|RAKTHA CHARITRA–II: – IT GETS BLOODIER AND BETTER!!!
Vivek Oberoi, Suriya, Shatrugan Sinha, Priyamani, Radhika Apte, Zarina Wahab, Sudeep.
Ram Gopal Varma
Some films are watched for the star cast, some for their grandeur, some for the production houses and a select few for the filmmaker. Love him or hate him, but you cannot ignore RGV’s films. His latest offering is the second volume and the end of the saga-Raktha Charitra-II.
Story: Well, the story is the continuation of Vol-I. It is the story of Pratap Ravi, a factionist turned politician and his enemy Surya who wants to avenge the death of his family members. Ravi massacres Narasimha Reddy (Raja Krishnamoorthy) and Nagamani Reddy (Kota Srinivasa Rao) to avenge the death of his brother and father. Later, Ravi becomes a politician and minister with the help of actor turned politician Sivaji Rao (Shatrugan Sinha). Ravi slowly becomes a force to reckon with and his invincibility goes unchallenged. Then enters Suriya, the son of Narasimha Reddy, who tries to blow up Ravi’s car and fails. The reason behind the murder attempt is obvious; Suriya wants to avenge his father’s death. But, that is not all, a flashback episode later reveals the story of Surya which I’ll keep under wraps as I do not want to spoil the thrill. The police later arrest Surya and Ravi tries to kill Surya in order to survive. The rest of the story is about who kills whom.
Analysis: People who have not watched Raktha Charitra –I need not hesitate about watching this film. Ramu makes sure that the new audience is fed with a gist of the first volume’s story. For this purpose, he dedicates the first half hour of his two and a half hours saga. I reckon this is a good way to attract new audience. The world premiere of the first volume last Saturday should also encourage the audience to come watch the second volume.
Direction: I was actually not too happy with Vol-I, but after watching Vol-II, I feel the movie is completely justified. Avid RGV fans are definitely in for a treat and those who are not are also in for a surprise. Ramu never deviates from the story and keeps the audience hooked to their seats throughout. Few scenes were really pulsating.
Especially the bomb blast scene where Suriya is introduced (RGV shows no car blowing up interestingly), the build up to the scene before Suriya is produced in the court, the climax sequence and the appearance of Suriya in the frame before shooting Vivek are just brilliantly done. Also the incidents, which make both the characters take up violence, have a similar pattern, which make the audience understand the similarity between the two guys.
One can get to see all the aspects of Ramu’s filmmaking which most of us are used to by now. Acute and obscure camera angles, gritty writing and raw faces with the least bit of makeup, everything Ramu style. One scene, which would sure mark the genius of Ramu, is the scene where Suriya is trying to escape the crossfire between the two gangs and a kid is shown running in the foreground while a goon falls to the ground after being shot (in the background).
Editing by Nipun Ashok Gupta is crisp and the camera work by Amol Rathod is typical Ramu style. Writing by Prashant Pandey is good. The background score by Dharam-Sandeep is mostly the same as in the first volume.
Performances: Vivek Oberoi surely deserves a pat on his back for pulling off the character Pratap Ravi with such panache. Surely, this is his finest work to date. If he was good in the first volume he just gets better and better in the second volume. His face-off with Suriya in the prison and his yes/no argument with Shatrugan Sinha were simply brilliant. To be honest, Vivek carries the whole film on his shoulders.
Coming to the south Superstar Suriya, he does his job neatly. RGV himself wrote in his blog that Suriya’s eyes did all the acting in the film and this is completely true. After RGV’s Shiva, there comes a character where most of the dialogues are spoken with the eye. His reactions in the TV blast scene are brilliant. He is sure to be noticed by the audience of Hindi cinema.
Shatrugan Sinha only plays a cameo this time and continues his wonderful work that we got to see in the first volume. Kota Srinivasa Rao and Abhimanyu Singh reappear in the flashback episode and people were going gaga cheering Bukka Reddy. Sudhakar as Krishna is adequate. Sudeep as the cop is impressive and his encounters with Vivek and Suriya are top notch. Both the ladies in the film, Priyamani and Radhika Apte are good. Radhika Apte was particularly brilliant in the scene where she argues with Vivek. The rest of the cast is adequate.
The film is a rarity in Hindi cinema, which tries to depict a real incident from Andhra Pradesh and showcases the raw emotion of vengeance. RGV is actually criticized for glorifying violence on screen. But, in this film he tries to show the viewpoints of two characters who enter into a personal vendetta with a sublime touch of emotion.
If there is any thing that the audience needs to be aware of in this film is its content. Yes, it is predictable and also one has to see how the audiences would lap up the subject after the first volume not being received well by the audiences in the North.