Laal Rang “LAAL RANG” is earthy and engrossing! It’s an unconventional Bollywood thriller that stands out for its witty dialogues, gritty realism, unpredictable narrative and a mind-blowing performance from Randeep Hooda. Despite a few flaws, this is a consistently riveting film, appropriately textured and presented. Worth a watch! The film is about Shankar (Randeep Hooda), a Haryanvi gangster who runs an illegal blood bank, but is like a messiah for the poor and needy. Another ambitious youngster Rajesh (Akshay Oberoi) joins Shankar in the business as he wants to impress a girl with some quick money. But things turn ugly once Rajesh decides to go his own way. Encompassing the sweeping landscapes of the lush green Haryana fields, Director/Co-writer Syed Ahmed Afzal creates a rich layered backdrop for this menacingly delicious thriller that’s never formulaic or predictable. There’s an underlying enigma that unfolds with every scene. While it isn’t as finely crafted as its Hollywood counterparts in the same genre, it definitely is a great step forward. The narrative is sure-footed and totally contextual with the times it is based in. The most striking quality of this film is the raw, realistic flavour, which is further enhanced by the authentic looking set pieces, savoury slow pace, crude dialect, and a deliberately disquieting background score. There’s an intriguing undertone in the screenplay that makes the viewers constantly apprehend something twisted. The misleading intentions make the proceedings interesting. Characters too are sketched well, with their quirks leaving a lasting impression on you. It’s the unwanted song and romantic angle that spoils the show here. The runtime of nearly 2.5 hours could’ve easily been cut-short by 30 odd minutes, had these unwanted ingredients been removed. Especially the love-story of Shankar is totally irrelevant and inconsequential to the film as a whole. The setting is appropriate and props jut apt for the era and location being depicted. Randeep Hooda excels in this yet another unique role he plays. The fascinating personality of his character is embodied flawlessly by Hooda and his effortlessness with the Haryanvi accent just makes things so much better. His expressions are vivid and his dialogue delivery immaculate. He shines and how! Akshay Oberoi is surprisingly very good with his role. He plays his part with just the right amount of energy and is consistently poised. All others, including Piaa Bajpai, who plays Rajesh’s girlfriend who has learned horrible English through RapidX course, are great. In all, “LAAL RANG” is a well-made black-humour drama, led by powerful performances, which definitely deserves to be seen.