'Kaanchi': Epic Tale of Women's Empowerment
BANGALORE: Subhash Ghai loves the mountains. In many of his films, these are captured with the sobering imposingness of a climber gazing lovingly and reverently at the peaks he knows he must conquer. And conquer, he does. "Kaanchi" delivers a walloping punch.
From the tale of a girl from the hills contesting the city marauders' rights to usurp her of land and love, to a frenzied saga of revenge in the big bad city where the innocent girl assumes the role of a desi Lara Croft, Ghai tackles the craft and the emotions with a devilish deftness.
In a script as intricately woven as a Kashmiri carpet, Subhash Ghai threads together a jampicked jigsaw. Something or other is always happening in some corner of the script. "Kaanchi" is a puzzle of a film. It bustles and brims over with reformatory ideas, anti-corruption zeal, and lunges for an overweeningly ambitious format of storytelling where Raj Kapoor's "Ram Teri Ganga Maili" meets Rakesyh Mehra's "Rang De Basanti". Ghai employs every cliche in the book of formulistic storytelling. And you know what? He succeeds in telling a spectacular story filled with muted sound and flamboyant fury.
"Kaanchi" is the story of a girl's journey from the innocent unspoilt mountains of Uttarakhand to the corrupt and corrupting sinful city of Mumbai....The format is not new to Ghai's cinema. He tried it earlier in "Taal". In "Kaanchi", the approach road from the back of beyond to the mainland mayhem is far more upfront and aggressive. The music, so essential to the impact of Ghai's cinema, here conveys the split personality of a society that is caught in a migratory transition. The film packs in the punches with undiminished enthusiasm from the first frame to last. The scenes are conceived with cohesive care while the dialogues are quick-witted in the way we've grown up hearing in commercial Hindi cinema. Ghai turns on the tempestuous tap full blast. Though the pace does tend to flag at times - what with the characters assuming more emblematic significance than they are able to handle - the filmmaker makes sure there is an element of underlined expectancy in nearly every episode.
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