The word Rangrez refers to someone who dyes clothes. But in Priyadarshan’s film of the same name, there is no such direct reference to its origin. If at all the director was trying to use it metaphorically, the effort has been squandered.
Rishi (Jackky), Vinu (Amitosh) and Pakya (Vijay) are three friends living the simple life. The protagonist believes in living a moralistic life and championing the right cause, then there is the simpleton who wants to set up a computer centre and earn a decent living while the third is a typical tapori with the best one liners and providing comic relief. If these characters seem prototype then wait till you are introduced to the premise. When a fourth friend, their ‘diaper dost’ (cause langoti yaar is so 1920’s) Joy (Raghav) tries to commit suicide over matters of the heart, the trio jump into action deciding they will put their lives on the line to unite the lovers. Having successful careers can wait, cause nothing is more exciting than some car chases, kidnapping drama and heart wrenching monologues about friendship and sacrifice.
Don’t be fooled by this simplistic story. The screenplay springs up a major surprise in the second half when every thing you watched and believed in is rubbished off. In fact the climax and the events leading to it are full of WTF moments which will numb your senses beyond belief. Add to it a bunch of supporting actors (a hamming politician whose loud UP dialect matches her garish lipstick, Rajpal Yadav doing what he’s done in every Priyadarshan film) dragging down the pace making the proceedings unbearable.
While the motive might be sincere, the execution lacks the same sentiment. There are too many parallel plots, unnecessary diversions, songs that pop up like burnt toasts, and dialogues that read out of a rejected TV soaps pilot episode. Among the cast, Vijay Verma has the right spunk and effervescence. Amitosh Nagpal is earnest in his approach but is marred by a half baked character. Jackky Bhagnani seems at ease playing Rishi.
He excels in scenes where he interacts with his friends and exudes confidence. Priyadarshan loses track mid way and instead of exploring new ground often falls back on his tried and tested formula which seems outdated. Had the screenplay focused on the dynamics and interpersonal play between the friends and lead to a climax that wasn’t bulldozed by heavy dramatics and lengthy dialogues, Rangrezz might have had a different verdict.
P.S. – Gangnam Style comes right at the end, so sit through the credit roll if watching the desification of Psy’s infectious hit gets those hips shaking!