All Style Very Little Substance
‘U/A’ Censored, 2 hrs 18 mins
What Is the Film About?
Deva (Sharwanand) is an ambitious guy who doesn’t mind taking an illegal route to earning money. He stars bootlegging liquor during the prohibition era. In doing so, he finds himself to be at the wrong side local MLA Simhachalam (Murali Sharma). While all this is happening, Deva also falls in love with Geetha (Kalyani Priyadarshan).
How Deva becomes a big gangster who operates from a foreign location? Where is Geetha, and what do his foes do, is what the movie is all about?
How Is Sharwanand’s Performance?
Without any doubt, Ranarangam is the weakest outing of Sharwanand in the recent past. He puts all the effort as he has done in his previous films, but in the end, there is not even in a single memorable scene to talk about regarding ‘acting’. It wasn’t the case in all the previous flicks where Sharwanand made sure that there were at least a couple of scenes to emote and impress.
The exterior, styling and tough body language are neatly adapted, but the depth is missing. The weak direction further doesn’t help his cause as all he is left is mere poses. Guess, this is a film to forget and move on.
Direction by Sudheer Varma?
Sudheer Varma burst on the scene with the much loved Swamy Ra Ra, since then he has been trying to make a movie that is loved as much, but so far he has been unsuccessful. Ranarangam, unfortunately, is another addition to the list.
The basic story of the movie, as said by the director, is inspired by The Godfather. It is not just the screenplay technique. Ranarangam used all the cliché gangster genre tropes and built a narrative around it. For it to work, the writing and screenplay have to be gripping along with performances to overcome the predictability of the plot. That happens in parts in the first half, but they are few are far in between.
The engaging portions come in the flashback parts that occur in the ’90s in the prohibition era. During these moments, a few scenes that concurrently show the love story of the hero also work out well. Everything seems to be going alright for a while, but whenever we get back to the present track in Spain, it acts as a speed breaker.
The interval is neatly done, execution wise but is expected, narratively. Still, as some parts work, it feels okay when we look at the first half as a whole.
The real trouble comes in the second half, where the story, however predictable it is, goes missing. For a long time, all we get is hero moving from one place to another in one timeline and protagonist and antagonist taking strikes at each other after other. It all feels so repetitive, and frankly, ordinary and redundant.
After going through painfully routine proceedings, we finally get to a climax that can be seen miles away. Only, a small part of that comes fresh, but that is not enough to make it qualify as a saving grace.
Overall, Ranarangam is a stylishly shot gangster tale with no heart –it is missing entirely. It is, therefore, a terrible waste of resources and time.
Kalyani Priyadarshan and Others?
There are two heroines in the movie, Kalyani Priyadarshan and Kajal. The film is all about the former, and the latter exists only for namesake and promotional purposes. Kalyani has done her part well even though there is nothing special. When it comes to Kajal, we are shocked that she has accepted the part. It offers nothing to her acting-wise. There is no role to speak off, even the song that is promoted heavily having her doesn’t feature as part of the main story.
Murali Sharma plays the main villain. It is a welcome change for him to do a negative role. But the ‘Captain Spock meets Marlon Bando’ looks, and acting doesn’t do any justice to his talent. Sudarshan gets a regular part with a different end. Brahmaji is hilarious in a couple of scenes. The rest of the batch playing the hero’s friends is alright.
Music and Other Departments?
The music by Prasanth Pillai is alright. The background score is excellent for the most part. It goes a bit off at times when there are scenes involving the heroine. The cinematography by Divakar Mani is excellent. Ranarangam bears a slick and stylish look throughout. The existence of many parts appears to be only to boost the stylish quotient. The editing is decent. Sudheer Varma also doubles up as the writer. It is a mixed bag, as few scenes have excellent dialogues, but overall it falls flat with superficiality.
Parts of the first half
Zero Emotional Connect
Watch the old classic gangster movies and refresh your minds.
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Ranarangam Review by Siddartha Toleti
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