Before writing my views on “Rakht Charitra” movies, let me share some information about Paritala Ravi (The movies are loosely based on his life), a figure who might not be well known in North India but was a well known, highly influential and powerful figure in Andhra Pradesh. Ravi was a politician and a Factionist Leader in the Rayalseema part of Andhra Pradesh, a region which is filled with hooliganism and violent family feuds. He entered factionism when his father and brother were killed. After starting of as a Communist responsible for many deaths, he joined TDP and became a MLA. He was involved in quite many murder cases and land grabbing crimes. He was shot dead in 2005.
Now making a movie on such a controversial figure is not easy. There will be great pressure and threats from Pro-Paritala side since they wouldn’t want anything negative to be shown about their slain leader. Also, there will be great pressure from all sides since Paritala was heavily involved with Politics and hooliganism in AP and to make a movie on him would mean involving all parties, which once again is very difficult and extremely dangerous. When Ram Gopal Varma started his project on Ravi Paritala’s life, he claimed that he was not moved by any threats and would make his movie based on the true story. He definately succeded in making and releasing the movies alright, but it was just 25% accurate and 75% fiction/style.
Its outright lie when RGV claims “Based on True Story” which would make people seem that the movie would “almost” depict the story of Paritala Ravi. But the proper statement would be “Based loosely on a true story” since RGV doesn’t concentrate on time periods, important figures around Ravi etc. There are some Major flaws in the accuracy department. The movies are set in “today’s time” when the time period of the first part should have been 80-90′s and early 00′s in the second part. If that major flaw wasn’t enough, characters are made up. NTR was long gone when Paritala was killed and they kept showing that character throughout till the end. And many characters, who were heavily involved with Paritala’s life, are not shown like Chandrababu Naidu. There are many minor yet efficient flaws throughout the movie when it comes to accuracy depiction. I could have understood editing out some information due to death threats and pressure but majority of the movie being made up is sad.
Alright, Now comes the part where I share my views on the Movie leaving aside all the accuracy and other cr@p. The First movie of this series, Rakht Charitra – 1, was about how Paritala Ravi became a factionist, how he murdered all those responsible for his father’s & brother’s death, how he joined politics etc. The movie ended showing him at the peak of his power. To be honest, Rakht Charitra – 1 was a very good movie – a highly engrossing, intense flick. It was fast paced and had some real gem of scenes. The highlights of the movie were the Background score and the performances of Major characters. It was just 2 hours long, edge of the seat thrilling drama. The violence in the movie was definately overdone by RGV though he did it in a little “Stylish” way which kinda hit you hard and also helped setting the mood of the movie. The way the movie ended showing few “sneak” scenes from RC-2 made me anticipate the arrival of second part.
Not only did RC-2 disappoint me, it was opposite of what I expected. The movie was completely dominated by Surya’s character and Vivek’s character had like 1/4th scenes of the movie making it a one side affair unlike the first movie. Also, the whole Surya thirsting for revenge against Vivek seemed repititve which brought in the bore factor. The second movie also fails in the Action department and the Background score (it just didn’t match the scenes), which were among the highlights of first one. And seriously, whats with RGV and close up shots coupled with slow motion? The movie could have been a good half an hour shorter had Varma used normal speed for long thrilling/action scenes rather than slow motion. Seriously, all these factors made RC-2 slow paced and dragging. The movie was saved by the performances.
The best thing about the two movies was, without a shadow of a doubt, the performances of Three Major Characters.
Abhimanyu Singh( the antagonist of first part )who played Bukka Reddy, shelled out a scene stealing performance. Now this character was extremely Insane, evil, cruel and dangerous. I have hardly seen such a character on screen in bollywood movies. This guy was so natural on screen that whenever he came onto the screen, he sent a shiver down the spine with his Maniac style of Killing people. An excellent performance.
Surya’s (Protagonist of Second Part) performance can be described in one word – Intense. He shelled out a good and intense performance. He emotes so well with his eyes. Need to watch more movies of this guy.
Last but certainly not the least, Vivek Oberoi, who plays the Role of a character the movie is based on. He is the protagonist of first part and slightly a antagonist of second one. For me, the best performance from this series has to be Vivek’s. His character had a great development throughout the movie. And Vivek was brillaint in every development whether it was the scene where he see’s his brother’s corpse and suddenly becomes filled with rage and vengeance or the part where he order’s all the Crime lords to stop their hooliganism in a calm and slick manner or the part where he looks up with teary eyes when he has to decide about murdering a woman etc. He might have had less scenes in RC-2 but IMO, he was perfect depicting the role of an arrogant leader whose power was slowly reducing. Vivek is an actor who is very underrated. Had he not gotten himself involved with Aishwarya and also, in the whole Salman fiasco, I think he would have been at a much better position in Bollywood. He is charismatic, energatic and a very good actor. Its quite sad to see Rakht Charitra movies bombing in North India since the guy deserved bigger acclaim and recognition as a very good actor.
At the end, I would say RGV missed a golden opportunity at making Classics/Masterpieces. He should have concentrated more on the script, editing rather than on directing slow motion, close up shots of faces. Seriously.. These two movies could have been so much better had RGV concentrated more on telling the story of a controversial figure.. Also, the marketing and promotion of the movie was PATHETIC. Hardly anyone knows about these two movies in the North India. The movies released and disappeared in the blink of eyes there.
Rating of the Series – 3/5