By Shevaal Singh
‘Rangrezz’ is spun into a courageous drama of fierce love and betrayal. It`s been a while since Priyadarshan made a sit up and watch engrossing attentive flick which is both visually and emotionally gripping content, ‘Rangrezz’ is his best work in years. Rangrezz has the most gripping elopement sequences written in the history of courtship, three friends, who look like they`ve walked out of “Kai Po Che” when Chetan Bhagat was not looking and getting together to abduct a influential minister`s daughter from a jam-packed temple to unite her with their love-sick friend. The entire sequence lasts for a good 10 minutes. It is shot with the razor-sharp eagerness of a cleverly-staged game-show entitled ‘How To Whisk The Chick Away Under Her Father`s Nose’. Yet there is an air of impromptu informality in the way the three friends, played with conviction by Jackky Bhagnani, Vijay Verma and Amitosh Nagpal, flee, fall and scamper away from danger, bruised, battered, bleeding and bellowing with the eloping couple in the backseat of a screeching car.
Full marks to the action director for cutting to the chase without negotiating a single faltering step in the way the drama unfolds. The real hero of this surprisingly watchable film on the violent end of that much-abused emotion called love is cinematographer Santosh Sivan. Santosh`s absolute eye for a detailed lush and vivid emotional and physical landscape makes this Priyadarshan`s most visually rich film since “Gardish” in 1993. Even in the smallest scene in a village dhaba, the spiced-up fumes emanating from the kitchen hit your nostrils. This is an elemental film not the least apologetic about serving up a spicy dish. The Bihar-Uttar Pradesh dialogues come across self-consciously the way they are mouthed by the two actors Pankaj Tripathi and Lushin Dubey playing warring politician parents of lovers on the run.
The landscape is ruthless, rugged and enthralling.The emotions are primeval with Caveman tactics, with characters caught out of their comfortable hideouts kicking dragging and screaming are the predominant mode of vindication. It`s a tough world and obviously a very tough film to make. Full marks to the film`s makers and the able cast of male actors who lend a compelling authenticity to the edge-of-the-seat goings on. Though ‘Rangrezz’ is partly an abrasive bro-mance and partly a contemptuous romance, its brutal landscape scoffs at softer emotions. The tyranny of the troubled territory is testimony to a history of family violence. The three guys, who form the core of the compelling content, seem to convey more genuineness in their feelings for one another than the two man woman relationships in the plot.
Jackky is giving a passive silently effective performance and roughs up the girl next door Priya Anand ( Sridevi`s niece in ‘English Vinglish’) but shies away from any physical contact. This is like ‘Ishaqzaade’ with a missing element of sex. As for the other couple, whose elopement forms the central plot their love vanishes faster than the film`s editing can cope with but not before one of the protagonists loses a leg and the other his hearing ability. All this for love that never was! The spicy proceedings could have been funny were it not so sad. The plot packs in plenty of punch. Priyadarshan wastes no time in building up a tempo in the spiralling storytelling. The characters evolve effortlessly from the core of plot. These are people who plunge into a crisis before thinking of the consequences. The rage and passion of betrayal are perceptively captured in the narration. Priyadarshan takes the original Tamil film ‘Naadodigal’ and twists it into a coiled captivating saga of how lust can often be a convenient pretext for love.
The film stances some disturbing questions on the lack of genuine commitment in today`s relationships. Priyadarshan spins a mean story told with a flair for violent flare-ups that are shot with gumption and gusto. It`s a film with a number of advantages, the performances topping the list. While Amitosh Nagpal, Vijay Verma and the redoubtable Rajpal Yadav as the protagonist`s buddies in arms are first-rate, Jackky Bhagnani as the boy next door, who doesn`t think twice before plunging viciously into a friend`s love problem, gives a quietly self-assured performance. His character Rishi hardly sings and dances. But you know he can as you can sense the rhythm seething under the surface of unhappiness. This has to be the most gripping elopement drama in the history of Indian cinema with a very strong message on that overrated emotion called love. Cupid`s arrow has never struck a more deadly blow. The music of Rangrezz is commendable and the stand out tracks are Govinda Aala Re and Dil Ko Aaya Sukoon.
The rebellious boys` club of `Rangrezz` is every bit as praiseworthy as its counterpart in ‘Kai Po Che’. Go out and watch this gripping tale of fierce love , betrayal and questionable love told in a gripping way . This is inevitably Priyadarshan’s best work in recent time. Rangrezz gets a well-deserved 7.5/10 from me!