Film: Rakht Charitra 2 (A)
Cast: Surya, Vivek Oberoi, Priyamani, Radhika Apte and others
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
For a film that held out so much promise after the mind-blowing, blood-soaked debut of its first part, Rakht Charitra 2 turns out to be a run-of-the-mill movie with revenge and violence as the theme. Not only is this one less bloody, it is also less fascinating. The first 30 minutes are spent recapitulating Rakta Charitra 1, so the film begins on an exhilarating note, but eventually fizzles out into a boring and banal climax.
While Rakht Charitra 1 had Pratap Ravi (Vivek) setting off on a murderous spree in revenge, Rakht Charitra 2 has Surya Reddy (Surya), son of Narasimha Reddy, one of the many people killed by Ravi in the first part, seeking vengeance. Ravi is now a celebrated politician, worshipped by the masses and feared by his enemies. In a classic example of Machiavelli’s dictum, ‘Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely’, Ravi is portrayed as an influential man who sets aside all his values for the sake of power.
Holding Ravi responsible for the ghastly deaths of his loved ones, Surya, with the help of his devoted wife Bhavani (Priyamani), vows to kill Ravi, come what may. For the most part, the film takes you through his unabashed attempts to bump Ravi off. When he finally succeeds with help from Ravi’s political rivals, your sympathies lie, predictably, with Surya whom Ravi has wronged.
Surya steals the show and Rakht Charitra 2 is unquestionably his film more than Oberoi’s. Surya’s ‘Ghajinikanth’ histrionics, what with his beefy abs, angry raised eyebrows, and clever skill of dodging bullets, are impressive. This time around, Oberoi’s performance dangles between over-the-top and mediocre. Southern siren Priyanmani looks fabulous in her sari-clad sensuousness and minimal make-up. Acting-wise, both the female leads, Priyamani and Apte, come across as first rate, though both have blink-and-you-miss-them appearances.
Technically, the film deserves a round of applause for Amol Rathod’s brilliant and innovative cinematography; and Dharam Sandeep’s banging music. Yet, the film does not, in any way, create the kind of impact that it was supposed to and, at many points, drags until you feel like branding it a ‘slow-motion’ film. Even the violence repels you for some reason despite the fact that it is less gruesome than in the first part.
Watch it if you had watched the first part, but don't be surprised if you don't like this as much.