Banner: Ramadoota Creations
Cast: Sandeep, Vamsi Nakkanti,Vamsi Chaganti,Kautilya, Shritej, Naina
Ganguly and others
Music: Ravi Shankar
Producer: Dasari Kiran Kumar
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Release Date: December 23, 2016
It's one film that created lot of pre-release buzz. It's about the events of recent past. It is also about two well-known feuding families. It is also a film by redoubtable Ram Gopal Varma. More importantly, this is for the first time that he had tried hard sell the movie.
So, one expects all those pyrotechnics, blood, gore and dark vengeance to be there in full flow. Let us see how far this film reached the expectations.
This film is about Vijayawada's gang culture of 1970s and 1980s and deadly rivalry between the Devineni and Vangaveeti families. This essays the growth of Vangaveeti Radha from a small time rowdy to a big power thanks to the help from Communist Chalasani Venkata Ratnam.
Later, differences develop between Radha and Chalasani and the latter insults the former publicly. Not to be undone, Radha kills Venkataratnam and grows into the unquestioned king of Vijayawada's netherworld. Soon, Venkataratnam's men eliminate Radha.
Ranga, Radha's brother takes over and soon there's a rift between Ranga and his pals Gandhi and Nehru. Ranga's men kill Gandhi. And this leads to a spree of killing and bitter gang rivalry. How the revenge story ends is something that has to be watched on screen.
The film's strongest point is the casting. Sandeep Kumar as Radha and Ranga is simply brilliant. His intensity and body language simply dominates the whole narration. He is clearly a match winner and has bright future.
Vamsi Krishna as Devineni Murali nd the actor who portrayed the role of Devineni Nehru have done a wonderful job.
Naina Ganguly is good and effective. Most of the actors are largely unknown and they bring a whiff of freshness to the film.
Technically, the typical Varma trade marked camera angles and aerial shots carry the day. The photography is impressive.
The background music reminds one of Vintage Varma films. Dialogues are snappy and short. The art director does a very good job in portraying the melief of 1980s.
Lack of twists
RGV's voice over
There is great enthusiasm about the subject as it is just about 30 years old and is still fresh in the minds of old timers in Vijayawada. Also, the clash led to tensions between two prominent castes in coastal Andhra. Hence, there is lot of curiosity as to how Varma approaches the subject.
RGV did a lot of homework and great amount of research, but fails to show all those on screen. He cleverly decides not to take sides and does not reveal any hitherto unknown facet in the story. He had also not done anything to explain why Ranga was so hugely popular.
The first half is gripping. The interval bang too is impressive. There are some brilliant scenes. But, slowly the film gets boring. The second half is less gripping. Also, his eagerness to be politically right and non-controversial robs the film of its punch. If one goes expecting a repeat of Rakta Charitra, one might be disappointed.
Another major drawback is that Varma chose to skip over most important things using his voice over, which is not really effective. His focus is only on portraying murders. This is disappointing.
While it is true that the internecine killings that went on for decades cannot be compressed into a two and a half hour film. Yet, it must be said that Varma has failed to prioritise things. As a result, a lot of people might find the film too jarring.
Varma clearly has failed to make a purposeful biopic and what more, despite his protestations, Varma hasn't changed much.
Bottomline: Bejawada Rowdies