Rannhttps://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/movie-review/rann/

Rann

It’s not just absolute power that corrupts. Too much money has the same effect. 'Rann’ juxtaposes big media houses and large-scale monetary and moral corruption...

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan,Sudeep,Ritesh Deshmukh,Paresh Rawal,Rajat Kapoor,Mohnish Behl,Suchitra Krishnamoorthy,Rajpal Yadav,
Director : Ram Gopal Varma
Rating: **

It’s not just absolute power that corrupts. Too much money has the same effect. ‘Rann’ juxtaposes big media houses and large-scale monetary and moral corruption in a style that’s so patently Ram Gopal Varma that it leaves us with a dizzying sense of deja vu. Been here. Seen this.

It’s TV that Ramu targets this time,specifically the twenty-four hour news channels that dominate our lives. The remote is the weapon all channel heads dread,so how do you ensure stickiness? By subverting the truth,that’s what. ‘Rann’’s bunch of villains include a politician ( Rawal),a who will stop at nothing to get to the highest seat of power,a businessman ( Kapoor) who knows exactly what the ‘neta’ is about,but is a groupie because of the benefits he can reap,and a channel head ( Behl) who will do anything to grow TRPs.

Only a handful of good guys stand in the way of total take-over. The spotless Harshvardhan Malik ( Bachchan),owner of India Twenty Four Seven,whose word is gospel. And a lone reporter Purab ( Deshmukh) who is Malik’s biggest fan,and believes truth must be told at all cost. In between is son Jai ( Sudeep),who wants it all,but still has some vestige of goodness left in him.

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The look and feel of ‘Rann’ is very ‘Sarkar’ and its sequel ‘Sarkar Raaj’ : the conflicted son is another version of Kay Kay,high-strung and short-tempered. The camera sways madly from one character to another,the background score swallows the dialogue. The complex nature of truth and myth is split down the middle,and everything turns simplistic,which Malik is made to lay down in a long,dreary soliloquy.

You could try for some diversion by trying to identify who’s who. Malik is very clearly modeled on Prannoy Roy,and his channel on NDTV 24/7. The lawyer ‘Shyam Mirchandani’. The politician who never takes off his dark glasses. The mention of big business interests and ‘two brothers’. There are some effective parts,but the whole sinks into a sea of sameness,leaving a couple of stand-out sequences.

One belongs to Rajpal Yadav,who does a brilliant take-off on the breathless,laudatory anchors massaging powerful egos on prime time TV. The other is all Bachchan’s,as he sits at his son’s funeral,offering up his unmasked,grief-stricken face. This is an actor at work. Pity the rest of the film didn’t match up.