‘Rangamarthanda’ was released in theatres. It is presented by Mythri Movie Makers.
Raghava Rao (Prakash Raj) gets into a fight with his son (Adarsh Balakrishna) and daughter-in-law (Anasuya Bharadwaj) after he retires as a stage artist. His wife (Ramya Krishna) supports his emotional decisions. His friend (Brahmanandam) too sympathizes with him. Meanwhile, his daughter (Shivathmika Rajasekhar) has a role in his family issues.
At the outset, Megastar Chiranjeevi delivers a ‘shayari’ titled ‘Nenoka Natudini’, a long rendition meant to be a tribute to acting greats. The images of Telugu actors playing on the screen range from those of Vishwa Vikyata Nata Saarvabowma NT Rama Rao to Vijaya Krishna Naresh (don’t bother to Google, we are talking about VK Naresh). The presentation may be lacklustre, but the intent is to cater to all sections of Telugu audiences, including the fans of Gummadi and JV Somayajulu. This is the best part of a drama film manifested as a hyper-emotional, theatrical family drama while being a steadfast Dasari Narayana Rao-style old-school tale.
The first 10-15 minutes are enough proof that Krishna Vamsi has long become a laggard by today’s standards in terms of execution. The film opens with a tastelessly shot street play involving aspiring film actor Siddharth (Ali Reza). Then follows a police station scene that feels artificial. Then we see the family members of Raghava Rao getting anxious in an unnatural way. These portions, to make the matters worse, are riddled with jarring transitions.
Then there is the character Raghava Rao, played by Prakash Raj, who is shown as a former great who has lost his glory because his own family members couldn’t understand his 24/7 urge to redefine their lives. Much as the film attempts to build a mystique around him, the predictability of the nature of conflict strips the first act of its potency. Raghava Rao is a drunkard who looks indifferent in one scene, hyper-active in another scene, bumbling in the next, and comes across as an innocent clown in yet another scene. He is somewhat endearing when he becomes a language activist, though.
While the film projects Prakash Raj’s character as a victim, he is actually an elder who is incapable of understanding the consequences of his impulsive speech and action. He is unapologetically belligerent, and even when he repents, he acts like he is a wronged saviour, not a genuinely emotional dad. He and his wife are perfect humans who think their own daughter doesn’t deserve a forgival.
After watching the movie, this reviewer wondered what a sequel to ‘Rangamarthanda’ would look like. What if Raghava Rao’s daughter (Shivathmika Rajasekhar) were to sit across the table and repent for what she did. Watch both ‘Rangamarthanda’ and ‘Balagam’. You will realize that the character that needs to grow up is not the daughter but the father. It’s the father’s emotional inability to forgive his daughter’s one-off mistake that is responsible for his misery. In the world of ‘Balagam’, it is he who would be shown as the shallow person who needs to repent.
The one character that works to an extent is Brahmanandam. His death talk and his occasional forays into philosophical renditions notwithstanding, his acting spares his character of pretense. When Brahmi is around, the film stops looking prententious.
Rangamarthanda is too over-the-top for its own good.
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