Hear, hear, that loudmouth Ram Gopal Varma, whom we’d all given up for dead after a bunch of utterly crappy films, has risen from the dead with his new film Rann.
Yes, we think Ramu or Gopu or whatever moniker the bozo’s known by these days has managed to put out a watchable film this time compared to some of his recent offal like Sarkar, Sarkar Raj and RGV Ki Aag that we’ve had the misfortune to see.
Despite the presence of that irritating buffoon and non-actor Riteish Deshmukh, who goes about the entire movie with the pained look of a constipated man desperately searching for his bowel-relaxing laxatives, Rann is a tolerable film.
Media Under Fire
In Rann, RGV has the media in his cross-hairs and paints a dark picture of the source of our news.
But it’s too dark and one-sided a view. And that’s one of the weaknesses of the film.
In the RGV universe, media-folks are – here, take your pick – either hopelessly corrupt and in bed with the politicians/big industrialists or utterly naive.
And the politicians are ugly, murderous caricatures, who’ll stoop to any extent in their desperate grab for power and high office.
There are, of course, notable and honorable exceptions like the respected journalist Vijay Harshwardhan Malik and the idealistic Purabh Shastri. The first played by Amitabh Bachchan and the latter by Riteish ‘Mr.Constipated’ Deshmukh.
Here’s the story in a nutshell. The TV channel owned by the upright anchor and journalist Vijay Harshwardhan Malik (Amitabh Bachchan) is in dire straits with advertisers fleeing, ratings falling and, adding to the woes, a rival channel run by a former employee is riding the crest.
At this critical moment for the channel, Vijay’s son Jay (played with considerable elan by Sudeep) and his brother-law-Naveen (Rajat Kapoor) in cahoots with a ruthless politician Mohan Pandey (Paresh Rawal) embark on a high-stakes, dangerous and deadly game, mindless of the legal or moral ramifications. Each member in the cabal is pursuing his life’s ambition. Naveen is itching to become the #1 industrialist, Mohan Pandey yearns to become the Prime Minister and Jay is desperate to boost the fortunes of his father’s TV channel.
The limitations of its simplistic look at the media in the Internet age notwithstanding, the Rann story does manage to hold your attention although you know how it’ll all end ultimately.
The story proceeds at a brisk pace but there are hardly any surprises.
What we liked most about Rann was the opportunity to see some decent acting, a rarity in Indian films.
Kannada film star Sudeep, Paresh Rawal, Mohnish Behl, Rajpal Yadav and Rajat Kapoor were all impressive although Paresh Rawal’s character was the stereotypical politician with over the top clownish behavior. Amitabh Bachchan was adequate.
But with most Indian critics slamming this movie, it’s doubtful if Rann can create waves at the box office.
Be that as it may, Rann could well mark the first fateful step in RGV’s redemption since his fall from grace.
Box Office: RGV’s Rann Screwed; Ishqiya Saved