14 Jan, 2018 2 hrs 17 mins U
Raj Tarun, Chitra Shukla, Sithara, Priyadarshi Pullikonda
Synopsis
‘Rangula Raatnam’ is old wine in an antique bottle and it doesn’t even pretend to be otherwise!
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  • Critic's Review
  • Times of India
Story: Vishnu (Raj Tarun) is a mama's boy, dependent on his widowed mother (Sithara) for everything. He falls in love with Keerthi (Chitra Shukla) the second he lays eyes on her. But what happens when his world is shaken apart? Can he cope and keep up with his love?

Review: 'Rangula Raatnam' (nothing to do with the 1966 film) charts the story of a dependent Vishnu (Raj Tarun) and his love for Keerthi (Chitra Shukla). Vishnu works for a company that designs old-school greeting cards and Keerthi is an event manager. Vishnu's mother (Sithara) shares a beautiful relationship with her son, wanting to marry him off as soon as possible. He likes the colour black, is an atheist and is extremely dependent on those who love him, even his best friend Shiva (Priyadarshi). Keerthi is his extreme opposite, affected by her past and reluctant to be dependent on anyone, even if it's for love. How will these two get by and if they ever manage to find their balance is what the film is all about.

The first half of the film focuses more on Vishnu and his mother's relationship, delving into the miniscule intricacies of their daily life and chronicling a beautiful mother-son bonding. But it is the second half of the film, completely falling on Raj Tarun and Chitra's shoulders, that fails to hold up. The director fails to ever set up their relationship well in the first place, with their bond always seeming like fizzling infatuation. The shift to wanting to commit to each other life-long is jarring and sudden, and it is understandable when their relationship begins to fray in no time. A heartbroken Vishnu finding solace in Keerthi after a sudden change in his life is understandable. What's not understandable is why an otherwise seemingly sound minded Keerthi would decide to turn into his pseudo mother. Maybe she's a masochist, that part is never made clear.

While the whole Vishnu - Keerthi love track is dull and drab (shame that) lacking chemistry, it is Sithara and Priyadarshi who light up the screen. Sithara is stunning in her role as a single mother who wants nothing but the best for her son. She shares a beautiful rapport with him and that comes across well on screen. Priyadarshi as Vishnu's best bud Shiva, an alcohol guzzling liar and a married man is a delight to watch, cracking the audience up with even the simplest of one liners!

The film runs at a snail pace, which wouldn't make one impatient if it at least had an unpredictable storyline. Unfortunately, it does not! Raj Tarun is good enough in his role as Vishnu, emoting when he needs to and firing off humorous one-liners with ease. But there's nothing memorable about his role. Chitra is plain okay in her role and even though she takes up equal screen time as Raj Tarun, she fails to make a mark with her poker face. The story of 'Rangula Raatnam' and the narration are its biggest drawbacks, with nothing stitching together unless it's spoon-fed to the audience with unnecessary dialogues and scenes.

'Rangula Raatnam' is old wine in an antique bottle and it doesn't even pretend to be otherwise! Filled with cliches and scarce humour, it's good enough for a one-time watch if you've got time to kill. It is only Sricharan Pakala's music and BGM, Sitara and Priyadarshi that save the day.
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