Murder mystery meld in mythology
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Hyped by the fact that two Hollywood cinematographers have helmed the project, Anup Bhandari’s RangiTaranga almost lives up to the pre-release reputation. That RangiTaranga is truly a Lance Kaplan and William David show, rather than Anup Bhandari’s flick, is no doubt.
Marked by sensuous and scintillating cinematography of the verdant coastal belt as also Ooty’s snaky mountainous tea plantation vestiges, RangiTaranga is superb cinema in the first half. Everything falls in place as Anu Bhandari niftily stitches his plot to provide for a nervy edge-of-the-seat chilling thriller.
However, it is in the second half, Anup Bandhari woefully loses the plot, while providing the contextual meaning to the mysterious story he has so subtly and superlatively built up in the first half.
This is, however, not to discount the merits of RangiTaranga which is far superior film compared to the chaff that is foisted on a weekly basis on unsuspecting audiences. That new film-makers, deeply rooted in their regional and cultural milieu have no qualms in setting their storyline and take up the myths and traditional beliefs of their region is indeed a welcome trend.
If Rakshit Shetty did it with élan and ease in his Ulidavaru Kandanthe, here, you have Anup Bhandari, weaving a wondrous saga al la yesteryear Ashok Kumar starrer Mahal, or Bees Saal Baad, and successfully having his viewers in a thrall. If only Anup Bahandari had worked more on fine-tuning his script further and liberally used the scissors to splice needless twists and turns while reaching towards a climatic ending, RangiTaranga would have wowed even the discerning and the initiated like the masses.
Still it is films like RangiTaranga that warm up the cockles of audiences across streams and are any day welcome despite their attendant pitfalls having to bow to the dictates of commercial calling that must be made and watched as an encouragement.
Besides the film’s captivating cinematography, Anup Bhandari’s background score and several of the film’s songs are a rare treat in that there is a classical touch to them than the din and dash of remix and furious sounds. Also the riveting performances by his ensemble players make RangiTaranga a pleasurable watch for all. Yes, go and be gripped and RangiTaranga will not fail you and savour the rich Bhootha tradition that it brings so alive on the screen.