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Raktha Charithiram

Raktha Charithiram
Ram Gopal Varma
Suriya, Vivek Oberoi, Priya Mani, Radhika
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Ram Gopal Varma’s Raktha Charithiram is a dark morbid tale, and is made in a documentary style. There is a disclaimer in the beginning that the film is based on a fictitious story. However everyone knows that it is taken from real life story of the bitter feud between Parithala Ravi and Suri against the backdrop of Andhra politics of the 80’s and 90’s.

RGV has made it as a two part film in Telugu and Hindi. In Tamil he has made it as a concise single part, with focus totally on the Suri character brilliantly played by Suriya who hogs the show. Suriya makes a fantastic opening scene appearance 23 minutes, after the start of the film.

For the Tamil viewers the voice over of Gautham Menon tells us what took place in the part- one of the film. It is a sort of backgrounder that explains the reason for the deep rooted hatred and enmity between the two principal players Pratap (Vivek Oberoi) and Surya (Suriya).

It all began in Anandapuram, a village somewhere in rural Tamil Nadu. The powerful feudal landlord and political leader Narasimha Moorthy (Kitty), wants to make Veerabhadran his friend a big leader in local politics. Moorthy’s brother Nagamani (Kota Srinivasa Rao) gets jealous and plots the murder of Veerabhadran.

Pratap, (Vivek Oberoi), Veerabhadran’s son a good guy living in a town and in love with Nandini (Radhika Apte) takes revenge on the Moorthy clan. Later he joins the party of superstar turned politician Sivaji (Shatrungnan Sinha) and becomes a minister in his cabinet.

Now enter Surya (Suriya), a construction engineer who is in love and wants to marry Bhavani (Priyamani). But after hearing the cold blooded murder of his father Narasimha Moorthy, he rushes back to his village. He wants to take his mother and brother back to the city and has no inclination to go on revenge romp. However when he sees his mother and brother getting killed in a television bomb explosion, it changes his attitude. Surya is now on a mission to wipe out Pratap at any cost.

The film is very dark, grim and violent as it is about two individuals who are baying for each other’s blood. The film may not connect with the Tamil audiences as it is based on a true story set in an Andhra milieu. The scenes which stand out are Suriya’s introduction scene and his grief and disappointment in missing his target. When his mother and brother are killed in a bomb blast, Suriya breaks down; you can feel the sadness in his tears. There is a terrific violent and bloody fight scene in the jail as Suriya takes on six guys

Suriya’s astonishingly life-like performance is the highlight of the film. The moment he appears on screen, you cannot take your eyes off him. He is so hot and cool that you can feel the fire and ice within. Vivek Oberoi as the villain in part two is equal foil to Suriya, and shows his character is vulnerable and impulsive. Priyamani as Bhavani and Radhika Apte are very good and are apt for the role of demure wives of hardened tough guys. The other actor’s in small roles also impressive.

Technically, there is nothing much to talk about with irritating loud background score with chanting of hymns. The camera work has an amateur feel about it. RGV has smartly made the protagonist in the first part the antagonist in the part- two. Ramu has given it a slow paced documentary feel, as the script is wafer thin. There is absolutely no relief and is predictable, as he tries to make it too realistic.

Verdict- Dark and Disturbing


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