Verdict: While Randeep Hooda shines, the film could have said much more.
India has a black market for everything. Yes, everything – even blood! Based on true events, the film’s basic premise is that of how the black market of blood thrives in the state of Haryana. It has been directed by Syed Ahmed Afzal – this is his second venture as a director, his first one being Youngistaan. Both his films have an interesting premise but fail to be executed to their maximum potential.
The film is set in Karnal, Haryana in the early 2000s, with characters speaking in a Haryanvi dialect and smoking beedis throughout. Rajesh (Akshay Oberoi) joins a government college to pursue a diploma in the field of medicine. There, the innocent scholar meets Shankar (Randeep Hooda) who has a very different nature when compared to Rajesh’s. Running an illicit trade in blood banks, Shankar is a gangster, although with a mighty heart. Most of the city’s poor people look up to him and prefer calling him a god instead of a don.
Shankar joins Rajesh’s medical college simply to get to the vital red pigmented fluid. Bribing and charming his way through, he climbs up the academic list and gets where he needs to – the blood banks section. Rajesh is in awe of almost everything he does; he is also delighted with the fact that Shankar owns a Yamaha RX100. Shankar takes him under his wing and the two eventually turn into partners in crime. Fascinated by Shankar, Rajesh often tries to imitate him, transforming as a person as the film progresses.
Their love interests, Poonam (Bollywood debutante Pia Bajpai) and Rashi (Meenakshi Dixit) are largely unaware about their dirty trade. Two characters which end up causing turning points in the plot are Shani and Suraj. Shani poses as a baba, eventually causing trouble, and Suraj is their accomplice, aptly nicknamed Dracula. While the initial trade flourishes with ease, things start to go awry with superintendent Gajraj Singh’s (Rajneesh Duggal) intervention, among other factors.
Hooda shines as Shankar, playing every aspect of his character flawlessly – right from a gangster to a brother to a boyfriend. Oberoi convinces as an innocent young man, transforming his delivery as his character does. The two actors are compelling in their depiction of their characters’ bromance.
Despite its well-portrayed rustic setting, the film fails to intensify with its plot. The simplistic story is not gripping enough, although it does offer a heart-warming climax.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Watch it for Randeep Hooda’s great performance and to get a diluted shot of the bloody trades.