Ranam (2018) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


The ritzy shine that ‘Ranam’ sports is of a make-believe kind, and it starts wearing away if you start scratching at its exterior with your nails. And lying beneath all the pizzazz is a hoary saga of gang fights and rivalry that is as drained out as the urban blight that Detroit has become internationally infamous for.


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Nirmal Sahadev’s ‘Ranam’ has Prithviraj playing Aadhi, a young man brought up on the crime ridden streets of Detroit, who has had it with all the blood and brawls. Wanting to bid adieu to the sleazy world of drug peddling, Aadhi approaches kingpin Damodar (Rahman) and demands that he be set free. When an attempt on his life almost kills Seema (Isha Talwar), Aadhi recognizes that the cesspool that he has fallen into has far more stronger undercurrents than he had ever pictured it to have.

‘Ranam’ proves beyond doubt that the writer in Nirmal Sahadev is easily outshined by the film maker that he is, and while the writing struts and saunters ahead liberally incorporating almost every gangster film truism that lies along the way, the ingenious visualization of it is what often turns out to be the respite.

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This a tale that has been told a million times before; the frightful struggle of a man who has turned over a new leaf, who realizes with a shudder that his past is something that cannot be rubbed off as effortlessly as he had thought it could be. Frantically trying to break away the fetters that has him bonded to a life that he dreads all the more now, he is appalled to find himself shackled in ways that he had never imagined.

Aadhi follows a battered Seema around, and on board an almost empty train, the stage is set for a blatant display of some male prowess. When three men start taunting her, Seema is horrified, but heaves a sigh of relief, when Aadhi approaches from behind, mouthing a line that goes, “..we could do this two ways.” The rest of it almost tiredly falls into place, amidst all the whacks, wallops and thumps that follow.

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The brooding Aadhi has been tailor written for Prithvi, who carries over the remnants of several similar characters that he had played of late, into his depiction of an almost worn out man who wants to start afresh. But it has come to a point when Prithvi seems to have stepped into a recurring rut, where even his portrayals of seemingly disparate characters have started exhibiting startling parallels.

Rahman is impressive as Damodar, his commanding adversary, and so is Ashwin as Selvan, Damodar’s brother. There is also Giju John who does a neat job as Ahmed Siddique, the anti-narcotics officer in charge. Seema could have come across as much more persuasive had it been another actor who had donned the role, and while Isha Talwar does try her very best, much of the trauma that the young woman goes through is lost, non-courtesy a flat performance and a voice that does little justice to the character.

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There is something indeed that you would carry back home with you after the show, which is the lingering background score by Jakes Bejoy, that by turns drives in the adrenaline that is missing in the script and almost wordlessly meanders around, letting the emotions truly sink in. Jigme Tenzing captures the arid city landscapes with a notable charm, and together they ensure that ‘Ranam’ is a swanky cinematic piece.

The ritzy shine that ‘Ranam’ sports is of a make-believe kind, and it starts wearing away if you start scratching at its exterior with your nails. And lying beneath all the pizzazz is a hoary saga of gang fights and rivalry that is as drained out as the urban blight that Detroit has become internationally infamous for.


Verdict: Average


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