Maqbool Khan’s ‘Lanka’ is the modern-day spinoff of Ramayana where Manoj Bajpai, Tia Bajpai and Arjan Bajwa represent seminal characters from the great Indian epic. ‘Lanka’ revolves around Jaswant Sisodia (Manoj), who is the most powerful man in Bijnor city. Jaswant wields an iron-hand and nobody is spared from his wrath, not even his mistress - Anju (Tia). Anju’s ray of light is Jaswant’s loyal (Arjan) who falls in love with Anju and stands against his mentor - Jaswant Singh.
Armed with a loose script and elongated screenplay, ‘Lanka’ looks predictable despite the stellar performance by Manoj Bajpai. Manoj adds a whole new dimension to the character of Jaswant Singh - the way he looks, the way he talks and the way he conducts himself. As Anju, Tia gives a convincing portrayal of damsel in distress. One can literally feel her helplessness before Jaswant. Arjan Bajwa tries to raise the bar but cannot match the sheer brilliance of an actor like Manoj Bajpai. Apart from the lead actors, Yashpal Sharma, Manish Choudary and Yatin Karyekar play their part well.
The direction looks good but cinematography is pedestal and editing lacks the bite. On the whole, ‘Lanka’ has nothing new to offer. A onetime watch only if you are a die-hard fan of Manoj Bajpai – a rare talent in today’s cinema.
Ratings: Two cheer for this one!