Cast : Amitabh Bachchan, Sudeep, Ritesh Deshmukh, Paresh Rawal, Mohnish Behl, Rajat Kapoor, Gul Panag, Neetu Chandra, Suchitra Krishnamurthy, Rajpal Yadav
Director : Ram Gopal Varma
Rann is a film that promises to expose the Indian media, which today is influencing the lives of millions. Ram Gopal Varma through the film deals with a very relevant issue in today’s time of the corruption plagued news channels – the TRP battles, unethical journalism, masala entertainment in the name of news et al.
A compelling, hard-hitting experience is what you expect from a film like Rann, but does it deliver?
Vijay Harshvardhan Malik (Amitabh Bachchan), the head of India 24×7, is one of the most reputed journalists in the country. Following strict ethics, Malik believes news should always be the mirror of truth. But such principles and ethics, against cut throat competition, leads to falling TRP’s.
His son Jai (Sudeep) concerned about the slide in business and TRP’s takes it upon himself to revive the channel. But his plans are squashed when his business model is leaked to one of the channels biggest rivals – Headlines 24×7 headed by Amrish Kakkar (Mohnish Behl). To his rescue comes Mohan Pandey (Paresh Rawal), a Prime Ministerial candidate who would go to any extent to achieve his goal.
Will Jai succumb to the evil plan hatched by the Mohan Pandey? Will he involve his father Vijay Malik? Watch the movie to find out.
- The first hour is a bit of a drag, but the director more than makes up for it with a gripping second half. Plenty of twists and turns, which while predictable, is well-written.
- Ram Gopal Varma narrates the story well and like always relies heavily on the treatment and well-etched characters to carry the film.
- The casting in perfect, almost every actor seamlessly get into the skin of their respective characters and stay there throughout.
- The dialogues work, those given to Bachchan and Paresh Rawal are powerful.
- The film lacks freshness and suffers from this seen-so-many-times-before kinda feel. Similar background score, intense characters, dark surroundings.. you name it. Nothing new fom RGV here, the treatment is much similar to Company, Sarkar.
- Bachchan’s character is flawed. One of the very first lessons in journalism is – confirm and re-confirm the source. How could a reputed and experienced journalist like Vijay Harshvardhan Malik, fall into the trap set by his son so easily? Without once verifying the facts and airing the anonymously sent video tape? This very scene takes an immense amount of impact away from the film.
- The much hyped expose on the media is a dud and completely lacks shock-value. There is nothing in it about the media that we don’t already know.
- The climax unnecessarily drags on and gets too filmy after a point. When Bachchan informally says “Purab….. ” with no introduction, no full name, it was more like addressing a family gathering than the nation.
- Also, Rann is extremely predictable. No twist is too hard to predict, including the ending. You know exactly how the characters are going to behave and you know it much before you see it.
- The camera work is trademark RGV, as the close-ups get irritating after a point.
Performance (in order)
- Amitabh Bachchan – No prizes for guessing. Bachchan is top notch and delivers a towering performance. The way he delivers the speech in the end, in itself is worth a trip to theaters. Not for nothing is he called the BIG B!
- Sudeep – Not easy holding your own against Bachchan, but the south Indian actor does very well. Watch out for his last scene.
- Ritesh Deshmukh – A restrained performance, Deshmukh is in great form. His casting is a masterstroke.
- Paresh Rawal – Over the year Rawal has used his eyes very effectively, here, with eyes covered by sun-glasses, he relies entirely on his facial expressions and dialogue delivery to deliver a very powerful performance. Great actor, very under-rated in negative roles.
- Suchitra Krishnamurthy – Again, perfectly cast, this leading lady from Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na does very well.
- Mohnish Behl make an impression.
- Rajpal Yadav is irritating.
- The other ladies – Gul Panag and Neetu Chandra – are wasted. Shame that an actress of Panag caliber is cast in such a irrelevant role.
Overall, Rann had immense potential to be a powerful drama. It works to a certain extent, but falls short of expectations. If you must, watch it for Bachchan’s brilliance or if your a fan of RGV films.Rating: 2 stars for the film, 1 for the performances.