Today Friday implies the impending joy of weekends. But long ago it meant the excitement of new movies being released. My college was not far from the theatre area of the city. I would get in to classes for an hour, make plans and get out before the morning show began.
There was no compulsion to go for the classical or popular movies. I simply used to go for a movie if the poster excited me or even if the actress showed ample cleavage (That’s how I turned a lifelong fan of Namitha). But those were crazy times. One such crazy decision prompted me to go for ‘Vaastushastra’, perhaps the first RGV production I have seen.
The first question that would cross the mind of one who just watched a RGV film-‘Is this guy crazy?’ He might be. But that resulted in raising the benchmarks for Hindi Cinema. Sometimes it takes a crazy man to change the rules and prove that he doesn’t need a cash fat producer to finance his wild ideas.
Having said that I would not say his movies are perfect. I would not appreciate his screenplay or aesthetic sense or shallow stories. Still it would be tough to question his intentions.
‘RakthaCharithra’ is about the rise and fall of a real life politician, Paritala Ravi and his nemesis Suri. In the back drop of these two a host of events centered on political deceptions, blood feud, wicked men, lawlessness and helplessness unfolds.
Vivek Oberoi has proved his mettle in his moody characters. The role is very ideal and suited for him. But you shouldn’t expect a variety of shades. The grumpy expression is plastered throughout. RGV has assembled a very talented cast. Since he depends a lot on close-ups and deft body movements the talent is essential. Even a bit of over expression would be fine and would go unnoticed. But I will take an exception with Priyamani and Surya who came in the second installment. They provided the oomph factor but reduced their characters to mere caricatures. Most of the cast has been assembled from Andhra, Kannada and Tamil. I believe the model of sharing of resources beyond the borders have to be followed in India. It may cure the Hindi cinema of typecasting.
The music also needs a mention. RGV isn’t very fond of music and you may end up with funny chants in his pictures. But here it has been a variation. Thankfully the pace hasn’t been compromised and the narration moves on with the music.
Regionalism is a tricky part RGV negotiated very well. The theme is a local issue in Andhra. The movie was released in three major languages in India. The audience may not have related to the movie. But nowhere has he mentioned or stressed on a particular place. The loose regionalism helped everyone to relate to the movie.
Cinematography is the strong forte in RGV fims. ‘Raktha’ also is not different. The cinematography has been done impeccably. The blood, gore, violence and rapes have been captured so vividly that there is good chance that you may puke if you aren’t used to this stuff. Even though the product is of negative value, it’s unfair to ignore a good work. I have seen directors satisfying themselves with lax work in the name of financial constraints. A scene worth mentioning is the one in which a lady is kidnapped straight from a scooter by people in a jeep,
Sadly a particular floating motion has been lifted straight from DevD and there seems to be no reason for using it here.
Coming to the negatives- RGV doesn’t believe in story telling. The film moves on from one murder to the next. The first installment is watchable as we are able to identify a bit with protagonist. But the second installment takes a complete U-turn. The hero in the first installment turns the villain here with no apparent reason to do so. Besides RGV has no enough story to stretch. The scenes tend to repeat themselves and dialogues seem to be a fake. To make the matters worse characters of Priyamani and Surya aren’t able to salvage the pride.
RGV hasn’t got over the hangover of ‘Sarkar’effect. Many sequences, camera angles, colour tones and mannerisms seem to be straight out of the sets of Sarkar. Apart from the technical aspects, there is a flaw in theme too. In the first sequence Paritala Ravi has been glorified and so is his ways. A basic question arises on the morality of the cinema. Towards the end of second installment we get the feeling that violence pays none. Sadly by then we will be bored!