Saif Ali Khan, Manav Vij, Zoya Hussain, Deepak Dobriyal, Simone Singh, Saurabh Sachdev, and Sonakshi Sinha
Saif Ali Khan is back on screen after his last average performing film 'Bazaar' and this time he has turned himself into a Naga Sadhu, 'Gossain', who is out on a hunt and a killing spree right from the beginning of the film.
Gossain is hungry for revenge and is on the lookout for Rehmat Khan (Manav Vij) as he has an old matter to settle with him. Rehmat Khan is a ferocious one who just kills without ever giving a thought about it and Gossain, on the other hand, is evenly thirsty for blood.
With 'Laal Kaptaan', Navdeep Singh, who earlier directed critically-acclaimed films like Saif's 'Manorama Six Feet Under' and Anushka Sharma's 'NH10', makes an attempt to create a historical revenge-drama, but it it's just an attempt and he doesn't succeed here sadly.
Navdeep's vision could not be transformed into what he wanted to show on screen, rather the screenplay became long and dull changing its course in between and making you lose interest in the film at many points.
The characters and the subplots just come and go as they please, and many of them are not even written well and feel incomplete. Sonakshi Sinha is there in a cameo role for a really brief time, so if you blink on that part you'll miss her role and she'll be gone in a second.
Basically, Saif's Laal Kaptaan is entertaining but at intervals, and in an irregular way, like the director was focused at one point but then lost his vision soon and then the vision came back suddenly. At best, Laal Kaptaan is a ride with a lot of speed breakers, there are moments that catch your attention, but there are also too many scenes that are plain boring.
Set in the 18th century Laal Kaptaan had an interesting environment around it and there was a lot of scope to make it interesting, but it's a lost opportunity now. Cinematography, being one of the main points of a historical drama are handled well by Shanker Raman here, but again what's the use of that if the screenplay doesn't cooperate with it.
But, Saif Ali Khan has given a great performance as the fearless and intense Gossain. He is commendable as a wild and ferocious as a Naga Sadhu and does impress you while he is at it. Though his look as Gossain might remind you of Captain Jack Sparrow from Hollywood film 'Pirates of the Caribbean'.
Deepak Dobriyal also succeeds in leaving an impression as a comical but still important character. Manav Vij as Rehmat Khan is not very impressive and his attempts at getting into the skin of Rehmat fall flat. Zoya Hussain, her small role is good and impressive.
All in all, Laal Kaptaan could have been great but it couldn't be and the credit for that goes to a dragged and slow-paced screenplay and the long runtime that makes it a tiring and bumpy ride.