RAKTH CHARITRA – Review
Posted by barkha on October 23, 2010 | 2 Comment
FILM – RAKTH CHARITRA
PRODUCER – Cinergy Films, Sheetal Vinod Talwar and Madhu Mantena
DIRECTOR – Ram Gopal Verma
WRITER – Prashant Pandey
CAST – Vivek Oberoi, Shatrugan Sinha, Abhimanyu Singh, Sushant Singh, Radhika Apte, Rajendra Gupta, Zarina Wahab, Ashish Vidyarthi, Priyamani
MUSIC – Sukhwinder Singh, Bappi, Tutul
Gore learns a new language. Of desperation. Pushing boundaries takes a new turn. Of forcing them apart. Ordinarily this would transmute into a spell-binding creative high but Rakth Charitra does no such stimulating favour to its audience or its maker. Both of whom were hoping it to be a miracle of sorts. A path-breaker, original in voice and honest in intent. A jinx-breaker so to speak. A totem of resurrection.
But if only re-birth came that easy.
Ram Gopal Verma’s ambitious two-part Rakth Charitra is bold and brassy, brutal and brackish (the first part i.e., the second not out for public consumption yet.) It is the true story of Paritala Ravi, a political leader and former cabinet minister in Andhra Pradesh whose roots were seeped in Communism/Naxalism. In its dramatic form this so-called biopic not only deviates factually but also intellectually, mis-emphasizing situations, emotions and reasons behind the story of Paritala Ravi. Singularly intent on courting violence like a famished lover, it speaks the language of hard, animal force, even using extremities of sound and its harshness to arouse the intensity of violence, disregarding every human element of the mind, heart or spirit. Elements very crucial to the rise and fall and making of Paritala Ravi. Elements that are crucial to any human story.
But Rakth Charitra is not a human story. As an experience the film is visceral. Gut-kicking visceral. But that is a sensory experience alone. Removed from the holistic cinematic one. With a myopic intent of re-shaping boundaries of extremities, Ram Gopal Verma becomes a step-father to the narrative, taming a brute to a yak by stringing in the ‘voice-over’ to explain events spanning time, to speak strategy that should be shown. Where the expression of a ‘city soul-shaken by brazen murders’ is a trembly jimmy-jib shot of the city’s skyline from a terrace. Laziness or sparseness is not the point, the point is this approach of heightening visceral gore at the behest of all else is reductive. And sadly so.
But in this misguided quest, Rakth Charitra throws up some vignettes of striking moments and performances. No one’s lives, dilemmas or conflicts are real. But even in this manifold intensified environment stand out most characters. Like Sushant Singh as the blood-thirsty avenging son, Abhimanyu Singh’s demonic, fiendish antagonist and Shatrugan Sinha’s portrayal of NTR. Vivek Oberoi’s (as Paritala Ravi aka Pratap) presence and impact is rather accentuated by careful framing and visualisation than inherent merit even as Ashish Vidyarthi puts in a zestful performance. Zarina Wahab as the desperate mother and Radhika Aapte’s Sunita tie in with the female stereotypes even as the latter is reminiscent of Mani Ratnam’s ‘simplistic’ female counterparts.
Rakth Charitra makes an impact. But the story is not complete yet. The first part of ‘summarized’ history creates ripples, raises gooseflesh and tingles with a promise even as it disappoints with a standard staleness of narrative an approach. It is true to its setting and sensibility but not in an earthy way, much rather in a painted reflection. Let us wait for the second part to unveil and fill in the blanks. The second part is a promise of Suriya, Vivek Oberoi and Shatrugan Sinha in a tighter, more vengeful drama of blood and politics. Greater heights and depths, resurrection of itself from itself and whose, may all of these questions be answered in the next part.