Richie

In a recent interview, Malayalam director Arun Kumar Aravind said he likes Pulp fiction a lot because of the editing possibilities of its narrative. Ulidavaru Kandanthe from Rakshit Shetty was apparently a similar experiment looking through the perspective of each person who was part of that particular story. At the end of the film, Rakshit also mentioned about certain other possibilities and Gautham Ramachandran has definitely tried to explore that aspect of the original. Towards the climax of the film, we can see the earnestness to be creative, but the straight forward narrative reduces the creative kick we get as a viewer.

Richie is this rowdy who had a bad childhood which he spent mostly in a juvenile home. At one point he happens to know that the man who made his life miserable is in town and the film talks about how he reacts to that and how this eventually becomes an interesting story for a journalist.

Those of you who have seen the Kannada original version would know that how Richie as a character isn’t necessarily the central protagonist. When Gautham Ramachandran interprets his version, he is making Richie his title protagonist and thus there is considerable reduction in screen space for other characters. The movie is only 110 minutes long, which is almost 40 minutes lesser than the original. May be because of the lack of acceptance the film faced in Kannada, the creators here chose to keep the narrative simple. But as someone who prefers interesting experiments, this simplification of things was something that I couldn’t really accept.

Nivin Pauly is convincing as Richie in terms of body language. His weakness here is the dialect. He is playing a local rowdy and the Malayalamish Tamil was a downside of his otherwise tidy performance. The space for Shraddha Srinath is lesser than what her Kannada counterpart Tara got. Natty gets the other major role and Gautham has given some good subplots to this character to make the foundation strong. The other major 3 characters in the Ulidavaru Kandanthe have been reduced considerably and this being a hero driven vehicle could well be the reason behind that. Prakash Raj, Raj Bharath, Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli, Aadukalm Murugadoss, Elango Kumaravel etc. are the prominent faces in the film.

Even though Gautham Ramachandran has diluted it for the sake of easier understanding, I did like the way he used the scope of interpretation. He has changed the placement of certain scenes and added certain sequences to generate a curiosity in the minds of people who might have seen the Rakshit Shetty version. The overall technical quality of the film is superior to the Kannada version. The quality music and score of the original has been retained. The frames added rawness to the story telling.

Richie is a good remake that may not have the same craft of Ulidavaru Kandanthe. It is less complex, but original in its own credit. The segment of audience who hasn’t seen the original but likes experiments which aren’t driven by just one character can give this one a shot.

Rating: 3/5 (Not Everyone’s cup of tea)

Final Thoughts

Richie is a good remake that may not have the same craft of Ulidavaru Kandanthe. It is less complex, but original in its own credit.

Signal

Green: Recommended Film

Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films

Red: Not Recommended

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