Anup Bhandari’s Rangitaranga (2015) Movie Review
Movie Review: Rangitharanga
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Star Cast: Nirup Bhandari, Avanthika Shetty, Radhika Chetan, Sai Kumar, Arvind Rao, Siddhu Moolimani.
Music: Anup Bhandari & Background Score: B Ajaneesh Loknath
Cinematography: Lance Kaplan & William David
Director: Anup Bhandari
Runtime: 149 Minutes
Watched in PVR Sujana Mall (Playing With Subs)
As much as the trailers want to suggest, Anup Bhandari’s Rangitaranga wants to be savvy psychological thriller. However, by the time it ends, you can’t help but feel that it was just exact opposite of savvy. Its starts off with an extremely well set up, but as the film step by step develops, it just loves you, in favor of a twist that pretty much can be seen coming. Not to mention the main twist in my opinion didn’t work due to the writing being suave (And for selecting a renowned actor for that final surprise) after the much stronger, first act.
Rangitharanga starts with a preposterous beginning; a novelist Gautham (Nirup) and his wife (Radhika Chetan) are travelling to Kamarottu to complete an unfinished custom (to perform a ritual to fend off spirits), against a backdrop of beautiful mountains and Joshua trees. Happily chatting along the way, they run into a small hitch their vehicle get struck in the mud way. And they pen to walk through the forestry to reach wife’s ancestral property in Kamarottu village. However, Indu (Radhika) soon witnesses strange occurrences when she is alone in the house and becomes convinced that someone is stalking her. As Indu goes missing, Gautham finds himself quickly becoming the suspect. He decides to investigate the missing and begins a frantic search to locate her. At this time twisted plot unfolds with a surprise and pachydermatous indifference to pregnant in the missing is evident in the plan.
There are no rules when it comes to film making but generally a film goes along two routes.
Firstly, you create an outline, phantasmagorical or subtle. This kind of films follows a dream like structure or acts in a more aesthetic and forcing audience to think, search for hints and explore the aura. I mostly like these kind of films. Second, the plot is logical, explained completely and make sense with every step and end up with a narrative with an adhesive structure. I’ve been known to love even these kind of films.
But when a film follows the second route, never try to explain the entire plot through half time. That’s whole problem, Rangitaranga is a fairly simple film with a simple premise. Like I said, the first half is a very well done, but after that, the film tries to be too ingenious for its own good with such a basic premise that it just falls apart. Is it convolved? Yes and no. It’s such an easy plot that it’s really hard to get lost, and it was a tad predictable for me, thanks to the world cinema. Rangitaranga shares a thematic undercurrent with Shattered (1991) as both the movies explore a husband who comes out from a shattering accident with amnesia. He finds that he is married to the same woman who is trying to help him start his life again. It also shares religious element with The Wicked Man, as the lead character in both films continually wrestle with their faith and cacoethes. Even with Breakdown (1997) where husband investigates wife’s kidnapping and uncovers a small town’s homicidal secret. And finally the obvious comparison with Guddada Bootha mini series (re telecasted in 2013-14 stars Prakash Raj) which served as the standard for this story about cult spirits until the end time.
Unfortunately the script is even filled with so many plot holes that I can simply couldn’t get into it. Like, How was Indu dragged into Well, when there are no Ghosts? How did Kalinga Bhat get to know that Indu is Pregnant? How were Indu & Gautham living off on someone’s identity when Police and Doctors were involved in the case? How did police close the accident case including Harini’s name when two male and one female died in the accident? How can a Police Officer be so reluctant with Gautham when Kamarottu station failed to investigate 12 missing cases in 12 years? How come Kallinga Bhatt suffering from dissociative identity disorder only be triggered for 12 days a year? Why didn’t Gautham make the driver bring the doctor, when Indu was severely injured and was worried about a stalker? Etc. Director should have at least tried to clear the trigger point for Kalari’s disorder, but no.
Nirup Bhandari and Radhika both deliver a decent performance. Dialogue King Sai Kumar repeats his trademark style. He was brilliant in the final Kalari sequence. Among the other cast Avantika Shetty, Dinesh and Aravind Rao are fine. Chetan Raj, Ananth velu and Siddu have nothing much to do.
Coming to other technicalities, Lance Kaplan – William David’s visuals are good. Songs by Anup Bhandari are fine and “Dennana Dennana” is a perfect add on to the film. Editing by Praveen Joyappa is adequate for the theme and the flow. Background Score by Ajaneesh Loknath is good. The production value of the film looks appropriate.
Rangitharanga was at the top of my anticipated list (Kannada) for this year and I couldn’t wait to see what the new comers have done with a mystery point. Amit Bhandari’s Rangitaranga is one of those films that boasts an impressive concept, but fails to deliver. I really expected this film to be good, but the end result is mediocre that just doesn’t have what it takes to be an engaging psychological thriller. The film had an interesting thought, promising cast and crew, but one that I felt it was underdeveloped and one that ultimately left a lot to be desired. Overall, Rangitaranga is a kind of film that will fly out of your mind, by the time you are out of the screening.
Bottomline: A work of art without soul.