Star cast: Vivek Oberoi, Radhika Apte, Abhimanyu Singh, Shatrughan Sinha.
Plot: Vivek avenges the murders of his father and brother by going on a killing spree. He then becomes a minister and tries to wipe out goondaism, something which he resorted to in the first place.
What’s Good: Background music; performances of the actors.
What’s Bad: The overdose of action, violence, blood and gore.
Verdict: Rakht Charitra will bleed at the box-office.
Loo break: Plenty, because the pace is so slow and the violence is too much.
Cinergy, Vistaar Religare and Cloud Nine Movies’ Rakht Charitra (A) is an action film about power, politics and crime and how they are all inter-related.
Vir Bhadra (Rajendra Gupta) is politician Narasimha Deva Reddy’s (Raja Krishnamurthy) trusted lieutenant but Naagmani Reddy (Kota Srinivasa Rao) creates such a wedge between them that Vir Bhadra is forced to leave Narasimha Deva Reddy’s party. Not just that, Naagmani Reddy forces Narasimha to order the execution of Vir Bhadra when the latter forms his own political party to challenge the authoritarianism of Narasimha in Andhra village. Manda (Ashish Vidyarthi), who is close to Vir Bhadra is blackmailed into murdering Vir Bhadra, with the help of Narasimha’s own man, Durga (Chetanya Adib). Shankar (Sushant Singh) swears revenge and goes on a killing spree before he is murdered by Narasimha’s goons.
Now, it is the turn of Vir Bhadra’s other son and Shankar’s brother, Pratap Ravi (Vivek Oberoi), to declare war on the killers of his father and brother. He vows to kill Narasimha Deva Reddy, Naagmani Reddy and Manda one by one. Meanwhile, Bukka Reddy (Abhimanyu Singh), the lecherous son of Naagmani Reddy, spreads terror in the village, picking up girls at random, raping them and killing anyone who dares to speak against him.
Even as Pratap Ravi is busy in his mission to avenge the deaths in his family, film star-turned-politician Shivaji (Shatrughan Sinha) takes him under his wings and, after winning elections, makes him a minister. He then asks Pratap Ravi, who had all along been a goonda, to wipe out goondaism from the village, which Pratap Ravi does.
However, now enters Surya (Suriya) in Pratap Ravi’s life and it is a clash of the two giants. This clash is the subject matter of the sequel to Rakht Charitra, which has already been made and which is scheduled for release after a month.
Prashant Pandey’s story is inspired by two bigwigs of Andhra Pradesh – Parithala Ravi (played by Vivek Oberoi) and his opponent, Maddalcheruvu Suri (enacted by Suriya in the sequel). The drama has so much violence that the only law that seems to be governing Anandpur is the law of the jungle. People are murdered – and barbariously at that – with such regularity and so cold-bloodedly that it would seem, that was the main profession of all the main characters in the film. While that may be fine, the writers and director have not been able to convince today’s audience about the almost complete absence of law and order machinery in the village. An eye for an eye, and a murder for a murder is all fine – but how can every single character in the drama think alike. And if they do think in such a similar fashion, there is no difference between the heroes of the drama (Pratap Ravi, Shankar, Vir Bhadra) and the villains (Narasimha, Naagmani, Manda, Bukka Reddy). What shocks the audience even more is when even the ladies of the house almost start propagating the virtues of revenge and murders and rejoice in the fact that their family members are killing people in the name of revenge. Pratap Ravi’s mother is happy, rather than sad, when her son kills Narasimha. She says as much to his girlfriend, Nandini (Radhika Apte), and believe it or not, Nandini actually gets married to Pratap Ravi after knowing fully well that he comes from a family which revels in murders. Since the writers have not bothered to go into the love story of Pratap Ravi and Nandini, the latter’s stance to marry the former looks rather weird.