Cast: Sharwanand, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Kajal Agarwal, Murali Sharma, Adarsh, Brahmaji, Raja.
Director: Sudheer Varma
Sharwanand returns after a long gap and not with one of his favourite soft subjects. He goes for a highly stylised gangster movie to reach the masses, as he says.
Deva (Sharwanand) is a don operating from Spain. A Vizag businessman approaches him to get some village land vacated for an airport. Deva refuses, because he wants to protect the villagers. Then there is a flashback to the 1990s in Vizag where prohibition is in place and Deva and his friends smuggle liquor.
The local MLA (Murali Sharma) is out to get Deva. He falls in love with Geetha (Kalyani Priyadarshan). By this time Deva also has become a don. There are several knots to unravel. Director Sudheer Varma has made few films but has handled them in a stylish manner. He has never hidden that he has been inspired by other films. And so it is with Ranarangam. He has mainly copied from the screenplay of The Godfather 2 and scenes from other films.
In Ranarangam, he travels back and forth in time, showing Sharwanand as a middle-aged don as well as a street bootlegger. Varma’s work is very impressive in every scene. The romantic thread between the lead pair is very beautiful.
But that is for the first half. The film weakens in the second. Varma concentrates on the style aspects and not so much on the content or the emotions. The narration is confusing as it time-travels. The climax is hurried.
Sharwanand is the saving grace in the film, carrying off both roles. The younger Sharwanand is the better one. Kalyani Priyadarshan is a surprise package. Her scenes with Sharwanand are lively and she elevates them.
Murali Sharma plays an MLA and he is okay. Adarsh, Raja and Praveen as Sharwanand friends support well. Kajal Agarwal’s cameo goes waste, so much so that one wonders why a top actress is limited to the small role.
The dialogues with one-liners are impressive, the action scenes are choreographed nicely. The cinematography is good and the art work deserve a special word.
Ranarangam could have been a gangster film, worthy of mention if the director had concentrated on the story in the second half. Scene by scene it is a good film, taken together it doesn’t totally add up.