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Review by : Behindwoods review board
Starring: Suriya, Vivek Oberoi, Priyamani, Shatrughan Sinha, Sasi, Sudeep
Direction: Ram Gopal Varma
Music: Mani Sharma
Production: Ram Gopal Varma

There are many firsts to Rattha Charithiram and its earlier version. Suirya makes his Hindi and Telugu debut, Vivek Oberoi’s first in Tamil and Telugu and director Ram Gopal Varma’s first direct Tamil film. Produced under Cloud Nine banner, RC is a tale of revenge and retribution, said to be inspired from a real life incident that happened in Andhra Pradesh.
  Ratha Charithiram

As is known to movie buffs, Rattha Charithiram is the second part where Suriya comes into being. Hence the first twenty minutes of the film is a recap of sorts of Part 1 and Suriya makes his appearance only after this. The film begins with a narration from director Gautham Menon who in fact takes the audience through the entire course of the movie with his perfect rendition.

Narasimha Murthy (Kitty in a small cameo) is a popular politician and Veerabhadran is his close aid who has won his affection and trust. Not withstanding this, a fellow party member (Kota Srinivasa Rao) hatches a conspiracy and creates a wedge between Murthy and Veerabhadran which leads to the latter’s murder. Vivek Oberoi as Prathap Ravi is the educated son of Veerabhadran who avenges his dad’s death by killing Narayana Murthy. A group of trusted aides of Veerabhadran forms a coterie around him and leads him into many killings, making him believe in them.

As the next logical step in such cases, Vivek joins Shatrughan Sinha, an actor turned politician, raises in political stature and murders become a way of his life.

Meanwhile, Suriya, the second son of Narasimha Murthy, attempting to avenge his family's murder, plants a bomb in Vivek's car but fails and in the ensuing events surrenders to the police due to the intervention of a (good looking) DCP but continues to harbor the thought of eliminating Vivek. Does he succeed in this mission and what happens to his life is the rest of Rattha Charithiram.

As this film is ‘dedicated’ to killing, revenge, blood and gore, expecting anything else is not warranted. However, there are so many characters (a test to your memory power indeed!) who come and get killed spitting blood all over in slow motion. No mercies shown- all of them are effaced at point blank with small and medium range weapons which appear to incessantly give out bullets. The screen is filled with such gore with an accompaniment of slokas and verses in an obtrusive decibel.

The film could be about reprisal but RGV is unable to make the audience feel for his protagonist and his mission. There is no enough and strong justification for the viewer to be in sync with Suriya’s goal. As this film has mostly non-Tamil characters and artists, it is difficult to view it as a Tamil film and it gives a dubbed film feel. The premise also is alien. When Suriya is deeply involved in the thought of killing Vivek, the timing of his marriage to Priya Mani and subsequent fatherhood is unexplained.

As usual, Suriya has given his best. His commitment towards work shows. The scenes where he fails to kill Vivek and the last scene where he shows an amalgam of joy and sorrow, he reiterates his acting caliber. Priya Mani demonstrates that she is after all a National Award winner. Here is someone who looks good and also emotes well. The major relief is that Priya speaks for herself which intensifies her characterization and the audience is relieved of the ordeal of listening to a voice double. Vivek Oberoi is effective in his role and his body language as a politician is noteworthy. Radhika Apte as Vivek’s wife makes an impact. There are many artists like Zareena Wahab, Subhalekha Sudhakar, Sushmita etc who do their roles satisfactorily.

Dialogues by T J Gnanavel (and co) set the apt tone for retribution. A sample at the jail is when Vivek meets Suriya and says ‘nee un vazhila po, naan en vazhila poren’ to which the latter retorts with ‘un vazhiya maraikiradu daan en vazhi’. And later when Suriya doubts the veracity of DCP’s statement that says Vivek is not responsible for the TV bomb in his house and DCP replies ‘Vazhkaila edaiyum nichayma solla mudiyaadu’.

Police seem to be a complete casualty in RC and in connivance with misdeeds. Although the ‘sepia’ed visuals are deliberate to set the feel of the film, it does not help much to get engaged in the film. The court room scene in slow motion where Suriya encounters the man clad in sari is powerful but the same technique followed in most scenes is annoying.

Finally when Gautham Menon speaks for RGV and dedicates this film to people who wish to take revenge, one wonders if RGV is glorifying retribution.

Verdict: Diluted mission!

Tags : Rattha Charithiram, Suriya, Ram Gopal Verma, Priyamani, Mani Sharma, Vivek Oberoi
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