Monday, October 25, 2010

Raktha Charitra 1: RGV's own 'roaring rampage of revenge'

Revenge has a new name – Rakhta Charitra. Rakhta Charitra is RGV’s own ‘roaring rampage of revenge’, his desi KILL BILL 1 & 2. The movie is RGV’s full-scale romance with violence and a tribute to his inspiration Quentin Tarantino. The slow-motion scooter scene introducing the violent protagonist, the merchant of death as well symbolizes the leisure for the pleasure from violence.

This is of course only the first of 2 parts, so RGV is free from the burden of showing the grey shades and creating drama. So he creates a black and white picture. Pratap is horribly wronged through the killings of his father and brother. We are the visual witnesses to how his father’s head was crushed under a boulder. RGV put good sound for the crush. I wonder if he very soon considers making a 3D movie with this kind of horror and violence. Bukka Reddy is an abominable creature who deserves to be hanged a million times. And again we are witness to how he treats women. So it is easy, with the fantastic casting and good performances, the movie appeals to the viewers’ most basic instinct – revenge. When Bukka is being hunted to death, every viewer enjoys the orgy of gun shots and the camera angles as sickles fly for his body parts. That is RGV, the story teller back in form.

RGV stews the emotions masterfully with these black and white characters. Some scenes make huge impact.
1) Narasimha Reddy’s wife’s reaction while her husband is killed.
2) Pratap’s father’s killing

RGV’s attention to detail showed in the art direction with the vehicles, houses all wearing a 90s look – non-flashy and taking a backseat to the revenge story. Telugu audience may like the movie more out of the Parita Ravi story correlation. For others, this may not be that impactful but nevertheless is watchable. With a rooted story, RGV got his bearings back after a series of uninspirational flicks. As usual, RGV’s casting is bang on and it worked wonders. Vivek Oberoi, Abhimanyu Singh, Shatrugan Sinha performed wonderfully. Even the small characters made an impression. I now have a mountain of expectations on Suriya in the 2nd part. And the trailers look very promising.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Rajni's Robot Rocks - Hollywood meets Hong Kong!

Shankar’s fascination for everything big just got bigger. ‘Robot’ is India’s most ambitious movie ever, both in budget and content. What is admirable is that the team here did not get weighed down by its own budget and the consequent expectations, as is the wont of Indian big budget flicks. They rose to the challenge and made a mark. ‘Robot’ is the marriage of Hollywood and Hong Kong for a full 2 hours and 40 minutes! It is a what people say ‘world-class’. Shankar who had his big-budget failure in ‘Jeans’ this time makes sure the humane feel is not lost in the paraphernalia of a big flick. And the result is a duel that emanates out of human feelings. A duel with double screen-presence of SUPERSTAR RAJNI.

‘Robot’ is not a typical Rajni flick. It has Shankar written all over it. It has none of Rajni’s trademark signature moves - style shots or punch dialogues. It is amazing how Rajni just fitted in the script, underplayed himself. Compare that with other ‘superstars’ and ‘megastars’ who literally edit their movies to make themselves look bigger than the movie. Despite the underplay, Rajni’s energy shines through in his nuanced acting. He covers up for the few logical flaws through his screen presence. His robotic action is superb and displays shades of grey and comedy impeccably. Aishwarya looked breathtakingly beautiful after a long time and electrified the screen.

‘Robot’ is a visual splendor. The song in the ruins of Machu Pichu in Peru is the highlight. The cinematography, choreography, costumes, art, action are all top-notch. AR Rahman’s songs have the dubbed tinge due to heavy lyrics but the music and background score is delectable. The movie is sure to become a rage with kids with all the CGI and would be a big hit this festive season.

Shankar ha s not exactly been my favorite. I found his most popular flicks too simplistic even while dealing with important issues like corruption. But then he displayed a consistent knack for the pulse of the viewers and more importantly stayed true to his craft and got better at it even while his contemporaries (including my favorite) seem to become prisoners of their own success and lose it after a few ‘hits’. It is this craftsmanship I have to come to like after watching ‘Robot’ today.

Shankar’s goals will now surely soar higher in the craft after this flick. Maybe the mosquitoes animation is a pointer. Is that implying an impending animation flick? And is the final scene implying a sequel – ROBOT 2!? I hope so :)