135 Min. | Action – Crime – Drama | December 2010
IMDB Rating: 6.3
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Staring: Radhika Apte, Vivek Oberoi, Suriya
Rakhta Charitra 2 Review: Director Ram Gopal Varma continues the revenge saga that he started with the first film, which released in October. In case you missed it, Varma begins with approximately 25 minutes of footage from the first film to bring you up to speed. In the starting sequence of the movie most people thought that Rakta Charitra 1 was playing by mistake. Clearly Varma doesn’t believe in montage. The films are loosely based on the life of Paritala Ravindra, a political leader from Andhra Pradesh. While the first part focused on the rise of Pratap, played by Vivek Oberoi, the second focuses on how his arch-enemy Surya, played by South star Suriya, takes revenge. It’s a high decibel, heavy-handed saga of killing and counter-killing without a break or even a larger point.
Though Varma does tell us at the end that the film demonstrates the futility of violence – a noble sentiment. Because for over two hours Varma explores the myriad ways of inflicting violence – so heads are crushed, limbs are severed, families are bombed and bullets pierce bodies without a pause. This is Varma’s gritty universe, in which all the men make cryptic pronouncements and smoke and stride in slow motion. And just in case you still don’t get it, the bombastic soundtrack underlines every emotion. Rakta Charitra 1 had an urgency that kept the narrative moving despite the clumsy voice-over and mind-numbing violence. The sequel has some powerful scenes but lacks cohesion. In places, the scenes seem stitched together quite randomly. Oberoi, who was so much more effective in the first, mostly flares his nostrils and looks grim.
But Suriya saves Rakhta Charitra 2 from being a total loss. His expressive eyes have a quiet strength and his presence sears the screen. On the whole, Rakhta Charitra is not for the faint-hearted or the lily-liveried. The violence, the blood and gore depicted in the film will shock and disconcert you, which only goes to establish as to how proficiently the subject material has been treated. Rakhta Charitra is targeted mainly at those who love to watch aggression, violence, bloodshed, brutality and massacre on the silver screen, but a chunk of the movie-going audience (ladies and kids) will choose to stay away from this scene of carnage.