‘rajaratham’, starring nirup bhandari, avantika shetty, arya and others in key roles, hits screens this friday. here is our review.
rajaratham is the name of a luxury bus that goes from hyderabad to bengaluru. his voice (rana daggubati) introduces the audience to his many strange or troublesome passengers.
abhishek (nirup bhandari) and megha (avantika shetty), the university classmates, are two of them. they end up sitting next to each other on the bus. it’s abhi’s chance to impress his crush, who has had a not-so-pleasant relationship with his mistress.
vishwa (tamil arya actor) is a henchman who works for a politician to provoke clashes between telugus and kannadigas over an unfavorable high court verdict. Even as this drama unfolds, Abhi and Megha continue to bond in the face of unforeseen situations.
but then, by the will of fate, the rajaratham himself will have to witness a tragedy when the politics of hate strike his ‘heart’. but not the spirit, as we will soon see.
Advertised as a romantic comedy, ‘rajaratham’ actually turns out to be a road movie with different sensibilities. the bus is full of atypical or downright buffoonish characters who aren’t very friendly with each other. director anup bhandari takes advantage of this aspect of the story to create many hilarious situations – a pretty remarkable effort gone awry due to lack of nativity, among others.
Almost all the faces in the film are unknown. This does not mean that they are not competent. at least the main actors are attractive up to a certain point. Arya’s characterization helps elevate her performance. all there is.
however, a lot of screen time is wasted letting abhi woo megha with his creative music/poetry. in the first half, the hyperloop script technique actually becomes too difficult to accept. the many slow motion shots are trivial. subframes are incomplete. Frog’s voiceover is exaggerated. conversations, especially those between the main couple, are not easy in many places.
the hero’s ‘obsession with bananas’ defines the film’s quality; nothing is so simple here. if the narration had been more understandable, the layers would have been better appreciated. In an age of simplistic writing, this movie actually features quite a few brilliant tropes. however, they are mired in the quagmire of the film’s exaggerated self. sometimes things get too noisy.
The large number of characters and their professions/backstories do not add to the climax or pre-climax. in fact, for a good part of the second half, the characters from the first half are lost.
abhi’s indulgences are too many to tolerate. if the actor had been a familiar face (looking like a version of sudheer babu doesn’t help either), the scenes might have been more marketable.
since the bus is a character in the film, one feels that his pain should have had a place in the climax. Of course, considering how many trivial lines Rana makes in his mouth, one shouldn’t expect such maturity in the first place.
anup and avantika are a good couple. they carry the vibes of innocent youth sighing for sheer joy. comedians are fine. Ravishankar and the guy who plays rendo puli are good. As for the technical departments, William David’s cinematography is impeccable. Ajaneesh Lokanath’s background score is impressive. the songs (the music is by anup bhandari) are melodious.
‘rajaratham’ is a road movie with a suitable social message. however, there is too much extravagance in the film. abburi ravi’s dialogue is lost in translation. the supposed bilingual Telugu-Kannada lacks a nativity.