Raktanchal Review- A stark reminder of 80s cinema and mafia

Aparnna Hajirnis -

Raktanchal Review- A stark reminder of 80s cinema and mafia
MX Player
Movie Rated

Format: Web Series
Platform: MX Player
Movie Rated: 18+
Genre: Crime, Drama, History, Thriller
Language: Hindi
Digital Premiere Date: 28 May 2020

What is it about? 
The series opens with the announcement of results regarding the allotment of state development government tender. The tender goes to Waseem Khan (Nikitin Dheer) the king of Purvanchal and a well-known tender mafia, who knows how to get what he wants, by hook or by crook. But there is someone, someone new, who doesn't like the way Khan is getting things done aka Vijay Singh (Kranti Prakash Jha) a young gangster who opposes and challenges Waseem Khan's supremacy becoming his arch-rival and this is how begins an intense and gripping struggle for power that changes everything.

Said to have been inspired by true events, 'Raktanchal' takes us back in time to the 1980's Purvanchal when the tender mafia was ruled by the ruthless, power-hungry hunk Waseem Khan. Every nook and corner of Purvanchal is introduced to his terror and brutalities, and no one has ever dared to challenge him or his ways until Vijay Singh decides to. The show brings back a lot of memories of the films from the 80s, the gang violence and the menacing mafia. For the people who grew up watching the Mumbai mafia, this might seem a little bit different as this mafia is set in the Hindi heartland. 

Direction and other departments
Ritam Shrivastav who previously helmed  'Jai Gangaajal', does a great job when it comes to portraying his characters with a lot of heft. The story is fine and the thrill it offers almost manages to keep your eyes glued to the screen. But then the story tends to wander off to unnecessary roads breaking its pace and viewer's interest many times. Still, Ritam has tried his best here. The setting of the 80's Purvanchal is almost perfect. Even the slightest of details have been focused on by the director which is one of the series's major assets. The screenplay of the show proves that a lot of research was done the Raktaanchal's team to understand the modus operandi of the Mafia of the 80 and that is really impressive and every character is written pretty well.

Nikitin Dheer who plays Waseem Khan has played many negative roles earlier, like in Chennai Express, Jodha Akbar, Dabangg 2 and many more. But as Waseem Bhai, this guy is just ruthless, aggressive and a badass. He has dived deep into the skin of his character not letting go even once throughout the show.

Kranti Prakash Jha, who earlier played small characters in movies like MS Dhoni: The untold story and many more, has nailed the character of Vinay Singh. He has delivered a notable performance here with a strong screen presence. Others such Pramod Pathak, Vikram Kocchar have done a commendable job in their respective characters. Soundarya Sharma and Ronjini Chakraborty have portrayed their roles acceptably well, although they don't have that much of screentime. 

The background music of series is evenly average and as it's a crime thriller there are songs here. Still, there were some scenes where the background score could have been more intense. 

This MX Original Series captures the menacing lawlessness and the mafia-raj culture that made the region of Purvanchal bleed red and become 'Raktanchal'. 

Off late, a lot of shows based in the Hindi heartland and on violence have been coming out. This show might get lost in the rat race. 

Did I enjoy it?

Do I recommend it?
It is a good one-time watch if you are into crime-thrillers and want to experience how the business was done in the '80s.


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