Mukta Arts Ltd.’s Kaanchi (UA) is the story of a beautiful girl, Kaanchi (Mishti), who lives in Koshampa village of Uttaranchal. A firebrand girl, she is pure-hearted and loves Binda (Kartik Aryan), who also lives in Koshampa.
Politician Shyam Kakda (Mithun Chakraborty) and his brother, Jhoomar Kakda (Rishi Kapoor), live in Bombay and are eyeing Koshampa to industrialise it at the cost of dislodging its inhabitants. Shyam Kakda’s son, Sushant (Rishabh Sinha), comes to Koshampa and befriends Kaanchi. He is a painter and smitten as he is by her, he makes her portraits on his canvas everyday till one day, he kisses her and she walks out on him disgustedly. Soon, Kaanchi’s marriage is fixed with Binda but Sushant is so obsessed by Kaanchi that he kills Binda to get him out of his way. Since the local police is hand-in-glove with the influential Kakda family, Binda’s file is closed by dismissing off his death as a mere accident.
Not the one to forgive the Kakdas, Kaanchi leaves Koshampa and comes to Bombay to seek revenge. The only person she knows in Bombay is Bagula (Chandan Roy Sanyal) who also hails from Koshampa and is a police officer in Bombay. As luck would have it, Bagula is a paid stooge of the Kakdas.
Does Kaanchi succeed in her mission to expose the Kakda family and avenge the murder of her boyfriend? What all does she have to do to seek revenge? What role does Bagula play in the drama which unfolds – does he help Kaanchi or do his loyalties lie with the Kakda family because he seeks their favours on a regular basis?
Subhash Ghai has penned a tried and tested story of a wronged girl out to seek revenge against the rich and mighty. His screenplay, like the story, may not offer much novelty but he scores with his characterisations. The characters of Kaanchi and Binda are very lovable because of which the audience feels bad when Binda is killed and looks forward to Kaanchi taking on the Kakda family. Again, the all-black characters of Shyam, Jhoomar and Sushant Kakda make them villains in the viewers’ eyes, prompting them to root for Kaanchi. The grey character of Bagula adds the element of uncertainty in the drama. Since the drama is fast-paced, the screenplay keeps the audience engaged and engrossed. No doubt, there are places where the drama dips but because there is so much happening, the audience’s eyes remain glued to the screen all through. However, the way Kaanchi enters the Kakda household and then slowly but surely sets about her task of avenging Binda’s murder looks too simplistic to be true. Climax moves at a brisk pace.
Among the scenes which leave an impact are the murder scene of Binda, the angry and emotional outburst of Kaanchi when she decides to leave her family and come to Bombay, the scene in which Kaanchi is chased by the Kakdas’ security guard, the scene in which Binda is shown to be taking revenge for his own murder etc. Subhash Ghai’s dialogues are simple but very effective and youthful.
Mishti makes a noteworthy debut as Kaanchi. She looks beautiful, has screen presence and is also a good actress. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Mishti brings the character of Kaanchi alive in a very charged manner. Kartik Aryan is good in a brief role. He acts in a natural way and is endearing. Rishi Kapoor is lovely, especially in his scenes post-interval. Mithun Chakraborty also acts with admirable ease and leaves a mark. Chandan Roy Sanyal is excellent in the role of police officer Bagula. He is rather cute in a song-dance number too. Rishabh Sinha plays the character of Sushant effectively and in his own individual style. Adil Hussain, in a special appearance, adds the dignity required to his character of CBI chief Arun Roy. Mita Vashisht and Akash Dhar are good as social activists Mita and Satyakam. Anant Jog has his moments as Vedant. Natasha Rastogi leaves a mark as Kaanchi’s mother, Teji. Anil Mange has his moments as Binda’s father, Subedar. Pallavi Purohit is effective in the role of Savita. Among the other supporting actors, Amrita Raichand (as Jhoomar Kakda’s wife), Gargi Patel (as Maya), Sonal Kale (as Maya’s assistant, Manjari), Naresh Gosain (as police inspector Bhagwat), baby Tarini Suri (as Kaanchi’s little sister), Swati Chitnis (as Mrs. Braganza), Amardeep Jha (as Bagula’s mother) and Bachan Pachera (as the constable in Koshampa) make their presence felt. Shakti Mohan and Mukti Mohan in the ‘Kambal ke neeche’ song-dance and Hazel Crowney in the ‘Thumka’ song-dance add oomph and sex appeal. Nisar Khan (as Jhoomar Kakda’s aide, Bhavesh), Shehzaad Shaikh (as security guard Nattu), Ramna Wadhawan (as Kaanchi’s grandmother), Baldev Trehan (in the role of Kaanchi’s grandfather), Sahil Vaid (as Savita’s brother, Sanjay Pathare), Kuldeep Sareen (as Khajura), Prasad Barve (as Deepu, Kaanchi’s competitor in the cycle race), Nishith Broker (as CBI officer Nishikant) and Vinod Raut (as constable P.K. Karare) lend able support. Mahima Chaudhary provides star value in a brief appearance in a song-dance.
Subhash Ghai is in form as far as his direction is concerned. His narrative style is both, engaging and interesting. Music (Ismail Darbar and Salim-Sulaiman) is appealing although, it must be added, no song has become a chartbuster. ‘Tu sab kuchh’ is very impactful. ‘Kambal ke neeche’ is lovely while ‘Mushtanda’ (written and composed by Subhash Ghai) and ‘Thumka’ are mass-appealing. ‘Saare jahaan se achchha’ song has a patriotic flavour and it comes at the right time to create the desired impact. Song picturisations (‘Kambal ke neeche’ and ‘Thumka’ by Ganesh Acharya; ‘Mushtanda’ by Rajeev Surti; ‘Saare jahaan se achchha’ by Adil; and ‘Koshampa’ by Sanjeev Mehta) are excellent and truly eye-filling. Simaab Sen’s background music deserves distinction marks. Sudhir K. Chaudhary’s cinematography does the fullest justice to the outstanding locales of Nainital and Uttaranchal. Parvez Fazal Khan’s action scenes are very realistic. Aashish Anant Ranade’s sets are appropriate. Subhash Ghai’s editing is sharp.
On the whole, Kaanchi is an entertaining fare but its terribly dull start is a dampener because a major pick-up is ruled out for three reasons – absence of star faces in the romantic lead, absence of any novelty in the script, and absence of superhit songs in a film introducing a new girl. It will, therefore, entail heavy losses.