Rang De rests heavily on the onscreen chemistry between Keerthy Suresh and Nithiin, and the duo deliver impressive performances.
There’s a wonderful line in Rang De, written and directed by Venky Atluri, where a character, played by Vineeth Radhakrishna, tells Arjun (Nithiin) about what love and pain feel like, and something on the lines of — “People love you until they don’t need you anymore in their life.” That conversation changes Arjun’s perception about love and why it’s essential to hold on to people who love you unconditionally. Rang De is all about the little moments in life, which we may not pay attention to, but what is life if not a garland of memories.
Rang De is a heartwarming drama about friendship and love, and before you know it, it tugs your heartstrings when it delves into the emotional side of relationships. A lot of this is channelised through the film’s lead actress, Keerthy Suresh, who plays Anu. She’s a delight to watch on screen, and the playfulness that she brings to the character makes you smile instantly. The film might unfold from Arjun’s point of view, but he’s essentially narrating the story of Anu, his best friend and arch-nemesis, and how she changed him as a person. She turns the manchild into a man, who doesn’t hesitate from taking up responsibilities, even if he thinks he isn’t ready for it. She wants him to respect her for who she is and see her as a person who has dreams in her eyes. The story is all about how Arjun and Anu’s relationship with each other evolves with time, and how Arjun realises that he can’t live without Anu.
Venky Atluri knows how to play his cards well. He makes us laugh at the plight which Arjun faces in his life due to Anu, and Arjun’s attempts to stop his parents from comparing him to Anu’s achievements are hilarious. One aspect where Venky Atluri takes you by surprise is how well he tackles the emotional drift between Arjun and Anu. There’s a beautiful subtext about Anu reinforcing her agency about what she wants to do with her pregnancy, and Keerthy Suresh carries off this segment quite well. Nithiin complements her equally well and the duo share dazzling chemistry. Their relationship transforms from friendship to love, and somewhere in between, everyone grows up.
It’s also quite lighthearted for the most part. The camaraderie between Nithiin, Abhinav Gomatam and Suhas feels quite natural, and Venky shifts gears and delivers a series of hilarious gags featuring Brahmaji and Vennela Kishore. Nothing feels out of place, although quite evidently, the story in the original script was perhaps meant to be set in the US instead of Dubai. Then, there’s Rohini and Naresh, who shine in their respective characters. Naresh, as Nithiin’s father, is particularly impressive. On one hand, he’s shocked by his son’s behaviour, but then, he doesn’t hesitate from offering his wisdom when his son feels lost.
The film, however, drags to an extent, especially in the latter half, but Venky reserves his best for the film’s climax, where both Keerthy and Nithiin hold your attention as they figure out what they meant to each other. The world of Rang De, through the lens of PC Sreeram, is filled with various shades of colours. It’s gloomy when the relationship at the core of the story is going through a lot of turbulence, it’s quite colourful when the conversations are on a lighter note. The clash of personalities is equated to the colours, and how they need each other to make their life look more vivid.
Rang De does evoke a sense of deja vu, in parts, of films like Nuvve Kavali and Nuvvu Leka Nenu Lenu, but it stays true to the subject and doesn’t deviate too much. The focus is almost entirely on the ebb and flow of Anu and Arjun’s relationship, and how they are intrinsically bound to each other – like the waves and the sand. Thumbs up for the film…it’ll put a smile on your face.
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