INTENSE: Mishti and Kartik Tiwari in a scene from the film Kaanchi. Picture: Supplied


DIRECTOR: Subhash Ghai

CAST: Kartik Tiwari, Mishti, Rishi Kapoor, Mithun Chakraborty






Subhash Ghai is back in the director’s chair after a hiatus. After Yuvvraaj (2008) it has indeed been a long sabbatical considering the showman has continually churned out movies in various 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 fiercely independent and charts her own path in life.

Recently, Vikas Bahl’s Queen narrated the story of such a 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 have 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: the story is about Kaanchi (Mishti), whose life is turned upside down when the young son (Rishabh Sinha) of a politician (Mithun Chakraborty) unleashes hell in her life.

She decides to pick up the pieces of her life by moving to Mumbai and settling the score with her oppressors.

Kaanchi starts off very well, with Ghai capturing certain moments that stay with you.

The first hour has several engaging and interesting episodes, while the twist in the tale that leaves Kaanchi shattered is the high point of the movie, and one expects the post-interval portions to only go forward from this point.

Sadly, Kaanchi hits a rough patch in the second hour.

What could have 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 Chakraborty’s home and the sequence when she discovers the relationship Chakraborty shares with an important member of his political party are absolutely weird.

Even the closing stages – Mishti fighting her opponent – appears far from real.

As I pointed out earlier, Ghai tries to pack in too much for the entertainment-seeking viewer, which, in the final tally, appears forced.

The run time is another deterrent, which could have been controlled had Ghai eliminated the unwanted tracks in the narrative.

Ghai’s attempt to balance entertainment with the serious issue he desires to address in 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 Aaryan are wonderfully depicted.

The songs are melodious, but not the type that have recall value, something Ghai’s previous endeavours have boasted. Recall the soundtracks of Ghai’s earlier films and compare them with this one. The title track is melodious, while Kambal Ke Neeche brings back memories of Choli Ke Peechhe.

Ghai rests the plot of Kaanchi on Mishti’s shoulders and the actress looks beautiful while doing a confident job of interpreting her part. Her fragile face bears the scars of trauma effectively.

Aaryan does a good job, although one misses his presence after a point.

Kapoor looks out of place in a character like this, while Chakraborty steals the show. Rishabh Sinha as Chakraborty’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.

Kaanchi could have been riveting fare, but doesn’t rise beyond the ordinary in the final tally. –