RakhtCharitra: Bloody Company!
By MovieTalkies.com, 22 October 2010
With 'Rakht Charitra' one sees Ram Gopal Varma going back to his trademark style of filmmaking. In a sense, the movie reminds one a lot of his gangster films like 'Satya', 'Company' and 'Sarkar'. Of course, the resemblance has nothing to do with the content, but more the manner in which the content is exploited to make a gripping movie. This movie of course takes the cake where violence and gore is concerned. It's almost like a jungle out there.
But, on the other hand, the movie is based on the life of an actual individual, Paritala Ravi. The film is consistently violent and the mood and look is consistently dark and gritty, with not an iota of relief. The film works on the jungle law, which is brutal and based on revenge and power play. But over and above the violence and gore, the film has an absorbing story to tell. Ramu hooks you from the word go and one is drawn into the cesspool of brutality.
The film tells the story of Paritala Ravi (Vivek Oberoi), a normal, decent individual who turns into a revenge taking brutal machine after the murder of his father (Rajendra Gupta) and his brother (Sushant Singh). He takes the law into his own hands and spells terror for all those who have wronged him and his family. For those who are familiar with the life of Paritala Ravi, it is believed that he commanded a lot of awe and fear among his adversaries. But like all violent stories, the story of this man also ends violently when he is murdered by his enemies.
But more of that in the next installment of the movie, which is due to release next month. As for now, this installment only deals with the rise of this man in the corridors of power. He eventually becomes a minister in the state cabinet after being patronised by a famous actor turned politician, reportedly based on the real life character of NT Rama Rao and played to perfection by Shatrughan Sinha.
The film lives up to all the expectations that one has from a Ramu movie. He continues to play with those sudden close ups and different camera angles, like he is wont to do. The camera is handled well by cinematographer Amol Rathod. The background score makes its presence felt, like in all Ramu's movies and goes well with the mood of the film. But it is the screenplay which is Ramu's winning ace.
Prashant Pandey is the man to be congratulated for that. It is gripping in most places and he manages to keep the proceedings going at a very brisk pace. There should be doubt about the fact that 'Rakht Charitra' is a revenge movie but what redeems this film from many others of its genre is the manner in which the sequence of events plays out. So even though there is just too much brutality, one is totally taken over by the on screen drama that unfolds.
Looking at the film as a whole, it is the second half which proves to be more promising, with the emergence of Sinha's character. In fact, the second half of the movie sees the number of killings actual coming down as well as the fight now takes on a political hue. Ramu manages to end the film on a perfect note as he manages to build up curiosity about the next installment, especially in the manner in which he introduces Suriya. As for the action sequences, they are powerful, gory and quite brutal.
Ramu has chosen his actors well for the movie, and like always, he manages to extract a great performance from his cast of players. Leading from the front is Oberoi, who delivers a power packed performance. Given an author backed role like this one of Paritala Ravi, Oberoi is quite amazing. He makes this role his own, just like he did in 'Company', and brings the complex character of Ravi alive.
Matching him in the acting department is Shatrughan Sinha. The actor, who unfortunately, never got the kind of roles that an actor of his talent should have received in his hey days, makes a terrific comeback. Blessed with a powerful and charismatic persona, he is perfectly cast and is a treat to watch.
These two are well supported by theatre actor Abhimanyu Singh, who was last seen in Anurag Kashyap's 'Gulaal'. He is a perfect foil to Vivek's character in the movie. The rest of the cast too pitches in with life like and powerful performances with veterans like Zarina Wahab, Ashish Vidyarthi, Rajendra Gupta and Sushmita Sen standing out.
In 'Rakht Charitra', Ramu has managed to make a no holds barred violent, vendetta movie which stays true to its genre. It is not a patch on his great films like 'Company', 'Satya' or 'Sarkar', but it is engrossing fare, made more so by the complex character of its protagonist and the performance of the actors.