Laal Kaptaan or if we literally translate it, The Red Leader gets its title from the Red coat Gossain (Saif Ali Khan) finds after killing one of the employees of East India Company. Set in the late 1700s, the story revolves around Gossain who’s a Naga Sadhu turned bounty hunter. He kills for money and reaches the brothel of Noor Bai (Sonakshi Sinha), who then hires him to kill Rehmat Khan (Manav Vij).
Little does she know, Gossain is on the hunt for Rehmat himself for years. Now, as he gets paid to kill Regnat, he does every possible thing to reach to him. On the quest, he meets a widow (Zoya Hussain), a tracker (Deepak Dobriyal). The rest of the story is all about unfolding this chase revealing ghosts from Gossain’s past.
With Deepak Venkatesha’s help, Navdeep Singh pens a story that holds your attention in parts. At around 2 and a half hours, there are no long shots that make you glued your seats. The screenplay, more than the content, focuses on the visuals and hence falls flat many-a-times.
Navdeep Singh mastered Anushka Sharma’s dark thriller NH10 and he follows a similar format with this one. It’s not at all glossy with any directorial aspect, but follows the darkness and unfortunately leaves the audience there.
Samira Koppikar’s songs are played in the background and go well with the placement. Benedict Taylor & Naren Chandavarkar’s background score does the trick blending in amazingly well with the narrative.
Shanker Raman’s camera takes you to through the beautifully barren locations. Without the usual gloss, Shankar maintains the picturesque feel until the end. Jabeen Merchant’s editing could’ve made it for the film, but unfortunately, it turns out to be lazy.
Saif Ali Khan brings in yet another chapter for those aspiring to be actors. He’s effortless in the variation he brings to the character of Gossain. Deepak Dobriyal gets a unique character but it’s flawed. His character is half-baked, but acting isn’t.
Manav Vij turns out to be a convincing baddie. He makes you believe he’s bad and gets the most interesting character arc of all the characters. Sonakshi Sinha shines in her cameo. She looks as elegant as ever in just a single scene.
Overall, Laal Kaptaan will not be a cup of tea for many coffee lovers but it’ll get some appreciation among a certain section of the audience.
Movie: Laal Kaptaan
Producer: Sunil Lulla, Aanand L Rai
Director: Navdeep Singh
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Manav Vij, Zoya Hussain, Deepak Dobriyal, Sonakshi Sinha
Writer: Deepak Venkatesha, Navdeep Singh