Subhash Ghai is back on the director's chair after a hiatus. After YUVVRAAJ . It's indeed a long sabbatical, considering the Showman has continuously churned out movies in varied genres. Mostly entertainers. With KAANCHI, Ghai decides to entertain in his own way, yet attempts to drive home a message.
A number of film-makers have attempted movies on the woman of today. Someone who is feircely independent and charters her own path in life. More recently, Vikas Bahl's QUEEN narrated the story of one such woman. In KAANCHI, Ghai attempts to narrate the story of a small-town girl who locks horns with the high and mighty over personal issues. An interesting concept indeed… However, what could've been a lone woman's fight against the corrupt and evil forces loses track midway since Ghai tries to pack in just about every commercial ingredient to woo the spectator. More on that later!
First, the premise! KAANCHI tells the story of Kaanchi [Mishti], whose life turn upside down when the young son [Rishabh Sinha] of a politician [Mithun Chakraborty] unleashes hell in her life. She decides to pick the pieces of her life by shifting to Mumbai and settling the score with the oppressors.
What could've been a thought-provoking film deviates into sub-plots that seem far from interesting. For instance, the entire track involving Rishi Kapoor and Mishti looks ridiculous. Additionally, the portions that show Mishti landing herself a job in Mithun's home and the sequence when she discovers the relationship Mithun shares with an important member of his political party is absolutely weird. Even the closing stages — Mishti fighting the opponent — is far from real. Like I pointed out earlier, Ghai tries to pack in too much for the entertainment-seeking spectator, which, in the final tally, appears forced in the scheme of things. The run time is another deterrent, which could've controlled had Ghai eliminated the unwanted tracks in the narrative.
Ghai's attempt to balance entertainment with the serious issue that he desires to address via KAANCHI also does not work completely because at the end of it all, instead of forcing us to confront the stark issues and bitter truths, the outcome neither falls into the typical Ghai entertainer bracket, nor do you applaud the courageous fight for justice of the protagonist. On the brighter side, Ghai does succeed in transporting you to Mishti's world at the commencement of the film. The relationship between Mishti and her mother and also between Mishti and her lover Kartik is wonderfully depicted.
The songs are melodious, but not the type that have recall value, something Ghai's previous endeavours boasted of. Recall the soundtrack of Ghai's earlier films and compare it with this one. The title track is melodious, while 'Kambal Ke Neeche' brings back memories of 'Choli Ke Peechhe'. The DoP captures the beautiful locations with aplomb.
Ghai rests the plot of KAANCHI on Mishti's shoulders and though the actress looks beautiful [reminds of Aishwarya and Mahima from certain angles], she does a confident job of interpreting her part. Also, her fragile face bears the scars of trauma effectively. Kartik Aaryan does a good job, although one misses his presence after a point. Rishi Kapoor looks out of place in a character like this, while Mithun Chakraborty steals the show. Rishabh Sinha as Mithun's son is first-rate. Chandan Roy Sanyal is too good.
Adil Hussain manages his part efficiently. Mita Vashisht is wasted. Mahima Chaudhary appears in a cameo.
On the whole, KAANCHI could've been a riveting fare, but doesn't rise beyond the ordinary in the final tally.