There will be blood. In a film about blood banks, donors and stealers, and greedy smugglers, of course there are rivers of the good red stuff : you can’t get away from it. You also can’t get over the feeling of abject waste when a good subject is bled so much that lifelessness results.
The film is meant to be based on two `real life’ incidents, but it doesn’t tell us which. What we get, to begin with, is a scary inside view of the kind of skullduggery that goes on between places and people who are meant to be engaged in saving our lives, and are instead, busy lining their pockets, criminally indifferent to the dangers they pose.
Randeep Hooda is one of the most underrated actors working in Hindi cinema today. But give him a role - any role - and he digs his teeth deep into it and turns in an absolutely riveting performance.
Given how surprisingly good the film is, Hooda's spellbinding star turn isn't a wasted effort. Laal Rang spins an unhurried but engaging tale of love, friendship, heartbreak and redemption against the seamy backdrop of Haryana's blood theft racket.
A small film whose impact is enhanced manifold by Randeep Hooda's presence, Laal Rang also has other bright spots. But cottoning on to them might call for patience. Spare some, and you might just find Laal Rang worth your while.
Neither the title, nor the trailer suggests anything about Laal Rang’s dark setting. So, when the macabre thriller unfolds, it manages to keep the audience engrossed. Randeep Hooda’s character Shankar spreads its charm and completely absorbs us into his blood transfusion racket where he plays both the devil and savior.
Akshay Oberoi, Shreya Narayan and Piaa Bajpai have also done justice to their roles.
Director Syed Ahmad Afzal keeps the audience at a distance and lets them observe the loneliness of Karnal’s sinister by-lanes where an overprotective goon is at work.