When director Ram Gopal Varma set out to tell the story of Pratap Ravi in Rakht Charitra he knew from the beginning that the film needed to be presented in two parts. After all the controversies and date changes Rakht Charitra- 1 released on 22nd October with the final minutes introducing Part 2 and the story still to come. Based on real life events, Rakht Charitra-2 will mark the introduction of Suriya Sivakumar’s character and the events after Pratap Ravi [Vivek Oberoi’s] rise in politics.
The movie begins with a recap from RC1 of how Pratap Ravi changes from a normal guy to the revenge seeking son, and then becomes Pratap Ravi the ruthless politician. Even as he manipulates his people to believe he is working for them, the murders of all that comes in his way or even slightly suspicious of doing so, keep on accumulating. While all seems to be going to plan as Pratap is rising the ranks with Shivaji Rao [Shatrughan Sinha] backing him and no-one to contest, Pratap and his entourage are hit by a bomb. Wounded and seething with rage, Pratap wants his killer dead. The only question is who did it? With so many enemies that are just waiting for a chance, DCP Mohan Prasad[Sudeep] who heads the case, finds out the culprit to be none other than Narasimha Reddy[Kitty]’s eldest son Suryanarayana Reddy[Suriya]. Having kept aside his thirst for vengeance in place of his family’s safety, Surya reaches the point of no return when he witnesses Pratap attack his family with a bomb, killing all but him and his wife Bhavani [Priya Mani]. With vengeance on the mind of these two nemeses, allies become strangers and strangers become allies as the attempts to take the others life continues. A new game plan is devised as Swami[Subhaleka Sudhakar], right hand man to another influential political leader, visits Surya in jail. What happens from here is a political bloodbath of betrayal and conspiracy.
So does it work? Yes and no. First of the performances are fantastic. RC1 marked the revamping of the violence genre and Vivek Oberoi’s somewhat dry career and while he does continues his intense acting that he became famous for in Company, unfortunately for Vivek, RC2 is dominated by Suriya’s fury and vengeance. The actor learned Hindi so that he could play this role convincingly. Did he do it-and how! Besides dubbing for himself, the southern actor brings to the fore the larger than life ferociousness that fans of the South have seen many times before. Kudos to RGV on his choice of Suriya to play this role as no one else could have pulled off the transition from responsible guardian to blood thirsty nemesis quite as well. In fact, as both Vivek and Suriya battle it out they spit fire through their eyes to the point that one could not believe the two are quite the opposite in real life. After seeing him briefly in RC1, Sudeep comes back in a vital role that he enacts simply but convincingly. Priya Mani and Radhika Apte have their own battle of getting as many scenes as possible in between the male dominating cast in which Priya Mani comes out in shining colours. The rest of the cast add to the ensemble but don’t leave their mark as much.
On the technical side, Rakht Charitra-2 has amazing camerawork [Amil Rathod] and the background score [Dharam-Sandeep] is less loud and more to the mood of film. But how one wishes RGV didn’t use his slow-motion-intensity as much. It gets to the point of boredom at so many crucial points. Understandably the tension is being enhanced but on a lot of occasion it simply was not necessary.
Being that this is the part 2 to a successful film, the expectation are already high so even if the story was known, curiosity still brings one to watch RC2. But where RC1 had a firm grip on the audience, RC2 falters badly in the editing department. Even as the sequence of events are supposed to be in quick succession in “on screen” time, the screenplay drags way too much.
So whats the verdict? RGV has made a good film with amazing performances but he has done better.