A.M.A. Entertainment’s Koyelaanchal (A) is the story of the coal mafia. Saryubhan Singh (Vinod Khanna) is the man with the iron hand who literally rules the lives of the thousands of coal mine workers. He is a ruthless tyrant and makes tons of money in the coal business, by means fair and unfair. His Man Friday is Karua (Vipinno). Nisheeth Kumar (Sunil Shetty) is the new collector in the region and he seems hell-bent on restoring law and order in the area by wiping out the coal mafia. Obviously, Saryubhan Singh is not too happy with Nisheeth Kumar. To scare him away, Saryubhan Singh has Karua fire bullets around Nisheeth Kumar’s wife, Mitu (Purva Parag), while she is waiting near her car. She is injured and has to be hospitalised. Nisheeth Kumar’s year-old son (master Manjit Singh), is in the car which Karua drives away in, after the firing.
While Saryubhan Singh has instructed Karua to ensure the one-year-old child’s safety, Nisheeth Kumar is devastated that the child is with the enemy. Here, Karua just doesn’t know how to handle a tiny tot and would rather kill him but can’t dare to disobey his master’s orders. He asks his girlfriend (Rupali Krishnarao), a prostitute by profession, to look after the little boy whenever he (Karua) finds himself absolutely helpless. Two little girls in the neighborhood (baby Namrata Mahto as the elder girl and baby Erum Khan as the younger one) also chip in to look after the cute one-year-old. Then, one day Nisheeth Kumar arrests Saryubhan Singh.
What happens thereafter? Does Nisheeth Kumar buckle down under the mental pressure or does he go on relentlessly to destroy the empire created by Saryubhan Singh? Does Saryubhan Singh have Nisheeth Kumar’s little son killed? Does Karua surrender or does he murder the little child?
Sanjay Masoom and Vishal Vijay Kumar’s story about the coal mafia is quite bold and raw and shows how the dons operate. But the basic element – entertainment – is conspicuous by its absence. The screenplay is very action-heavy in the first half but changes tracks after interval. In fact, the contrast of the two parts of the film is so underlined that the audience could get the feeling of watching two films – an action-packed violent film before interval, and a family drama after interval. Although the scenes of the tiny tot are very interesting post-interval, the masses would expect the continuation of violence, bloodshed and gore in the second half. So much of family drama after the interval would not go down too well with the audience for a film of the action genre, which the promotion, cast and title hold it out to be. Another major drawback of the screenplay is that after interval, Karua becomes more important than even Saryubhan Singh for whom he works – and this will appear warped to the audience, also because Karua’s character is being enacted by an unknown face as compared to Saryubhan Singh’s. Another drawbackof the screenplay is that although there are many scenes of the tiny tot, the audience does not shed tears in the family drama, perhaps, because it is convinced that Karua would not harm the child. All in all, the first half is so violent that it would be difficult for the womenfolk and families to digest it whereas the relatively tame second half would not go down well with the masses who might like the pre-interval portion. In other words, the film fails to satisfy any class of audience completely, from start to finish. Dialogues, penned by Sanjay Masoom and Vishal Vijay Kumar, are good but not excellent.
Vinod Khanna adds weight to the character of Saryubhan Singh. He essays the role well. Sunil Shetty performs ably and does justice to the character of Nisheeth Kumar. Vipinno’s menacing look suits the character of Karua he plays. His acting is fair. Rupali Krishnarao does a truly fine job of Karua’s prostitute-girlfriend. Master Manjit Singh is adorable. Kannan Arunachalam (as Iyer) is splendid. Baby Erum Khan and baby Namrata Mahto are very cute. Purva Parag has her moments. Brij Gopal (as Sadho Singh), Deepraj Rana (as SP Jha), Biswanath Basu (as Ghosh Babu), Dinesh Sharma (as Maiku), Ravi Singh (as Bhushan Santhali/Puran Santhali), Himayat Ali (as DGP Nath), Lata Singh (as Mrs. Ghosh), Rakesh Sharma (as Shambhu), Shiv Kumar (as Bhudbhak Bhansali), Asshu Trikha (as D.C. Sharma), Sonu Trikha (as lawyer), Sen Verma (as Nisheeth Kumar’s PA) and the rest lend the required support.
Asshu Trikha’s direction remains true to the subject. Trikha’s narrative style captures the essence of the script and succeeds in creating the atmosphere and the tension. However, the director is unable to satisfy any class of audience completely as the film changes track for a good part of the second half. Sunil Singh and Sushant-Shankar’s music is more functional than anything else. Lyrics (Surendra Mishra for ‘AK-47’ and Dr. Devendra Kafir for ‘Prem badariya’) are alright. Ricky Gupta’s choreography is average. Sunil Singh’s background music is okay. Karan B. Rawat’s camerawork is of a good standard. Abbas Ali Moghul’s action and stunts are good but lack novelty. Sets (by Bhupendra Singh) are quite nice. Umashankar Mishra’s editing should have been sharper.
On the whole, Koyelaanchal is a violent drama which becomes soft mid-way. It is a good commentary on the coal mafia but as far as its entertainment quotient is concerned, it is very limited. It will, therefore, not be able to do much at the box-office except in some pockets.