Rakta Charitra : Unforgiving, Unforgettable
Release date: 22 October 2010
123Telugu.com Rating : 3.25/5
Director : Ram Gopal Varma
Music Director : Dharam- Sandeep
Producer : Madhu Mantena, Sheetal Vinod Talwar, Chinna Vasudeva Reddy, Rajkumar
Starring : Vivek Oberoi, Abhimanyu Singh, Shatrughan Sinha, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Radhika Apte, Zareena Wahab, Sushant Singh, Tanikella, Subhalekha Sudhakar, Vishwajeet Pradhan, Rajendra Gupta, Ashish Vidyarthi, Kitty and others
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The story of Paritala Ravi and the faction feuds in Ananthapur is captivating enough. And when someone like Ramgopal Varma picks this story to make a film on it, it is enough to create a sensation.

As a result ‘Rakta Charitra’ comes with the hype that no other film in the Telugu film industry can compete with. 123telugu.com takes a peep at whether this story of the one person’s view of a real life story will create history in Telugu cinema!

What’s it about: The story of Rakta Charitra is pretty simple and almost known to everyone. Nagamani Reddy (Kota Srinivasa Rao) gets a local backward caste leader Veerabhadraiah killed out of pure jealousy. The revenge drama unfolds as Veerabhadraiah’s elder son starts killing anyone who is close to the Reddy’s. He also tries to keep his younger brother Pratap Ravi (Vivek Oberoi) away from the feuds. However, Bokka Reddy (Abhimanyu Singh) gets Pratap’s brother killed. Enraged Pratap Ravi is sucked into the quagmire of revenge resulting in him being left to take hiding in jungles with only vengeance in mind. The rise of Pratap Ravi from a vengeful son to a political leader is the story of Rakta Charitra – Part 1

What is Good: From the moment it starts, we are sucked into the blood bath that is done in the name of loyalty and to an extent, fear. There are many characters, and we relate to each one of them easily within the first few minutes. The men are either loyal or jealous or afraid, but they are extremely true to their specific emotion.

The film seems like it looks down upon women showing them as mere spectators of what’s happening around them. But their silence is brutal; their support to their men is obsessive. If women can be so emotionally aggressive, almost all the men’s characters are justified. As a result of such justification and terrific characterization, almost all the actors shine.

Vivek Oberoi shows his calbire as an actor. Kota Srinivasa Rao fits right into the character of a villainous politician, even though he played such roles a zillion times. Shatrughan Sinha does the role of ‘over the top’ and self appraising actor-turned-political leader extremely well. Zarina Wahab as Ravi’s mother is intense. Sudeep and Ashwini Kaleskar have small but interesting roles to play.

However, it is Abhimanyu Singh who wows everyone in the role of Bokka Reddy. He plays the embodiment of all vices as if he is one such character in real life. He’s so good as the villain that you don’t feel like looking at him when he’s on the screen.

The metaphors that Ramgopal Varma uses for the police, the guns, justice, revenge, lost innocence etc. are plenty in Rakta Charitra. Those who want to find them will definitely find them.

The movie however doesn’t come across as brilliant as it could have been.

What is bad: Director Ramgopal Varma was so enchanted by this riveting drama that he chose to be the narrator himself. His voice is as good and as loud as Nutan Prasad’s narrative for a famous crime based TV serial. While the film’s tone is more like a documentary, it jumps situations and timelines for the sake of screenplay convenience. It seems the screenwriters were trying to avoid telling if the film is set in modern times or the 1980s. There are no mobile phones, yet the settings look ultramodern in urban scenes! The hero uses scooter, but the village settings don’t blend with the tone of the film, giving it a very hypocritical texture. This might result in making the audience disconnected with the story.

Rakta Charitra doesn’t glorify violence, but killing people never looked so easy and yet so excessive on Telugu screen. The only laughing moments come in the way Abhimanyu Singh looks at women. The only song in the movie looks like it has been hurriedly shot, and carries the flavor of ‘Khallas’ from Ramgopal Varma’s film ‘Company’. All other songs are in the background and almost all lyrics contain the words Rakta Charitra. Obviously those who will be looking for any kind of entertainment from this movie will be highly disappointed.

The movie doesn’t explain why Pratap Ravi’s brother is in jungles. In one scene Pratap Ravi, who is wanted in the village, drives along with his entourage of rowdies just hiding under a rug, and kills a very important leader just like that. Ramu doesn’t give any logic to such scene, as he might have thought that the emotion of killing will carry the scene. May be he is right!

Technical Departments: : Amol Rathod’s camera work is exceptional, and is supported by the film’s editing very well. One important aspect is that the continuity is noticeably realistic, inspite of having numerous characters on screen. The screenplay is brilliant at the beginning, when characters are introduced. It takes a backseat as RGV’s visual technique guides the film. Background music is justified. Costumes are realistic, but the setting should have been taken care of.

Ramgopal Varma the director is as good as he can get. A situation where the hero’s one eye is visible, and the other eye is covered with a sickle just tells how much importance he gives to visual style. However, his inattention to certain details like those mentioned above is visible too. All said and done only someone like Ramgopal Varma has the guts to make a film like this and he should be appreciated completely for it.

Final Point: Rakta Charitra has unexpectedly least entertainment value for a typical viewer of Telugu cinema, yet it never bores you. As expected it is a documentary style film, and has more violence than one can imagine. Watch it at your own risk, but this is an unforgiving film and you won’t forget it too soon.

P.S: The sneak peek of Rakta Charitra - Part II at the end of the Part 1 was so enthralling, especially with Surya on screen that no one moved till it ended!


123Telugu.com Rating : 3.25/5

Legend:    5 - Flawless
                4 - Must Watch
                3 - One Time Watch
                2 - Wait for the DVD
                1 - Stay Away
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