I would say Rakhta Charitra is a pure masterpiece that came out of Ram Gopal Verma’s vision. It is a lethal amalgamation of strong story structure and bold characters. Vivek Oberoi as Pratap Ravi and Abimanayu Singh as Bukka Reddy have touched the right cords in their performances. Rakhta Charitra is certainly a deep gut wrenching vengeance story. Writer Prashant Pandey has beautifully captivated this political thriller and made us aware of a brutal war that was being fought for generations.
Now, let’s get into why Rakhta Charitra should not be on your watch list but watched list !!
Rakhta Charitra is a based on a true story from the district of Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh. The story captivates on the family feud that rose between two families and the war that was fought on personal and political front. Veerabhadra was a close trusted political confidante of Narasimha Reddy, the local MLA of Anandpur(name changed). Narasimha’s obsession with Veerabhadra was a peaking point for Nagamani Reddy who had equal political ambitions. Strategically, Nagamani tried to severe ties between the duo by spitting venom about Veerabhadra over a course of drink with Narasimha.
The two characters in the opening scene are distance apart which symbolizes that MLA Narasimha Reddy, on the left, is not as close to Nagamani Reddy, on the right. Observe the behavioral changes, while serving alcohol Nagamani instigates and convinces Narasimha that Veerbhadra is conspiring against him.
And now in the second slide, Narasimha shifts closer to Nagamani which indicates Narasimha is agreeing with Nagamani and is now controlled by him. In the third slide, we now witness Narasimha actively listening to the advice of Nagamani Reddy.
Like a cunning selfish politician Nagamani knew the importance of timing and he chose that moment when Narasimha would be under the influence of alcohol and was bound to misunderstand and take a wrong decision. It was only after then Narasimha ordered the killing of Veerabhadra which acted as a tipping point between the two close families which escalated to a full fledged personal war.
The police who were hand in glove with Reddy’s refused to take any action. This prompted Shankar, the elder son of Veerabhadra to take the matter in his own hands. He wanted to avenge the death of his father and on his list were the killers, the conspirators and the supporters of Narasimha Reddy. Meanwhile, Pratap Ravi, the younger son of Veerabhadra returned to Anandpur after the unfortunate demise of his father. Shankar advised Pratap to continue with his studies and requested him to stay of out it.
But sooner, the police working for Nagamani Reddy found the location of Shankar where he was hiding in the forest and encountered him. And now came the boiling point when Pratap Ravi who was closely revolving around the black hole of vengeance got sucked into it to never return and lead a normal life. But, there was equally strong and evil character waiting for Pratap Ravi. Bukka Reddy, the son of Nagamani Reddy.
Bukka Reddy dragged many girls from the streets in full public view and raped them. He killed his political rivals in the most obnoxious ways. Bukka wanted to kill Pratap the minute he received the tip of him entering the village but Nagamani cautioned him about the elections round the corner.
Pratap was strategic and intelligent. He pledged to seek revenge for his father Veerabhadra and his brother Shankar in the most brutal manner and he would take them one after other. He wanted to grip their mind with fear of getting hacked to death. To everyone’s surprise Pratap first slit the throat of Narasimha Reddy, by barging into his well guarded house. This move by Pratap had sent a caution sign to the Reddy’s. Nagamani to gain public sympathy sought police protection at his residence.
However, Pratap Ravi outsmarted Bukka once again and managed to kill his father, Narasimha Reddy, despite full police protection. How? Watch the movie. This was a disastrous moment for Bukka Reddy after which he started random killings of supporters of Pratap . Bukka was using all his political might to capture Pratap Ravi but Pratap was hiding deep into the forest and was difficult to trace.
Shivaji Rao, an actor turned politician offered Pratap Ravi to join his party. Pratap got the ticket and was now fighting for the Anandpur seat. This was a strong setback to Bukka and he was on the verge of losing his political dominance. Pratap won the election and became a cabinet minister in the government. The time, tide, law and police were now in the favor of Pratap Ravi.
If screenplay is the soul of any feature film then its characters are the organs. Rakht Charitra is abundant with strong character development and their equally strong performances. Vivek Oberoi, Abhimanyu Singh, Zarina Wahab have delivered some stellar performances. We dive deeply into the life of Pratap Ravi and as he ends one conspirator after another we feel satisfied part by part along with him.
