'Rann': Definitely Newsworthy!
By MovieTalkies.com, 30 January 2010
If one is looking for any breaking news with 'Rann', then please be warned that there is no such thing happening; there is no new ground that director Ram Gopal Varma treads in this movie. But what works for 'Rann' is its taunt and racy narrative. Varma knows the art of storytelling and he may have seemed to lost it with his last few films, but in 'Rann' he's got back in full form where narration is concerned. But the content is far from new. The film, as one would have already guessed, is all about news, newsmakers and newsmongers and the war about TRPs, which consumes media barons. The film raises the debate again about what is newsworthy and what is not and it is a question which is quite topical to the times that we live in, when just about everything is prefixed as "breaking news."
Varma exposes the politician businessman media nexus which exists today in his movie, which pitches an ethical media baron, Vijay Harshvardhan Malik (Amitabh Bachchan), against his rival channel owner, in the war for authentic news and TRPs. Malik owns a news channel and is an upright media baron who only believes in the truth. But his ethics stand in the way of his channel's survival. It is tottering and his son Jai (Sudeep) will have none of it as news is only business for him.
The biggest rival of their channel, India 24/7' owned by Amrish Kakkar (Mohnish Behl), believes that news can be made entertaining. Even Malik's son in law Naveen (Rajat Kapoor) has no time for Malik's brand of idealism and they join hands with an evil politician, Mohan Pandey (Paresh Rawal) to win the war of TRPs. Pandey uses the channel to launch a vicious attack on his political rival. The trio cook up news stories and use Malik's clean image to lend it credibility. Their TRPs soar, they manage to bring the government down, and make tons of money in the bargain, as well. The only honest reporter in their midst is Purab Shastri (Riteish Deshmukh), who believes that the media needs to act as a watchdog and is the fourth pillar of democracy.
The film's premise is not ground breakin, but it is topical and has been very well narrated. The film has a gritty, hard hitting tone, quite reminiscent of Varma's earlier films like 'Satya', 'Shool' and 'Company'. What keeps the interest going is the manner in which the narration unfolds… quite like a thriller. The film's screenplay is mostly tight and sharp and is backed by some very good performances, all of which succeed in making 'Rann' a worthwhile watch. Verma keeps control of the proceedings all through and keeps the events moving at a steady pace. On the technical side, 'Rann' has been aided by some sharp cinematography (Amit Roy) and editing (Nipun Gupta) and a telling background score. The writing of the film (Rohit Banawilkar) is impeccable, especially the dialogues, which havea realistic note to it.
Of the performances, Amitabh Bachchan towers over the cast with his passionate portrayal of Malik. His rich baritone is used to great effect in the final scene when he gets to deliver a hard hitting, moving speech. Like most of Varma's better films, every character, minor or major, is very well etched in 'Rann'.
Supporting Bachchan ably is Riteish, who is cast in a very different here. Enacting a serious role for the first time, the actor delivers a rather mature performance. Mohnish Behl, Sudeep and Rajat Kapoor too keep the show going with their performances. Paresh Rawal is surely one of the show stealers, who sheds his funnyman image and turns in a chilling performance essaying an evil politician. The female members of the cast, Gul Panag and Neetu Chandra too are quite memorable in their roles.
Varma may not have told a new story to tell in 'Rann'…… But he has narrated an old story very well indeed. Supported by a great cast and some powerful writing, RGV has managed to make a film which is definitely newsworthy!