There was a time when just an announcement of a Subhash Ghai film used to be the hottest news in the distribution circle and the brand name of Mukta Arts was considered to be the guarantee of at least a decent earner at the box office in all possibilities. Actors sincerely wished to be a part of the banner in any way and people waited for the project not because of any known star-cast but for the director alone and his melodious chartbuster music incorporated intelligently. The euphoria was at its peak in the decade of 80s and the early 90s. And even the title saying 'Written, Edited and Directed by Subhash Ghai' used to receive a huge applause in the theater along with the famous 5 second cameo of the director as his trademark feature. Due to the long string of successes, Ghai was popularly called "The Showman" and he did come up with many worth watching entertaining gems based on distinctive subjects one after another.
So having lived that era personally, its not easy to watch films like KAANCHI coming from the same man who gave us VIDHAATA, KARMA, RAM LAKHAN, SAUDAGAR and more. In fact it's extremely painful to see such mediocre work from the maestro not offering anything novel in its concept, storyline, performances, execution and (surprisingly) music too. In other words, its nothing less than a shock for a die-hard fan like myself, who grew up watching Subhash Ghai's films so joyfully and therefore really struggling hard here and not able to find words to write a critical description of this film, but would still try.
KAANCHI begins as a plain, ordinary project and keep progressing at the same level like just another love story of a carefree, strong girl (with some avoidable songs) until a powerful twist is there before intermission. The sudden sequence raises your expectations right away and one awaits some great explosive confrontation scenes coming up next. But what is presented before the audience post intermission says nothing, addresses nothing (as a message) and makes no impact of any kind on the viewer sitting in a confused state helplessly. Further, its final hour goes from the level of below average to absurd and then the film ends without making any connect with the audience despite having performers such as Mithun Chakraborty and Rishi Kapoor (playing a ridiculous role).
Presented with a new audio technology, which did sound a little better than the rest of the movies I saw on the same day, KAANCHI has a kind of soundtrack which seems to be trying too hard but reaches nowhere, except the title song to some extent. And that isn't what we have been associating with a Subhash Ghai movie frankly, certainly not the songs like "Kambal Ke Neeche" & "Tu Mustanda Tu Sexy, Tu Chalti Phirti Taxi". Cinematography captures some beautiful locations well but background score doesn't make any major contribution to the film missing all the energy of a Ghai film.
In the performances, Mishti looks beautiful with the mixed features of Aishwarya, Rani Mukherjee or Mahima and tries her best to give a noticeable performance. But the bizarre sequences post intermission, don't let her do so and same goes for the supporting cast including Kartik Aaryan, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Adil Hussain and Rishabh Sinha. Mita Vashisht is weirdly wasted in only a few scenes and Mahima Chaudhary looks like a vamp making a dancing cameo.
Coming to the two veterans in KAANCHI namely Mithun Chakraborty and Rishi Kapoor, they both made me think that its fine for all the other fresh actors working in a Subhash Ghai film, as they have never lived that majestic era of the showman themselves and have just heard about it from the media. But what would have been there in the mind of Mithun Da and Rishi Kapoor enacting all those highly weird or rather foolish scenes in the direction of the same Subhash Ghai, who was once one of the most successful directors of the industry in those past decades. Particularly Rishi Kapoor, who had earlier acted in KARZ, having such a fantastic music and an engrossing story progression.
However, thinking about KAANCHI, I would not like to blame Subhash Ghai alone for these repeated debacles. Because film-making is not a one man's job and its actually a team work which collectively results in some fabulous projects after a lot of hard work and brainstorming. Now if Subhash Ghai is not able to create the same magic repeatedly in the recent years, then the first major reason for this failure remains the absence of the same team members, who used to contribute immensely in his projects without any slightest of doubt. Second, it is probably due to the presence of all 'Yes-man'functioning around the maestro at the present, coming up with no objections at all to his unacceptable scripts and its strange sequences. And as they say, if there are no confrontations there in a creative team then the end product is bound to become quite weak, out of date and even pathetic, unarguably.
Therefore just skip meeting this KAANCHI in the theaters and pray that the master filmmaker soon gets back in form, finding a new talented creative team in the coming years. Speaking from the heart, we have already lost a RGV and don't wish to lose a Ghai too
..in the waves of the changing times.