Review: With Rang De, Venky Atluri brings forth a ‘cute’ love story (as he put it) that has equal doses of romance, love, jealousy, envy, greed, comedy and of course, family emotions. Basically everything anyone who’s a fan of Indian rom-coms would want out of a film. With films like Tholi Prema and Mr Majnu setting the bar as to what one should expect from the film, Venky manages to break his own mould when it comes to certain tropes.
Little Arjun (played as an adult by Nithiin) is the apple of his parents’ eye and of everyone in his colony. Being the only toddler there, he’s used to getting all the attention since birth. That is, till four-year-old Anu (played as an adult by Keerthy Suresh) makes an entrance in a pink frock and adorable pigtails to steal all his thunder. Because she’s better at everything than he is, he is constantly asked to do better, be more like her. All Arjun wants is to ensure Anu lives far away from him so people around him can stop comparing him to her, all she wants is to make him happy in hope he loves her the way she loves him. What happens when she’s tired of his derisiveness and decides to give him a taste of his own medicine?
Tollywood has a way with love stories, especially ones that involve close-knitted neighbouring families and leads who are either head-over-heels for each other or constantly at war. Where Venky manages to set his film apart is the way he writes the character of Anu. Even when she pulls something shocking to ensure she’s not married against her choice, there’s only worry from her mother instead of judgement. And she might be head-over-heels for Arjun, but she won’t put up with his nonsense. Scenes of sexual harassment and pregnancy are dealt with sensitivity and maturity.
With Rang De Venky Atluri does follow the simple commercial formula of songs, fight scenes and humour weaved into a light-hearted romance that soon turns emotional. But he manages to make the characters relatable and makes the film engaging for the most part. Nithiin and Keerthy Suresh seem comfortable in the skin of their characters, with their relationship seeming plausible. Nithiin aces the boy-next-door role and Keerthy steals the show. The lead actors get ample opportunity to show off their acting chops and they deliver. Vennela Kishore, Suhas, Abhinav Gomatam, Brahmaji, Naresh and Rohini too manage to inject some humour.
PC Sreeram’s cinematography gives the whole film a feel-good vibe with softly lit rooms and a golden glow often surrounding our lead pair. His delightful frames just ooze romance. Devi Sri Prasad’s music has nothing much to write home about, but the BGM does manage to complement the film. Sure there are scenes that might seem like a nod to numerous Indian rom-coms, especially Salaam Namaste or even Happy, but Venky manages to make the story his own.
Rang De might see Venky Atluri find his comfort zone in the way his characters always seem to be on different wavelengths but manage to find their own mid-path by the end of it all. But it also sees him deliver a crisp film that keeps you entertained. If you’re a sucker for feel-good romances, this one’s for you.