There is a death of pure village films in Telugu Cinema. Rangasthalam is the new village film with Ram Charan Tej and Samantha Akkineni as leads alongside Adhi Pinisetty, Naresh, Anasuya and Jagapathi Babu in good characters. In Sukumar's writing and direction, the movie came out on 30th March. Let's dive into the details of the film and analyse it.
Chitti Babu (Ram Charan Tej) belonging to village Rangasthalam, in Godavari Districts, is a happy-go-lucky guy. He enjoys a simple life and is very hyperactive, adamant in nature. He can hear only loud sounds and he likes to cover it up. His brother Kumar Babu (Adhi Pinisetty) loves him a lot and Chitti Babu too reciprocates the same love.
Chitti Babu falls in love with Ramalakshmi (Samantha Akkineni) and their track goes on one side. On another side, Kumar is in love with Pooja (Pujitha Ponnada) and he meets her, on every Saturday at her hostel, since his return from Dubai. As a brute force that oppresses the village at every given opportunity we meet "President", Phaneendra Bhupathi (Jagapathi Babu) and his supporters. Kumar after few incidents decides to fight election against President and he gets support from Dakshina Murthy (Prakash Raj). But all the happiness in their lives take a bad turn with one incident. What is it? How did they recover from it? Watch the movie for answers.
Ram Charan Tej is a revelation in this film. After Magadheera and Orange, this is the tailor made character for Ram Charan, where he didn't have to imitate his father Chiranjeevi or Pawan Kalyan. He is himself in the film and that helped him perform as Chitti Babu with aplomb confidence. He did give his career best performance in this film. His ease in body language and comic timing are really a delight to watch.
Samantha Akkineni did not have much to do but in the scenes, she had a chance, she did give her best. Anasuya Bharadwaj appeared like she is made to play the character of Rangammattha in the film. She performed well too.
Jagapathi Babu did his best as the cruel President of the village. Adhi Pinisetty, once again proved that he is the best actor to play typical roles in South Indian Cinema. Jabardasth Mahesh and Ajay Gosh shine too. Naresh, Prakash Raj and Rohini leave an impression.
Art Department should be given a round of applause for being able to craft an 1980's village setting in Hyderabad. The work of Ramakrishna and Mounika is a backbone of this film.
Ratnavelu, the Cinematographer of the Cinema, gave the movie a good rustic look. In few scenes, his work really stood out but towards the end the choices he took in shooting a fight sequence and subsequent scenes did not fit the tone of the film, even though the approach is appreciable.
Editor, Naveen Nooli, should have been harsh with few scenes and a song, that drags the film further without moving it any further. Such scenes dilute the impact and test patience too. Had the editor and director, took care of these scenes, the film would have been compact and even more impactful.
Music by Devi Sri Prasad, is already popular and he delivers even better background score. He uses good western themes with desi beats in his bgm and the fusion is well-placed at every occasion.
Writer-Director Sukumar gave the movie a good start and held it well, until he tries to deliver emotional punch in the second hour or the movie. Even though the things look highly superficial and don't really invest you into the proceedings, in first hour, we enjoy the scenes of Ram Charan and Samantha, due to their chemistry and comic timing.
In the second hour, when things get serious his writing fizzles out. He tries hard to make it all believable but the superficiality in the scenes weighs him down. Performances of the lead cast save the movie from being a big bore. His writing and execution, that impress you in few scenes fails in the climax, mainly.
Ram Charan's nuanced performance
Lead cast chemistry and performances
Cinematography in first hour
Music by Devi Sri Prasad.
Writing of Sukumar that fizzles out in later parts
Superficiality in scenes
Issues in climax and scenes prior to it.
Few VFX shots that suddenly bring us out of the illusion of 1980's.
The major base of Rangasthalam is the emotional bond that Kumar Babu and Chitti Babu. Writer and Director, Sukumar did not really bring it out in the first half. Even though there is constant try to show us that there is a bond, the scenes constructed as follow up and theur execution, did not really help the film to let us believe that a strong bond exists.
It need not be melodramatic but it needed to be a bit more well-constructed and layered. Still, with all the deficiencies, Rangasthalam is a welcome departure from all the regular commercial films and with a good care, the movie could have been even better. Ram Charan Tej deserves a one time watch during the weekend for sure.