Vangaveeti - Movie Review

Friday, December 23, 2016 - 19:00
Cast & Crew: 

Film: Vangaveeti
Cast: Sandeep Kumar, Vamsi Nakkanti, Vamsi Chaganti, Naina Ganguly, Kautilya, Shritej and others
Writers: Chaitanya Prasad, Radha Krishna
Cinematography: Rahul Srivasthav, K Dileep Varma, Surya Chowdary
Editor: Siddhartha Thatholu
Music: Ravi Shankar
Banner: Ramadhutha Creations
Producer: Dasari Kiran Kumar
Written and directed by: Ram Gopal Varma
Release date: Dec 23, 2016

Set in the 1970s and 1980s, the film tells the story of the Vangaveeti-Devineni rivalry.  Vangaveeti Radha (Sandeep) grows into a phenomenon after eliminating Venkata Ratnam (Vamsi Nakkanti), a local leader hitherto unquestioned by any.  Radha now is that gutsy saviour of many, fighting for the poor.  

But when he is killed by those jealous of his growing stature, his no-nonsense brother Ranga (Sandeep in a dual role) takes up the cudgels, carrying forward the unfinished agenda of Radha.  

Radha's death changes Ranga's equations with Devineni brothers (Gandhi and Nehru), the educated student leaders who were the brainchild of United Independence, Radha's own party.  

Least does Ranga realize that Gandhi's aggressive ways will bring into existence a blood-curdling rivalry.  It's murder after murder from as Gandhi and Murali decides to challenge the rise of Ranga.  

'Vangaveeti' may be more about the same revenge killings, but it's not all that the film has got.  RGV's creativity comes to the fore in the way he projects the bloody saga through detailed screenplaying.  This is not the RGV we have seen in 'Satya 2', 'Anukshanam', 'Attack' and 'Rowdy'. 
RGV's screenplay is fleshed out here, especially because the ecosystem of Bejawada has stayed strong in his mind over the years.  

There comes a scene where Devineni Murali calls up Ratna Kumari (Mrs. Ranga) and asks her to keep the widow's saree ready.  As she fears for her hubby's life, Ranga gives her a kiss of assurance, goes to the verandah, sits down on the floor (which he has not done before) and, with the kind of anger he hasn't shown till this moment, says that nobody will sleep until Murali is murdered.  This kind of imaginative narration is what makes this movie a cut above the mediocre RGV movies in recent times.  

In one of the most terrific episodes, Ranga is treated by his wife and followers like a child before his brutal murder.  How?  His wife is seen combing him, the camera stands at a particular angle in such a way that his followers come across as telling him to take care, as if he were a child.

RGV seems to tell too much in the form of voice-over, perhaps to the discomfort of many.  At times, his aim may only be to sell his ideology rather than help the impact of his visual narration.  The director's style of song conceptualization has also been stretched too far these days.  As a result of this, the emotional turmoil undergone by the Devineni brothers and her mother, not to speak of the silent foreboding of Ratna Kumari, don't always get adequately projected. 

When Radha's followers cry after Venkat Ratnam insults him, we wonder as to when and how did Radha build that cult?  Heck, the film started only 15 mins ago or so!

A major flaw is that, in his anxiety to defy violence for the sake of it, RGV forgetfully focuses on the Vangaveetis in the first half, and the Devinenis in the second half, leaving the audience wondering who they should invest in!

Sandeep performs the roles of Radha and Ranga with a lot of confidence and subtly. It goes without saying that the hero behind this is RGV.  The others, namely Vamsee Chaganti, Kautilya, Shritej and Naina Ganguly are good too.

Ravi Shankar's BGM scores points when it's not corrupted by RGV's inferior stock BGM tune.  

Well depicted events, rivalries and emotions. RGV dissapoints with his dialogues, but his typical touch is visible in the performances. 

Reviewed by: 
Vishwanath V