Ranam Review: a nuanced and layered emotional tale
Movies with a conventional plot line can also be engaging, if the character arcs we witness are more compelling and emotional. That is also a way of making memorable movies. Nirmal Sahadev’s first movie Ranam, starring Prithviraj Sukumaran is one such film where the backdrop is familiar and predictable yet the characters are fascinating on an emotional level.
Aadhi is a young man who was forced to become a part of drug mafia in Detroit. He lives with his close relative Bhasker. Aadhi’s past association with Damodar Ratnam a Srilankan Tamil gangster has made his life difficult. The movie Ranam is about how he and Bhasker try to escape from this cursed city by doing whatever they were asked to by Damodar. The conflicts of these characters along with a few others are the main plot of Ranam.
From the trailer itself it was clear that it will be a good vs bad gangster noir drama that will have the usual ingredients. But where the movie manages to impress you is in its ability to add further layers to its characters. A haunted childhood of our hero, an unprecedented motherhood of our heroine, the disappointed American life of Bhasker, the avoided life of Deepika, they all have a common grey shade which makes the whole story of Ranam hefty and gripping on an emotional level. Even the villain is there for the fight with a genuine reason. The dialogues at times effectively summarizes the emotional state of the movie or the plot neatly.
Ranam is perhaps one movie that needs an actor like Prithviraj Sukumaran. The role is tailor made for the actor as even his so called weaknesses comes in handy here. Rahman has captured the attitude accurately and you might end up wishing seeing a little more on screen. Isha Talwar has her limitations and we can see Nirmal giving less emphasis on her expressions. Nandhu gets into the shoes of Bhasker easily. Mathew Arun manages to surprise you as Aju, Celine Joseph was also good. Ashwin Kumar, Giju John and Shivajith are the other actors here along with Shyamaprasad.
Former associate of Shyamaprasad, Nirmal Sahadev has a good idea about the presentation. The scenes look really authentic and he manages to keep it engaging yet gentle when it comes to the tempo of scenes. The deliberately Malayalam talks in the film is perhaps the only major discomfort. That leads to awkwardness in emotional rendering and dialogue delivery which was a major disturbance. But Nirmal has played with them smartly at many places to make the philosophy look subtle on screen. The music is terrific. The visuals and the cuts have that combined feel to make it look intriguing and emotional. The fights are choreographed very skillfully.
If you go in with a mindset to watch an action film, Ranam might disappoint you. It’s a movie that has a close proximity to the gangster life. But other than that, this one is a nuanced and layered emotional tale about some souls that aren’t giving up.
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