RAM GOPAL VERMA!! An ingenuous, at the same time obnoxious, craftsman at work. He is the one who has re-defined the college politics with 'Shiva' and then feather-touched two extremes; an underworld-don Bheekhu Mahtre was made household name with 'Satya' and the oomph-level was raised quite few notches with Rangeeli Urmila. If 'Kaun' and 'Bhoot' were instrumental as new-age thriller cum horror flicks, then 'Darna-Mana-OR-Zaroori-Blah- Blah-Hai' tested audiences' patience beyond tolerable-limits. We could also remember him as a director who has given us 'Company' and 'Sarkar' Series, but we had unabashedly loathed him with brickbats for his most infamous mis-adventure. After all, he is the maker of 'AAG'- a pinnacle of ridiculousness. Period!!
Well, unfazed by all the criticism Ramu continues his experimentation with Rakht Charitra. This is the first time in Indian Cinema that a movie has been made in two parts and would be released within a mutual-gap of little over fortnight. The first version is inspired from a real-life story of a naxalite-turned-politician Paritala Ravi, about his violent streak, about the series of full-blown crimes he committed and then seeking solace after joining one of the major political party in AP. Though few instances has been modified in order to comply the entertainment factor, but more or less Ramu sticks to one of the most terrifying and barbarous chapter of Andhra Pradesh politics' arcade. Violence is at its 'gore best' in Rakht Charita; the carnage commences as soon as blood-written initial-credits rolls over. It's a two-paced movie where few reels literally crawl but few others, zooms past-in. Ramu's unconventional camera-angles, his trademark close-ups of protagonists' eyes and riveting background score make one to believe that the director of AAG is back with vengeance. It could have been better if he would have used a better narrator than the one in-charge; 'Sansani-sque' voice-over is so irritating that your ear-drums might go on strike.
Vivek Oberoi is back with his mentor and gives a standout performance. He certainly excels in these kinds of roles and totally justifies both- criminal's body-language and then a politician's charmed demeanor. Radhika Apte, Sushant Singh and Zarina Wahab are passable as supporting cast; Kota Srinivasa Rao again makes a mark with his villainous act and Telugu-accented-Hindi. Shatrughan Sinha sans his signature-moustaches, could only be seen just before the climax and makes immediate impact with his Hyderabadi lingo. Without any shadow of doubt, the towering performance in Rakht Charitra-1 comes from the talented theatre actor Abhimanyu Singh. If he was impressive in Anurag Kashyap's 'Gulaal' then he might just sweep you off your feet with his portrayal of heinous and abhorrent Bukka Reddy.
Maverick Verdict (Part 1): If you are not a follower of typical RGV film OR you are not comfortable with an indiscriminate bloodbath, then stay away from this slaughter-house. If above could be overlooked, then Rakht-Charitra 1 is a decent watch. With Southern Super Star- Surya slated to lead the bandwagon in the follow up of the first version, things might get even corkier. The Final-Verdict to be suspended until 19th Nov, when silver screen would again witness bloodshed. Till then, be NON-violent and STAY IN PEACE!!!