Every expression of Vivek Oberoi is so detailed that we feel how great of an actor he truly is. Abhimanyu Singh has rightly captured the psyche of a demon soaked into wealth, power and lust. He burns the screen with his eyes. He is so non-empathetic.
1. Pratap Ravi – The Savior
Pratap’s father, Veerabhadra, was a leader of the lower class community. Pratap certainly inherited the leadership skills from his father and led a large group after the unwarranted killing of his father and brother. The entire clan believed in Pratap Ravi, respected him and hence followed him.
Unlike his elder brother Shankar, Pratap Ravi was extremely sharp when it comes to dealing with the Reddy’s. Shankar could not eliminate the actual conspirators of his father’s killing. But, Pratap on the other end managed to kill all the three conspirators i.e. Narasimha Reddy, Nagamani Reddy and Bukka Reddy.
It is very difficult to keep whereabouts of your enemy when you have to hide in a remote location and also strategize their killing. But Pratap through his channel always managed to stay not one but two steps ahead of them. His weapon was element of surprise and Narasimha Reddy who was an MLA and had formidable protection felled prey to it first. No one thought Pratap would first attack a sitting MLA which would unleash the entire state machinery upon him.
After this, Nagamani Reddy was shot in the presence of full police protection which only justifies the planning and execution power of Pratap Ravi. While being a strategist he was also patient enough to kill Bukka Reddy. He grabbed the opportunity to enter politics, won the election, became a minister and then ended Bukka Reddy, the last conspirator who even conspired to kill him.
We come to know of the empathetic version of Pratap Ravi when Babu, a poor electrician whose sister was raped by Bukka Reddy and he approaches to Pratap for justice. The police refused to lodge a complain because of which Babu’s sister attempted suicide. In rage, Babu publicly started calling out Bukka Reddy and threatened to kill him. One of Bukka’s supporter overheard this and Babu was dragged to Bukka’s residence where he kept slamming his big gun on Babu’s knee until it shattered in two pieces. Pratap empathized with Babu and promised him that he will get his revenge soon.
Pratap Ravi was indeed brave enough to take on the entire political establishment. He was brave enough to accept that his course of life has changed after the killing of his father and the law enforcement is not keen to provide him justice. Living in the constant fear of being killed at any point is indeed bravery.
2. Bukka Reddy – A demon in disguise
While we want to start our day with a glimse of nature, Bukka Reddy started his by mercilessly killing his opponent or seriously wounding anyone who gave him a bad news or was besides him while he got the bad news. He would even chop off the legs of his own supporters or smash their head with a object he had in his possession.
Law and order was a joke in his constituency. Bukka and his men would kidnap any random women from the street he laid his eyes on. The police was a mute spectator and anyone protesting against it would vanish in thin air. His never ending thirst for the flesh of women led to several of them losing their honor and right to live. Many even attempted suicide after the police refused to take any action.
Greed for Power
Bukka was seeing himself at the helm of the political establishment, he was somehow controlling the law. One way by corruption or the other way by force. In this he was enjoying the political dominance and also satisfying the demons inside him. He had become a slave to his senses. His greed to be in power had caused numerous murders of his political opponents and innocent humans by some old century century methods.
Released in 2010, Rakhta Charitra is certainly a cinema not to be missed. The political vengeance unquestionably grips you to the very end. Your curiosity may spike towards the end of the movie in regards to Pratap Ravi and what happens in the aftermath, well Ram Gopal Verma does not disappoint you in that dimension as he has also directed the second part of this chilling factionist saga, Rakhta Charitra 2.
Rakhta Charitra has an up to mark proportion of strong screenplay structure, bold character performances, equally balancing direction and background score that will send chills down your spine. Special mentions are Vivek Oberoi and Abhimanyu Singh, both have delivered a top-notch acting performance. However, I would also mention that every character in this movie has delivered their part beautifully.
I would love to know which scene you have liked the most in Rakhta Charitra, mention the scene in the comment section. Your family and friends deserve to know of this mind-boggling political thriller, share this blog with them. Thank you for taking out your time to read my blogs. I would return with more analysis of such content driven cinemas.
Rakhta Charitra is currently available to watch on Amazon Prime and YouTube.