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Times of India
For many farmers, his oxen mean the world because without them, tilling the land is next to impossible. Very often than not, these animals become a part of the farmer's family and parting with them is a painful task. So what happens when two members of your family go missing and you know nothing of their whereabouts? That's what Rangaa Patangaa is all about.
Jumman (Anaspure) is a poor farmer who lives with his wife (Dhuri) and oxen in a remote village of Vidarbha. One fine day, the couple wakes up to find the oxen missing. Heartbroken and tensed, Jumman tries his best to find Rangaa and Patangaa but in vain. No one seems to have seen them and Jumman's efforts at getting a complaint registered go waste. Jumman and his friend Popat (Pathak) search every nook and corner of the village but Rangaa and Patangaa are nowhere to be found. A chance encounter with a TV reporter (Mahajan) gives a different angle to the story and what follows is a big search operation that unearths something entirely unexpected.
With the rural backdrop, a simpleton's problem and the media circus, 'Rangaa Patangaa' reminds one of 'Peepli Live' but despite the similarities, this film has an essence of its own. Its characters look straight out of real life. At its core is a problem that the viewers might dismiss as trivial at first but the manner in which the film unfolds is enough to get you hooked.
A big cheer for the film's team for getting the characterisation spot on; without it, the film had the risk of falling flat. Otherwise known for his loud, comic acting, Anaspure delivers a performance of a lifetime in Rangaa Patangaa. His portrayal of Jumman is subdued and etched out so beautifully that you really feel for the man. It won't be wrong to say that Anaspure breaks his stereotyped image and unleashes the true potential he possesses. Pathak repeats the magic he performed in Ek Hazarachi Note and deserves appreciation for it. Mahajan as the TV reporter is another successful casting apart from Bharat Ganeshpure as the under-pressure politician.
Prasad Namjoshi strikes pure gold with his debut film and the awards and accolades 'Rangaa Patangaa' has eared are well-deserved. There's humour as well as many hard-hitting questions raised through this film. Everything about 'Rangaa Patangaa' makes you ponder over it for a long time after the end credits roll and that's the masterstroke of Namjoshi. Do spare time for this one.