Reader Rating (Rate Here): [Total: 1 Average: 3/5]
Directed By: Sukumar
Cast: Ram Charan, Aadhi Pinisetty, Jagatpathi Babu, Prakash Raj, Samantha Akkineni, Anasuya Bharadwaj
Set in a fictional village of Rangasthalam where the characters add color to the otherwise dusty environs. Rangasthalam is a thriller which has both predictable and unpredictable elements galore. Rangasthalam is about two things: defiance- which is predictable, and revenge- which is unpredictable. It has all its elements inter connected thus making every scene significant.
Its the 80’s where the farmers work under Zamindari System and there are lot of suicides due to non repayment of the debt. The dreaded President of the village (Jagatpathi Babu) rules with an iron fist to the point that people have forgotten his name. The government owns the lands but the Presidents’s office collects the rent on its behalf. For the past 30 years he has been elected uncontested and the villagers are terrified of him. Chitti Babu (Ram Charan) is a happy go lucky but deaf man who has issues with villagers calling him the same. He is a sound engineer whose occupation is to water the fields. He lives in his own world and is unfazed by the going-ons around him.
Kumar Babu (Aadhi Pinisetty) is Chitti Babu’s loving elder brother and returns to his native village from Dubai. After seeing the plight of the villagers, he files his nomination opposing the President in the upcoming elections. From there on the movie is a whodunit mystery about how Chitti Babu finds out the real culprit who destroyed his happy go lucky life.
Rangasthalam has an earthy, dry, rustic theme giving it a water starved parched feeling. Director Sukumar has taken a risk with the story centered around a village. The movie could have worked in the urban set up with the same twists and turns. This approach of a rustic set up and Zamindari System is a bold breakaway from the usual. This different-ness of Rangasthalam is a pleasant surprise. There are many shots taken from the ground up gives the movie an earthy feel to it. It also adds to the tension of what might happen next and thus carries the suspense. The frames are also in extremes, from showing vast expanse of the territory to bustling with people with loads happening in the background. It also features a brilliantly shot chase scene in the fields using just torches.
Rangasthalam is predictable to a large extent. We know that one of the main protagonists is going to meet their fate from the moment that character in introduced but the unpredictability lies in why? and most importantly who? This twist of who is the brilliance of Rangasthalam. Rangasthalam also has a Lagaan feel to it- when the brothers approach the villagers to file for nomination it reminds you of Bhuvan asking villagers to join the team.
Ram Charan is the stand out performer as a deaf village guy. He has completely immersed himself into the role and hence this sound engineer will be fondly remembered for a long time. Chitti absolutely loves his family and there is an innocence in his character. Aadhi has given a measured performance and Kumar brings a sense of calm against the hyper active Chitti. Samantha as Ramalakshmi is the love interest of Chitti but kudos to her for saying yes to such an unglamorous role. Anasuya as Rangamma is an important character who helps Chitti mature over the course of the movie.
Rangasthalam has its flaws, the first half to much time into developing the love story. Samantha took too much of the screen time and thereby took the focus away from the main plot. The songs also broke the flow especially the item song. For the unpredictability of the end, the movie is largely predictable.
Rangansthalam is a bold attempt by Sukumar, the village setting is a pleasant surprise. Watch it for Ram Charan, as he owns the entire movie from the start to the end. Watch it and share your rating above.