Vashu Bhagnani is synonymous with larger-than-life entertainers. Glamorous stars, foreign locales and lavishly-filmed songs are mandatory in his movies. With RANGREZZ, he delves into the realistic world for the first time. Ditto for Priyadarshan, who returns to hard-hitting, gritty cinema that you appreciated and applauded in his earlier films, especially GARDISH. Of course, RANGREZZ is not as hard-hitting as those films, but it takes the realistic route like those fares. The terrain, once again, is a crowded basti of Mumbai, which has been explored over and over again.
Remake of the Tamil film NAADODIGAL , which was remade in various Indian languages subsequently, RANGREZZ is essentially a tale of friendship, with a love story integrated in the plotline. Sadly, it runs out of fizz in its post-interval portions, after leaving quite an impression in the first hour.
RANGREZZ narrates the story of three friends who attempt to unite another friend with his lady-love. In the process, each of them loses something precious. Consequently, the trio gets a rude shock when they realize that the hardships they encountered to unite the lovers has proved meaningless, as the lovers decide to go separate ways owing to differences.
A simplistic plot, humble setting and straight-forward storytelling… RANGREZZ arrives without the usual frills and trappings of a masala movie. The story is not path-breaking, but what works — in the first hour at least — is the realistic milieu and the age-old philosophy that enduring friendship can overcome all odds, with friends standing by each other through thick and thin. Priyadarshan and writer Mushtaq Shiekh incorporate a number of sequences that stay with you — some sweet, some true-to-life, some funny. The entire kidnap drama prior to the intermission is simply outstanding and raises [monumental] expectations from the second hour.
However, the writing in the post-interval portions is just not convincing. Although a lot seems to have occurred in the lives of the three friends, the manner in which they join hands to start life afresh isn’t persuasive at all. Besides, the tiffs between the married couple seem childish and fall flat. Also, the resolution — the trio trying to reunite the couple — looks far-fetched in the scheme of things. Even otherwise, the pacing slows considerably… In short, the impact that Priyadarshan created so wonderfully in the first half crumbles in the latter half of the enterprise.
Like all Priyadarshan movies, RANGREZZ has been filmed very well, although I wish to add, the director’s newer lot of movies, for some reason, appear like a diluted version of his earlier accomplished works. There’s no denying that Priyadarshan is an incredible storyteller and a major part of the first hour has his by-now-famous stamp, but how one wishes the second hour was as captivating. The soundtrack compliments the narrative well. ‘Govinda Aale Re’ and ‘Shambho Shiv Shambho’ are energetic, while ‘Gangnam Style’ [placed towards the end credits] is already popular with one and all. Santosh Sivan’s cinematography is striking. The color tones catch your attention instantaneously. The dialogue [Manisha Korde], especially those delivered by Rajpal Yadav, are wonderful.
Jackky’s character in RANGREZZ is shades apart from the one he portrayed in F.A.L.T.U. and AJAB GAZABB LOVE and he pulls it off with supreme confidence. Stepping out of the comfort zone, Jackyy gets to portray a character that has varied shades and he enacts his part with complete understanding. Priya Anand looks photogenic, but doesn’t get much to do. Amitosh Nagpal is alright. Vijay Verma [as Pakya] tends to go overboard at times, but leaves a strong impression nonetheless. Raghav Chanana [as Joy] does well. Rajpal Yadav entertains every time he appears on screen. The two warring politicians, Pankaj Tripathi and Lushin Dubey, are just right in their respective roles.
On the whole, RANGREZZ has an impressive first half, but loses focus in the post-interval portions. One definitely expected more!