film has been shot in a few virgin locations. Rakesh Yadav’s production design is authentic. Darshan Yewalekar’s hair design and Dhananjay Prajapati’s makeup are spot on, especially in Saif’s case. The costume of Maxima Basu Golani is also directly from 18th century India. Illusion Ether’s VFX is fine but could have been better in some scenes. Jabeen Merchant’s editing is haphazard in many scenes.
Overall, Laal Kaptaan is quirky and a lousy film that has nothing to offer to the audience in general. At the box office, negligible buzz along with releasing in the sluggish period before Diwali will spell doom for the film.