RAKHT CHARITRA 2
Dir: Ram Gopal Varma
Cast: Vivek Oberoi, Suriya, Shatrughan Sinha, Priyamani, Zarina Wahab, Radhika Apte
WHAT'S IT ABOUT: Anandpur has several tales written in blood, croaks the narrator. And Rakht Charitra 2 never let up on that premise. The violent bloodletting continues with an unabashed fervour.
While Pratap Ravi (Oberoi) avenged the deaths of his father and brother in Part 1, it's Surya's (Suriya) turn to hack and bleed his way through to Pratap in this installment.
WHAT'S HOT: This is undoubtedly Suriya's film. Left with little to lose, his character, a one-time pacifist, goes for the kill from the very beginning. His entry is met with catcalls and whistles at the theatre I watched the film in. There is no denying that this actor has a powerful charismatic screen presence and great looks to go with it. Watch out for his emotional scenes and the action ones, he excels in those. Vivek Oberoi is benched for most of the movie but is effective in the scenes that he does appear in. All in all, the film does present some startling, arresting images but even these are few and far between. Shatrughan Sinha is given a Amitabh Bachchan line to mouth, "Rishte mein toh hum tumhare baap lagte hain..."
WHAT'S NOT: "Get to the point", gnarls Pratap when a DCP (Sudeep) gives him gyaan on his 'situation'. How we wish RGV took that advice to heart. I seriously considered going back to the box-office to demand a refund because the first half hour of running time is a tightly edited recap of the first part. As the minutes wear on, it gets on your nerves. And then it begins. The film moves like a behemoth with none of the other characteristics of the mythical being. The story is still the same, just with different players. The DCP doesn't let that point go lost on you and repeats it for effect. "Don't be another Pratap", he offers in the most deadpan way he can. We get it. Just get on with it.
The film grates with exaggerated slow motion shots that make it seem far longer than its actual running time. Repeated deep close-ups, swirling, topsy-turvy shots are distracting rather than effective. The friend Surya makes in jail appears too touchy feely with him. Did they bond far more than the audience should've been aware of?
WHAT'S THAT! There were several chuckles when a disclaimer was carried at the start saying the story was fictitious and had no resemblances blah blah and was immediately followed by a bold message that went 'Based on a true story'. Can't make up your mind, RGV?
And in case you were still wondering, the irritating narrator is still there!
WHAT TO DO: Watch this one purely to marvel at how self-obsession and the absence of a script can gut perfectly good performances. The bloodbath continues and the warning still stands. Go for it if you have the stomach for it. Alternatively, watch it for the next South superstar we ought to be poaching.