Producer: Sheetal Vinod Talwar, Madhu Mantena
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Cast: Vivek Oberoi, Suriya Sivakumar, Shatrughan Sinha, Priyamani, Abhimanyu Singh, Radhika Apte
Music: Sukhwinder Singh, Imran-Vikram, Dharam- Sandeep, Bappi-Tutul
Director of Photography: Amol Rathod
Editor: Nipun Ashok Gupta
Writer: Prashant Pandey
Scene No 1: Abhimanyu Singh’s father is shot dead and the cops arrive. But Singh doesn’t let them touch the body. The interaction between Singh and Ashwini Kalsekar, the cop.
Scene No 2: Abhimanyu Singh is torturing Vivek Oberoi’s mother Zarina Wahab and the cops arrive. The eye-to-eye contact between Singh and Kalsekar.
Scene No 3: Abhimanyu Singh is shattered and Kalsekar arrives to arrest him. Singh shoots Kalsekar.
And above all, the brilliance with which Shatrughan Sinha is presented on screen. Every time he appears, you’re so amazed, you forget to blink.
Every time you write off Ram Gopal Varma, he strikes back – and how! The way the above mentioned scenes and Sinha have been picturised convinces you that writing off Varma is a mistake. A BIG MISTAKE. He surprises you when you least expect it.
Right from the word ‘go’, you know that RGV is taking you to a world of lawlessness. Everyone’s on a rampage, a killing spree. There’s blood and gore throughout the movie. This may keep family audience away but then, that doesn’t worry RGV. He only makes films he believes in and makes you believe them too!
And for those wondering if RGV has changed his style, well, he hasn’t. Everything is the same – the weird camera angles, the weird style of shooting and the background score. Audience have moved on but RGV is intact. Now it may not work every time but with Rakht Charitra, it does to an extent.
If you’re making a revenge drama, it is critical to have a strong villain. RGV manages that brilliantly by casting Abhimanyu Singh. But he falters with the hero. The writers are equally guilty, having focused only on the villain’s character. As a result, the hero is small stuff in front of Singh. If RGV manages to instill terror through his villain, he fails to make an impact with his hero. That’s the biggest drawback of this film.
Though the film is based on true events, something you’re told at the very beginning, alas, there’s not much to say about the proceedings. For instance, Vivek Oberoi’s character is on the run in the jungle. But it seems, he can go anywhere he pleases without a worry!
Also, whereas Oberoi’s character is not from a wealthy family at the beginning of the film, he roams around in cars once he turns a rebel. Exactly when does he strike it rich? Besides, how was his brother murdered? And where did the police nab his elder brother?
The film is a revenge drama between two groups, each determined to literally wipe out the other. But after a point, the blood and gore gets to you and is repetitive. The narrator of the story too begins to grate on your nerves. There’s a problem with the length and pace of the film too. After a racy beginning, the film tends to drag. While the interval scene is mind-blowing, post-interval, the film loses its grip. But the momentum picks up with Shatrughan Sinha’s entry.
Another highlight of the film is the promo of Rakht Charitra – 2. Even after a blood-soaked two hours, you crave to watch the second edition. Such is the impression Suriya leaves on you.
Rakht Charitra may not be Ram Gopal Varma’s best work to date but it is definitely one of his finest. Though not consistent, the dialogue is impressive. Cinematography (Amol Rathod) is good. Action scenes are well shot but the fight sequence between Vivek Oberoi and the cops in the police station fails to impress.
Performance-wise, Vivek Oberoi tries his best and is just about okay. He tries too hard. In fact, he is the weakest link in the film. He just doesn’t fit the character. Take the scene where he tries to smoke to lend depth to his role. Fake! He just can’t carry it off.
Shatrughan Sinha is superb. Zarina Wahab and Ashwini Kalsekar are fantastic. Ashish Vidyarthi, Sushmita Mukherjee, Vishwajeet Pradhan and Rajendra Gupta lend adequate support. And last but not least, Abhimanyu Singh. The film clearly belongs to this talented man. He terrifies you with his mannerisms and look. His performance is the biggest asset of the film. In just one word, mind-blowing.
Verdict: The action will definitely keep the family audience away but judging by the budget and the film’s appeal, especially at the singleplex, Rakht Charitra might recover its investment.