Rann poster


wogma rating: Add to that never-watched 'To Watch' list (?)

quick review:

In an arena where character's dilemma should have battled within, the camera and sound fight for attention. Ace, touching performance by Big B tries its best to win the war against an interesting yet predictable plot.

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Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Running time: 145 minutes
Genres: Politics
More Movie Info

Utopia exports a TV channel to Delhi. But of course, the earthlings contaminate the empire. And we are then taken into the world of the mean media industry.

If the spate of films in the "exposé" genre are anything to go by, we, the audience, either know everything that needs to be known or being fooled to believe that that's all there is to these industries. Rann is another such example.

Had it not been for a couple of the performances and a couple of points where the story could take an interesting turn, the film would have completely collapsed. Also, had the 'background music files' and 'camera angle schedule' of Rann not been exchanged with director Ram Gopal Verma's horror film, Phoonk, Rann would have been immensely watchable and hearable. (Can't even give you the virtual "eye-roll" cause my eyes hurt.)

And yet the two pillars that the film stands on are enough to make it an interesting watch. Amitabh Bachchan as the composed, honest, serious, intelligent TV channel owner, Vijay Malik, makes you want to look out for him. And it hurts to see his head hang in shame. What a brilliant actor!

It is so refreshing to see Riteish Deshmukh as the serious, almost mute Purab, a rookie journalist soaking in how the business-politics-media nexus works. More power to the makers of this casting decision. Next in line, Sudeep as Jai Vijay Malik, did well in his first five minutes of screen time, after which his role didn't demand anything new. Paresh Rawal in yet another caricature role makes the evil grin as tolerable as it can be.

What hurt is the roles shelled out to the women. Especially, Gul Panag. What was the point of doing a role which made no contribution except shrieking like any third Hindi film actress? Neetu Chandra's character was so annoying that it's amazing the boyfriend she's nagging didn't murder her in the middle of the film. Can't blame any of them for bad writing, but certainly raised a question or two about script decisions by the ladies. However, Suchitra Krishnamurty's role was a bit meatier but at the end of it all she's only another man's pawn. (Her character reminded me a lot of Rakhee's character, Geeta in Trishul)

Interestingly, it's not that RGV was making a masala flick. Then why such shoddy writing for the women. As is, the overpowering existence of one-dimensional characters (other than the music and camera) is a hurdle to let the film take you over. Yet, while you don't expect any better from the black sheep, the dilemma and emotions that a couple of the white sheep go through are extremely engaging. And ultimately if you as an audience are happy when the white one does the "right thing" the writer/director/both have gotten something right. That is over and above the performance.

There are points in the film that a question lingers, "what will this character do?" "How will he crack this one?" Only unfortunately, he takes the most obvious path and you laugh at yourself for letting your brain work in top gear. You set your thoughts aside, another story - another day.

Meanwhile, the dialogue is crisp and topical. While I could have easily done without the over-preachy middle portion of one of the channel head's speech, the beginning and the end were well written and beautifully performed. And then comes a shoddy climax that shakes you out of your reverie. Oh well.

So, nothing new. Same old brigade against still camera by cinematographer Amit Roy. Same old spooky score in the background. Same old trying to tell a story of the insides of an industry and telling us what we already know. And still wondering why the characters were struck by shock. I hope there are people who like Rann more than I did, and there is a radical movement of sorts that will make the media more responsible.

BUT, in case that doesn't happen there's still, some masterwork in the acting department and a partially interesting thread of plot, to make the film worth your time.

- meeta, a part of the audience

33 reviewers(?) - 19 yays 5 so-so 9 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Aparajita Ghosh, Apun Ka Choice : ...Ramu pumps in enough drama, grit and a wee bit of suspense and thrills to make the movie a compelling watch. ... full review

Thumbs up, bigoye.com : ...Well-etched characters and logical sequence of events keep the audience engaged.... full review

Thumbs up, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...The good guys are a distant presence in the first half, and even later, they must share space with their opponents, who dominate the screen... full review

Thumbs up, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...very insightfully, the director shows Three kinds of mindsets prevailing in a society. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...Amitabh Bachchan is spectacular yet again, especially towards the finale. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Shweta Parande, Buzz18 : ...Rann is serious from the beginning, so the first half is a bit of a drag, when the plot is being established.... full review

Thumbs up, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ...Ritesh surprises with his act of a besotted journalist out to uncover the truth while Rajat Kapoor lends that eerie charm.... full review

Thumbs up, by Susan Jose, India-Forums : ... Music is thumping, powerful …like a very strong cup of Assam tea or the all-American black coffee.... full review

Thumbs up, by Kshitij Mehta, merinews : ...A special mention has to be made for the cinematography which is brilliant. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Now Running.com : ... Not one of the characters need any explanation or occupy a superfluous place in the plot.... full review

