Ram Gopal Verma ki Rann movie review (starring Amitabh Bachchan as the media baron Vijay Harshvardhan Malik) won't be complete without talking about his earlier movies, especially Sarkar (2005) and Sarkar Raj (2008). Now, Amitabh Bachchan is no more the politician, because the power has shifted from the politicians to the media. Well, it started earlier actually, from Goonda Raj to Sarkar Raj and now Media Rann (Raj).
Lot has been said about RGV's motivation to do the movie. I read somewhere, that RGV made this movie to take a revenge against media, who went all out after him regarding his visit to Taj post the 26/11 attack. After watching the movie, I could not make out, whether the war was between RGV and media, or India 24x7 and H24 or Vijay and his son Jai (Sudeep) or between politicians Mohan Pandey (Paresh Rawal) and Digvijay Hooda.
I had lot of unanswered questions after watching Rann.
1. What happened to the other channels? What were they reporting about during this period. It shows too much power being concentrated in the hands of one media person, when his channel is actually shown with waning position and declining viewership. However, when Vijay Malik talks about the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister has to step down.
2. Purab Shastri (Riteish Deshmukh) worships Mr. Vijay Malik and is shown as taking notes from his program (to reinforce the notion) while Nandita is a director of ad films. Once Purab joins the channel, all the action starts. After joining the channel, he is hardly shown as doing any channel work except for working on his own to find out the truth of a particular incident.
3. Why does Jai decide to work with Nalini, when he comes to know, that she is indirectly working with his channel rival. And no action is taken against Purab, when he is busy trying to bring the house down. He is just given one warning.
Of course, audience will go to the theaters to watch Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. He delivers an inspiring performance with the right dialogues, that media has a social role to play and all other esoteric stuff. But, just as the media or audience will not be moved to bring about any change in the society, based on this movie, the audience will also not take it in any way other than pure entertainment. Unfortunately, it won't be able to spark a debate like Aamir Khan's 3 Idiots managed to do about the quality of our education system.
Paresh Rawal comes back in an evil portrayal of a corrupt politician after a long time and does justice to his role. Though, I like his more in his comic avatars. Mohnish Behl as the rival channel owner also does his job, though has a tendency to go over the top in few of his scenes. Rajat Kapoor as Naveen Shankalya, the no. 2 industrialist of the country is shown spending all his time in the company of the corrupt politician, too busy to snatch the no. 1 industrialist tag from his brother. And any reference to Ambani brothers is purely coincidental. However, in one of the most innovative screenplay display reminding of Licence Raj / Permit Raj era, it's said, that with change in the Government, he will manage to change the Industrial regulations and become the top industrialist of the country. Haha!
One can only feel sad for Gul Panag and especially Neetu Chandra, who had even fewer dialogues. I think, Suchitra Krishnamurty had a bigger role in the movie, though none of the peformances were worth writing about. Surprisingly, in this industry, where women play a prominent role, Nalini Kashyap (Suchitra) as COO of the Channel is only shown working on the sidelines.
Rajpal Yadav's character as Anand Prakash Trivedi, the Creative guy in the channel with a couple of spoofs on Himesh Reshammiya and other usual antics, that we identify with the actor, inserted just to provide some comic relief, completely takes away from the seriousness of the movie.
Recently 3 Idiots and Veer has been in news for credit to the writers. There are many sub-plots in the cinema which are liberally lifted from many other films. For example, ex-employee of a businessman leaves the Company and becomes more successful than his former employer and the tension between the families. You can watch it again in Rann.
The righteous businessman puts professionalism before family ties and supports what is right and almost adopts the hard working executive. Here, Vijay Malik goes one step forward and resigns from his position taking the moral high ground, and hands over the baton to a junior journalist.
Many other channels were shown in the opening credits, with creative names with a similarity with real channel names like abn with a deceptively similar font as IBN7. Wish, the film maker was as creative or attentive in the script writing department. Am sure, there is enough inspiration from real life. In some places, there were reference to Prannoy Roy of NDTV being inspiration for Mr. Bachchan's character in the movie. He may be happy to note, that Amitabh Bachchan portrayed a character based on his life, but am not sure, if he would be too happy with the reference to his channel's failure in the market.
The movie creates sensation, just like the media, but fails to inspire and leave a mark. I wish, it was more hard-hitting and more realistic, in terms of feasibility without being preachy.
The movie ends with a hint, that the battle has just begun and there could be a sequel. Maybe, things will be different in the sequel.