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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rakta Charitra(Telugu) - 2010 - Review


Film: Rakta Charitra
Rating: 3.5/5
Banner: Cinergy productions

Cast: Vivek Oberoi, Abhimanyu Singh, Shatrughan Sinha, Kota, Radhika Apte, Zareena Wahab, Sushant Singh, Tanikella, Subhalekha Sudhakar, Vishwajeet Pradhan, Rajendra Gupta, Ashish Vidyarthi, Kitty and others
Dialogues: Nageswara Rao
Music: Dharam- Sandeep
DOP: Amol Rathod
Editing: Bhanodaya, Nipun Ashok Gupta
Story, screenplay, direction: Ram Gopal Varma
Producers: Madhu Mantena, Sheetal Vinod Talwar, Chinna Vasudeva Reddy, Rajkumar
Release Date: 22nd Oct 2010

Ram Gopal Varma is back after a long hiatus into the Telugu circuit and he chose his favorite genre of violence, intensity and bloodshed. Let us see how far RGV is successful in convincing audiences. Let us peep into good and bad in the movie:

Story
Noted MLA Narasimha Reddy (Kitty) has got a trusted aide in the form of Veerabhadriah (Rajendra Gupta) in Anandapuram area.

However, Narasimha’s relative Nagamani Reddy (Kota) is unable to take this for reasons of caste and losing his presence. He plants a seed of friction and in no time, Narasimha Reddy gets Veerabhadriah killed. This enrages Veerabhadriah’s elder son Shankar Ravi (Sushant) and he gets into a killing spree and operates from forests.

Veerabhadriah’s younger son Pratap Ravi (Vivek) who is away from all this gets to know of this and before he realizes, Shankar Ravi also gets killed. He vows revenge on his father and brother’s killers and in this process, Narasimha Reddy, Nagamani Reddy and others are brutally killed. Nagamani Reddy’s son Bukka Reddy (Abhimanyu) who is insane to the core is unable to take this and he becomes Pratap’s main enemy.

Meanwhile, the rise of Pratap as opposite force to Bukka Reddy is noticed by Shivaji Rao (Shatrughan) who sets a new party and he decides to lift Pratap to put an end to Bukka Reddy. What happens after that forms the rest of the story.

Performances:
Vivek Oberoi is an apt choice, his eyes deliver the sufficient emotion of revenge and his body language is intense. He has done full justice to his role.

Abhimanyu Singh is a complete show stealer. His menacing looks and his cold blooded performance will give some spine chilling moments.

Shatrughan Sinha was contained and it must be said that traces of real life N T Rama Rao are quite prominent in his gestures and dialogue delivery.

Kota was perfect, Radhika was naturally appealing, Zarina was neat, Tanikella was impressive and he made his presence felt, Rajendra Gupta was adequate, Sushant was brief, Ashish Vidyarthi was alright, Subhalekha Sudhakar was standard, Subrat Dutta was good, the others did their bit as required and added value.

Highlights:
Symbolism shots with respect to showing a cycle in Shivaji Rao (Shatrugan Sinha)’s place (recalling TDP and NTR), usage of left had, addressing as ‘brother' are impressive.

Showing a dog barking after the death of Naga Mani Reddy (Kota) depicts ‘kukka chaavu'..That’s impressive.

Ram Moorthy (Tanikella) saying to Pratap Ravi ‘to shave beard as a politician should look clean at face although dirty at heart'

Bukka Reddy’s introduction scene

Disappointments:
RGV’s voice over is overflowing. It’s not a radio drama to explain everything with a voice over. Whatever RGV is saying in voice, is being conveyed visually! It disturbed the mood to some extent.

Pratap Ravi stays in forest as per the dialogue. But he stays in a dusty hill area that hardly looks like a forest. It may sound trivial, but when such observations linger in mind, some audience gets distracted from the mood.

Why Dabbunnoda song? The context is not convincing.

Challenges:
The subject chosen is quite hard hitting so one needs to have some background information before actually connecting to the film.

Facing criticism with respect to Shivai Rao’s (a replica of NTR) characterization and converting it into publicity element.

Facing criticism and questions with respect to ‘pedda sir' (implying YSR) and again converting it into a publicity element

Mood is suddenly dropping down at the conclusion point of the movie. Waiting till Part-2 to get completeness in feeling is a challenge for audience and it’s challenge for maker to sustain interest for 1 month till Part-2 release.

Analysis:
“Goodness or badness can never be anyone’s property. They are situational.
If a man is hunger free, he showers only goodness. But if any sort of hunger (be it lust, power craving or greed or vengeance) hits him, he spells badness'.

Rakta Charitra is a fiction based on historical facts.
It’s rather powerful to say that it’s a true depiction of human emotions.
It’s a tour to extreme human beings.

Ramayan or Mahabharat or any chronicled history in dramatic form depicts the extremities of emotions in every character. For example if Karna is known for generosity, its shown with eccentricity of chopping off his own armored skin to offer for a beggar. If Bheeshma is known for sacrifice, its shown in extreme point of choosing life time celibacy to keep himself and his legacy far from kingship. Any drama holds grip only when the characterizations are strong. This fact was known for dramatists right from Veda Vyasa and Valmiki. Similar path is now chosen by Ram Gopal Varma is depicting a historical fact in dramatic form.

He has shown Bukka Reddy as a determined rapist (!) and dedicated murderer (!).The incidents canned around this characterization are extreme in imagination. Pratap Ravi is shown as a bad guy, but for a true reason (since he is chosen to be the hero of the plot).

Ram Gopal Varma is a master of movie making and an expert storyteller. This is seen here yet again. As such, the storyline can be understood in few words and there is nothing unpredictable about it but then it is the way Ramu takes off with each scene and how he gets the viewer into the film which counts.

His screenplay techniques and shot compositions are one of those dexterities he possesses. Perhaps a layman might find the visual appeal to be dim but then there are few flashes of his brilliance which are seen on and off. The focus was more on the emotion of the protagonist and the villain so that is a challenge to handle for more than two hours.

On the other hand, it is not a typical Varma characterization where most of the actors give hard expressions, talk less and convey more. Here the characters speak sufficient and sometimes little verbose!! But still there is a rhythm in their performance and it connects to the regular audience.

On a whole it’s a movie about the raise of a leader.

Bottom-line: For the lovers of realistic violence

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