Thumbs up, by Padmaja Thakore, Passion for Cinema : ...The issues that Rann raises are topical. The media-government/politician nexus needs to be probed and if need be, attacked. RGV does it in his ol’ gangster, make-movie-on-the run style.... full review

Thumbs up, by Ankit Ojha, Planet Bollywood : ...irony is shown in a very subtle, but hard-hitting format. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Hanumant Bhansali, Radio Sargam : ...The story by Rohit Banawlikar is realistic, aesthetic, up to the mark and deserves full marks.... full review

Thumbs up, real bollywoood : ...Kannada star, Sudeep exhibiting superb panache holds his own despite being pitched along acting powerhouses like Paresh Rawal and Bachchan.... full review

Thumbs up, by K N Gupta, SmasHits.com : ...Amitabh Bachchan is right in saying that the movie isn't anti-media. ... full review

Thumbs up, StarBoxOffice : ...Rann is technically slick.... full review

Thumbs up, by K K Rai, STARDUST : ...Amitabh Bachchan’s towering performance and dialogue delivery in his famous baritone that saves the flick from several loose moments in the middle of the film.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...Where it does score is the way it tells the story: thriller-like, taut and testy.... full review

Thumbs up, by Prasad Bhosekar, Zee News : ...All the female star cast, Gul Panag as Ritesh’s love interest, Neetu Chandra as Sudeep’s girl friend and Suchitra Krishnamoorthy as COO perform their respective roles quite well.... full review

So-So, by Deepa Garimella, fullhyd.com : ... The analysis obviously escapes Rann's notice, while the movie plays around with starkly black-and-white characters.... full review

So-So, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ...contemporary newsreel montages edited to a spooky effect, more symbolic of RGV’s horror flicks. The idea is to highlight the real horror that’s haunting humans – sensationalism by media houses.... full review

So-So, Indicine : ... * The first hour is a bit of a drag, but the director more than makes up for it with a gripping second half. Plenty of twists and turns, which while predictable, is well-written... full review

So-So, Movie Talkies : ...The film's premise is not ground breakin, but it is topical and has been very well narrated. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ...As a very elementary thriller, Rann is fine—but as an expose of the wheeling dealing that goes in power circles, it’s a joke.... full review

Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, Hindustan Times : ...For a film that’s determined to seek the truth behind the media, it’s unsettling how little they’ve cared to even enter a newsroom.... full review

Thumbs down, by Kaveree Bamzai, india today : ...a movie on exactly the same principles that he trashes. Ensure your anchors/actors indulge in crazy histrionics, forget about the research and use hyperbole at all times.... full review

Thumbs down, by Mihir Fadnavis, india.com : ...RGV managed to get half the world's population to star in 'Rann'... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...he camera sways madly from one character to another, the background score swallows the dialogue.... full review

Thumbs down, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...Banawlikar fritter away the opportunity with cardboard characters and feeble plotting.... full review

Thumbs down, by Kenny, Passion for Cinema : ...Since the days of Sarkar, background music in RGV’s films have practically become foreground music. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...the background score is so dauntingly exaggerated and blaring, it's hard to tell shocked from spooked. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Mr Care, Upper Stall : ...This was a subject that could have been brought out much better through lighter moments with real people.. ... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

2 readers - 1 yays 0 so-so 1 nays

Yay! Thumbs Up, by bollywoodfreeek : see comment

Nay! Thumbs Down, by Rad

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Warning: this section has some details that could distort your experience while watching the movie. I strongly recommend reading this only after you have seen the movie or if you have decided not to see it.

Plot Summary

TV channel owner Vijay Malik is an idealist. But his channel's TRPs are taking a bad hit. Can he save the channel without selling his soul?

What Worked

  • Rajat Kapoor snickering at the political speeches.
  • The brief scene between Amitabh Bachchan and Rajat Kapoor on the dining table. Established their relationship instantly.
  • Ritesh's dialogue in the meeting.
  • The argument Vijay uses to rest his case in the Hindu-Muslim discussion, but note points in the "what didn't work" section.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • Comic relief in the form of Rajpal Yadav - Extremely annoying!
  • The close-ups of the elderly lady in Paresh Rawal's house. Also the close-ups of his henchman standing by his side, glaring at everyone Paresh Rawal spoke to with spite.
  • Ok now, why did the Khanna guy, have to be, of all the people, Jai's (Sudeep's) friend!?
  • The on-the-face metaphor (for example: pressure cooker!)
  • What was the need of putting in that sub-plot? Also, the lady was so easily convinced. Another lamely written role for the woman.
  • The missed call drama - a bit too long.
  • How did Purab (Riteish Deshmukh) know Jai would behave exactly the way he behaved?


This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

  • Why didn't Purab keep his phone on silent, in the first place?

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Violence is talked about, but not shown on screen.
  • Language: Clean. A few words beeped out.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A couple of skimpily clad women, shown once or twice.
  • Concept: That of betrayal, manipulation and greed prevalent in our system - politics, media and business.
  • General Look and Feel: A very serious tone.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

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