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Times of India
Inspired by the life of Vangaveeti brothers, Radha and Ranga, the movie traces a trail of brutal murders that shook Vijayawada between 1972 to 1988 — starting from the brutal lynching of CPI leader Chalasani Venkataratnam 1972 to the eventual assasination of Ranga in 1988.
There has to be something wrong when the brightest part of this reality-inspired testosterone laden saga of Rowdyism turns out to be a song that goes Na Pere Kumari. No pun intended. The playfulness of lines like Adiarani teguvani, taragani telivini, pratioka gadapa ki telipina maguvani, adigithe varamuni, edirite godavani, evadiki bedarani, kaliyuga durgani complimented by the camera work and choreography add up to make an endearing introduction song of the prettiest sight of the movie — Dona Ganguly. Playing the wife of Ranga, it looked like she didn’t have to work too hard to stand out in a film filled with a multitude of not-so-dapper men.
The film is designed like a docudrama that recreates a slew of killings that took place over a period of 18 years, in gory detail. The narrative revolves around five murders, those of Venkataratnam, Radha, Gandhi, Murali and Ranga, form the pivots around which the plot revolves with RGV filling in the missing bits with his voiceover as the gang wars unfold. When making a movie about high-profile real-life incidents that happened three to four decades ago, it’s impossible to add a new revelation. Everything that has to be said about the wave of Rowdyism that engulfed Vijayawada in the 70’s and 80’s has been said already. So what the movie does is try to reimagine some blood curdling details about the brutal nature of the gang-wars, and succeeds to some extent. But there is little more than that.
The acting is the weakest link. While it’s remarkable how Sandeep and Sritej look like mirror images of the late Vangaveeti Ranga and Devineni Nehru respectively, but their performance lacks the necessary gravita and they end up looking like meek caricatures of the larger than life men they are playing. And the background score filled with countless musings about death, revenge, anger and goddess durga just ends up being a pain in the ears.
We’re afraid it’s another of those RGV’s movies, where the content doesn’t quite match up to the hype surrounding it.