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Sunday, December 05, 2021

Raktanchal first impression: Repetitive and uninteresting

While Kranti Prakash Jha looks a bit convincing as the anti-hero, Nikitin Dheer doesn’t fit his part at all in MX Player series Raktanchal.

Written by Arushi Jain | New Delhi |
Updated: May 29, 2020 8:26:17 am
raktanchal web series review Raktanchal stars Kranti Prakash Jha and Nikitin Dheer in the lead roles.

How do you make a hit web series in India?

Take a narrative woven around a gangster and his rivalry with people from other castes, and sprinkle violence, quotable dialogues cuss words, sexual harassment, crooked cops and politicians. Mix them well. Your perfect web series is ready to serve.

No, no. This is not my recipe for a hit web series. I am no expert to give a lesson on the process of making a hit web-series. But, probably this is what the makers of MX Player’s latest web series Raktanchal were thinking while making the crime thriller. And, why wouldn’t they? Gangster dramas have become the favourite genre of the audience. Or so, one would think.

But, is it necessary to tread upon the same path over and over again? Don’t we, the audience, deserve a bit of novelty in the treatment of gangster sagas?

Set in the 1980s, Raktanchal tells the story of Waseem Khan (Nikitin Dheer) who rules the tender mafia in Purvanchal. He is also involved in smuggling of arms and ammunition. His power is challenged by the anti-hero Vijay Singh (Kranti Prakash Jha), who held high morals and yearned to become a civil servant until Waseem’s gang murdered his father. While Singh is determined to avenge his father’s murder, Khan is determined to hold on to his power come what may.

Apart from Khan and Singh, there are stock characters – a loyalist uncle, crooked politicians from opposing political parties, corrupt cops and so on. There are sequences overloaded with gunshots and the gory sight of blood squirting out of every body part. But hardly any of it surprises.

Also read: Raktanchal actor Nikitin Dheer: Happy to start my web career with a character like Waseem Khan

The likes of Anurag Kashyap (Gangs of Wasseypur) and Ram Gopal Varma (Satya) have already familiarised the audience to the mafia world of India. Even web series like Sacred Games, Mirzapur and now Paatal Lok have contributed to the evolution of the Indian screen gangster. So, with Raktanchal, director Ritam Srivastava hasn’t created anything which we haven’t watched before.

nikitin dheer raktanchal Nikitin Dheer in a still from Raktanchal. (Photo: MX Player/Instagram)

In fact, the clumsy treatment given to the story and how the actors approach their characters makes things worse. While Kranti Prakash Jha looks a bit convincing as the anti-hero, Nikitin Dheer doesn’t fit his part at all. Also, the over 30-minute long episodes feel long and never-ending.

Also read: Raktanchal actor Kranti Prakash Jha: Have never done a character like Vijay Singh

Kranti Prakash Jha as Vijay Singh in Raktanchal. (Photo: MX Player/Instagram)

So, if you are looking to watch a gripping tale, then we have a list of ‘10 Bollywood gangster films to watch in your lifetime‘. You can safely pick any of these, but the MX Player series is risky territory. Binge in at your own risk!

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