Ramaleela is the story of a politician who wants to come up clean in a criminal case that has been lodged against him. Just like the teaser and posters, there are numerous references in this movie that would make you wonder whether they are trying to infuse stuff that are beyond this movie in to it. But this was shot well before the beginning of all the controversy and one can’t really criticize that aspect. While the film sets up an interesting enough premise in the first half, it somewhat fails to explore the conclusion in a convincing way.
Ramanunni is this politician who believed in the left wing ideologies. But at one point he decided to shift the sides and moved to the right wing. He resigned his MLA seat before this jump from left to right and thus the by election was declared. Ramanunni becoming the candidate disturbs people on both sides of the political spectrum. Ramaleela tells us about certain foul plays that happen during this phase and how Ramanunni manages to get over all these hurdles.
When compared to the recent films done by Dileep, this movie has a slightly more serious tone to its credit. The first half of the movie has somewhat the same feel of the second half of Joshy’s Lion; occasionally funny and largely serious. The script builds complexities in an interesting way. But where it fumbles is in the second half. We get to see a Big Boss kind of hidden camera thing in the entire second half and to be honest that is something that demanded at most care in making to make it look convincing. Cinema is about imagining new stuff and I won’t say Sachy’s idea was really bad, but it was something that needed a better making. The climax of the film also has some over the top stuff which made me think that Ramanunni should have been there in Olympics along with Abhinav Bindra.
The kind of seriousness of the content has helped Dileep in leaving his typical on screen eccentric comedy style. He looks smart and never loses the grip over it even when subtle comedy is happening. Kalabhavan Shajon is the next actor who has got a major screen time in this film and he was good as the quintessential hero’s tail. Mukesh looked effective as the investigating officer. Radikaa Sarathkumar doesn’t have much of space here as the mother. Vijayaraghavan was good. And these days it sounds a cliché when I say Siddique was terrific. Prayaga Rose Martin’s character has a space in the story, but there is nothing there for her to perform.
Arun Gopy has a making style that is a mix of orthodox and slightly modern way of film making. Just like the Udayakrishna Sibi K Thomas scripts, the dramatic tone is there in the narrative. Like I already said, after setting up an interesting premise Sachy chose to go with an idea that was hard to crack. The reality show kind of thing and the practicalities related to that was a huge task for the director, in order to make it look authentic. But Arun Gopy seems to be a bit helpless as he closely follows the script on a peripheral level. On top of that there is a climax phase for this film which never seems to end. And what they have shown to establish the heroism of Ramanunni is something that would have worked in a Telugu film. The cinematography was fine while the music wasn’t that special. The background score is another version of Gopi Sundar’s own Left Right Left.
Ramaleela is strictly an average film. The lack of conviction in presenting something that looks practically impossible is the negative here. On the bright side I would say, it was never boring looking at the fact that the film has a length of almost 160 minutes.
Ramaleela is strictly an average film. The lack of conviction in presenting something that looks practically impossible is the negative here.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended