Story: Shankar (Randeep Hooda) is the kingpin of the thriving business of blood-theft in Karnal (Haryana). To get better access to blood-banks, he enrolls himself in a government college where he meets Rajesh. The latter is enamored by Shankar’s aura. They become thick friends and partners-in-crime. But greed and ego changes their equation.
Review: The best thing about Laal Rang is its novel idea. It is dark, murky and lays the perfect plinth for an enchanting film. The bad news here is that it is an opportunity lost. Director Syed Ahmad Afzal fails to lap up the chance to deliver something memorable. His approach lacks clarity. The convoluted screenplay is unsure about where it is headed. Despite having all the makings of a macabre thriller, Syed goes for drama. There is romance, bromance, tears, heartbreak and enough material to make ‘fifty shades of sappy’.
Randeep is the only one holding forte. He plays the brooding, elusive, sinister Shankar with elan. In the romantic scenes, he is effectively charming. At one point when he flashes a shy, dimpled smile at his girlfriend, you can’t miss that he has all the makings of rustic romantic hero. Alas, the moment passes too quickly. His co-actor Akshay Oberoi is affable and the two share a warm on-screen camaraderie, but their act cannot cover up for the glitches in the plot.
It is unforgivable that Syed steers clear of the nitty-gritties of the blood-theft mafia, reducing it to a mere prop in the larger scheme of things. The drama runs out of steam soon enough and unnecessary melodrama takes over. What could’ve been a shocking expose about the lucrative business of blood-theft, ends up as a dull film. The revelations about the dark underbelly of metropolitan cities never make it to the big screen. There is a fleeting scene in which rickshaw-pullers sell their blood for money, but once the movie ends, it is long forgotten.
Laal Rang is half-baked and unconvincing. Despite the grit, it never becomes a riveting film. Here’s a lesson to learn: Ideas don’t make good films, execution does.