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DIRECTOR: Asshu Trikha
CAST: Vinod Khanna, Suniel Shetty, Vipino, Rupali, Brij Gopal, Deep Raj Rana, Kannan Iyer
RUNNING TIME: TBA
Lawlessness. Coal mining mafia. Men with an insatiable hunger for power and sex. Gruesome violence. Director Asshu Trikha highlights all of these in Koyelaanchal. The raconteur takes you into a world where might is right and the voice of the poor and the hapless never reaches the ears of the authorities.
Although the plot is distinct and the characters well-drawn, Koyelaanchal brings back memories of Trikha’s hard-hitting gangster movie Baabarr, Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur and Ali Abbas Zafar’s Gunday. Is the Koyelaanchal as absorbing as these others? Let’s find out.
Koyelaanchal highlights the atrocities committed by Saryubhan Singh (Vinod Khanna), referred to as “Maalik” in the region.
The only language he knows and understands is: my way or the highway.
Things take a turn when honest and upright District Collector Nisheeth Kumar (Suniel Shetty) steps in to take charge. Saryubhan sends his trusted Karua (Vipinno) to warn Nisheeth to steer clear of him and his business.
Things take an ugly turn when Karua ends up attacking the wife of Nisheeth (Purva Parag) and hijacks a car with the couple’s baby in it. The battle lines are drawn. The film takes a long time to get to the point.
Ideally, Trikha should have established the characters and set the ball rolling within 20 minutes, but much of the first hour is devoted to introducing the characters and depicting bloodshed and the pathetic plight of the locals.
The wheels start moving just before intermission, when Karua attacks Nisheeth.
It’s at this juncture, when the two warring factions lock horns, that the writing becomes interesting.
The volatile confrontations, the ensuing drama, the new characters that appear (Kannan Arunachalam in particular) make one feel that the director has finally gained a grip on his material. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that it’s like watching an entirely different movie.
The dramatic confrontations (first between Khanna, pictured below, and Arunachalam, and later between Khanna and Shetty) make such an impact that one can overlook the sporadic deficiencies.
The emotional connection between the kidnapper and the infant is, however, stretched for no reason. One expects the culmination to take the film to its pinnacle, but the writing falters badly.
The finale lacks fizz, and the visual effects are tacky.
In a film whose middle name is violence, there’s no scope for music. The songs are therefore functional. Also, given its genre, the film depends heavily on violence and bloodshed (there’s too much of it!), and the gruesome and explicit sequences are off-putting at times.
With his villainous actions, Khanna carries the film on his broad shoulders.
Shetty is beautifully restrained. Most other actors would have insisted on being one up on their on-screen opponent, but not Shetty.
Vipinno gets ample opportunity to show off his physique, flex his muscles and exude power.
He doesn’t have many lines to deliver. Even so, he leaves an impression.
On the whole, Koyelaanchal is absorbing and engaging, especially towards the second half. It should find its share of audiences at single screens. – bollywoodhungama.com