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Rakht Charitra - 1 is all about mind-numbing bloodhshed

Rakht Charitra - 1 is all about mind-numbing bloodhshed

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Friday 22 October 2010

Movie Title

Rakht Charitra - 1 is all about mind-numbing bloodhshed

Director

Ram Gopal Varma

Star Cast

Vivek Oberoi, Suriya, Shatrughan Sinha, Abhimanyu Singh

`Rakht is the charitra here,? exclaims the voiceover about this place ironically called Anandpur. The corresponding visual is that of a gruesome murder against the backdrop of a Mahatama Gandhi statue.

The premise, based on a true story of politician Paritala Ravi, is that of revenge. The lyrics tells you this is aaj ki Mahabharat. But the story, built-up to this extent, disappoints having nothing to show for apart from mind-numbing bloodshed.

Local politico Narsimha has a loyal worker called Veerbhadra. Their closeness rattles Naagmani, who poisons Narsimha?s mind against his own employee. The result is fatal. When Veerbhadra loses his life for rebelling against injustice, his two sons swear revenge. Many lives are lost, body count piles up. The viewer learns new and innovative ways a person can be murdered. An even more vile villain pops up in the form of the unstable Naagmani?s son Bukka (Abhimanyu Singh, arresting performance).

A psychopath, serial rapist (you have many unnerving scenes of his picking up women from the streets) and murderer?even his father cannot control his destructive ways. So the story starts and ends the same way ? Veerbhadra?s son Pratap (Vivek Oberoi) kills Bukka?s aides; he gets back with more vengeance. Each revenge trip gets bloodier and more outrageous. The parallel track of Vivek?s romance with Nandini is displayed in typical RGV manner. In spite of being brought up in a regular middle-class milieu, she is not afraid to learn of Pratap?s violent streak; in fact leaves everything to go and live with him in hiding.

Hope pours in, in the form of a larger-than-life, actor-turned-Chief Minister Shivaji (Shatrughan Sinha). Shivaji gives Pratap the opportunity of entering into politics and he is catapulted into another world, where he becomes a parallel `Sarkar?. All this is explained to us through a consistently restless voiceover.

There are some implausible portions: when Pratap wants to confess to Nandini that rumours about his murderous ways are true, he chooses to barge into an exam room with his grassroots warriors. The introduction of the character of a female cop is of no consequence at all. The songs are broken into without warning, and Sukhwinder Singh?s marriage song-n-dance is out of place.

The violence in the film doesn?t stem only from the murders and bloodiness. There are disturbing scenes where women are forced into vans, harassed by Bukka, and slapped and roughed up repeatedly.

Ram Gopal Varma?s storytelling has a Company and Sarkar hangover. Plus the films gets entangled in a repetitive cycle of revenge and counter-revenge, so the story doesn?t move anywhere. Some classic RGV touches are found in a funny football scene and a dialogue between a corrupt politician and a senior cop about the helplessness of the police. Then again, the always moving camera, and background score with shlokas is vintage Varma. The director chooses to tell the story in two parts, the next one coming out in November.

The brightest spark in the film is the performance by the cast, and an especially honest act by Vivek Oberoi. But even that doesn?t have us holding our breath for the impending instalment.

Verdict: Two stars

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