Banner: Sithara Entertainments
Cast: Sharwanand, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Kajal Aggarwal, Murali Sharma, Praveen, Ajay, Raja and others
Music: Prasanth Pillai
Cinematography: Divakar Mani
Editing: Navin Nooli
Producers: Suryadevera Nagavamsi
Written and direction: Sudheer Varma
Release date: August 15, 2019
Sharwanand has been playing soft roles and he has tried to come out from his comfort zone. So, when he teamed up director Sudheer Varma who is known for stylish thrillers, it created good interest. Furthermore, the trailers are slick and added the hype around this film.
Lets find out whether this has lived up to the expectations?
In the present day, Deva (Sharwanand) runs a mafia empire in India from Spain and leads an affluent lifestyle. He is living with a kid.
The story then cuts to 1995 when NTR romped back to power and imposed total prohibition of alcohol in the state.
How Deva becomes a mafia don using this prohibition is the main point. He brings alcohol from Orissa and sells them in Vizag and becomes a threat to the bootlegging business of local MLA.
The story intercuts to the past and present and past haunts him in the present as well.
Sharwanand has shown two shades of Deva, the middle-aged gangster, and the young guy. He is okay as middle-aged man but he actually is in elements in the flashback episodes. Sharwanand is the main saving grace of the movie.
As a 90’s girl, Kalyani Priyadarshan is impressive and her romantic scenes with Sharwanand are cute.
Kajal’s character is silly. Hers is a poorly written role. Murali Sharma as a goon MLA and Raja shine in their minor roles.
Director Sudheer Varma’s films always bank heavily on technical values. He doesn’t disappoint here. In fact, the visuals and background score are the main highlight of this movie. Divakar Mani’s cinematography stands out. His lighting pattern is terrific.
The back-and-forth narration has lacked smooth editing. Background score is another plus point. But dialogues lack appeal.
Back and forth narration
Lack of emotion
Director Sudheer Varma never hides the fact that he copies stories and scenes from the great movies. In many interviews during the promotions of the movie, he has made it clear that he copied the screenplay of “The Godfather Part II” and many sequences he took from several other Hollywood and Indian gangster dramas.
As he said, the film’s story is quite clichéd from the word go. He has chosen the prohibition period of 1995 when NT Rama Rao came back to power to tell the basic story but he has not used this backdrop well to the fullest.
It begins like any other gangster drama where a hero lives in a foreign country and is filled with several scenes of how powerful he is.
After establishing Sharwanand as a don operating from Spain, the story cuts to the flashback of his early days and comes back to the present-day conflict, then again cuts to the 1990s and comes back to the present day. This back and forth narration goes on like a loop till the end for every few minutes.
There are some interesting episodes that slowly draw us into that mood but again abruptly the scene is cut to another period. This abrupt cutting of timelines has spoiled it. No episode is fully invigorating.
The good part of the movie are some sequences in the 1990s like romantic track between Sharwanand and Kalyani, the innovative way of smuggling liquor bottles.
Director Sudheer Varma should have continued this thread more. The present-day sequences are predictable.
We get to see Kajal Aggarwal becoming close to Sharwanand for no apparent reason. Her presence in these sequences is more like the presence of a junior artiste in a big scene than anything else.
Like always, Sudheer Varma has focused on the technical part. His filming of interval bang – a shootout in a lift shows how good he is at capturing such sequences.
The slick visuals, the production values, and the camerawork dominate throughout. Many individual scenes stand out for its brilliant filming but the next scenes suppress the mood.
Also, there are too many killings and shootouts.
All in all, “Ranarangam” is an unsatisfactory gangster drama that focuses more on visuals than the story. Technically superior film with rich production values but it is the content that is totally disappointing.
Bottom-line: Same Old Stuff!
(Venkat Arikatla can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)