'Rama Banam', produced by People Media Factory, was released in theatres today.
Years after running away from his pacifist brother Rajaram (Jagapathi Babu as the owner of Sukhibava organics), Vicky (Gopichand) has become a strongman in Kolkata. He can terrorize his opponents without using a weapon. Back home, his brother's organic food business empire is in the doldrums because his rival GK (Tarun Arora) is conspiring against it. It is now up to Vicky to teach GK a lesson.
Gopichand enters his comfort zone without appearing to go for the low-hanging fruit. His personality is a contrast to that of his onscreen brother. The scenes between him and Jagapathi Babu hardly feel intimate for want of a sensible script. Nevertheless, the two actors do whatever it takes to nail their respective parts.
Kushboo Sundar's presence was incomplete in the film's trailer. Her presence is even more incomplete in the film. She acquires personality, if at all, in just one scene. Her acting is still admirable in a film dominated by caricaturish bad guys played by Tarun Arora.
Dimple Hayathi of 'Khiladi' fame is hardly amusing as a vlogger. Nasser (as Papa Rao) is cliched. Shubalekha Sudhakar as a 'Paleru' plays a pointless character. Sachin Khedekar plays a Bengali 'babu' who talks about 'kutumba viluvalu' like a TV serial character. Vennela Kishore's feminine character feels like a character from another universe. It's odd in an already awkward film. Sapthagiri doesn't deliver laughs much like Ali. Satya and Get-up Srinu as the hero's loyalists in a gang play ill-conceived roles.
Mickey J Meyer's music is lacklustre. Ironically, the songs are named to denote robustness and style. 'Monalisa Monalisa' and 'iPhone' belong to an era when songs were conceived by B Gopal and VV Vinayak types with the sole aim of catering to an audience still vying to watch foreign locations on the big screen. In 2023, nobody craves such rosy songs.
Vetri Palanisamy's cinematography serves its purpose. Prawin Pudi's editing and Kiran Kumar Manne's art direction, respectively, are below ordinary. The action choreography by (Kanal Kannan, Ram Laxman, Venkat, Ravi Varma) is not ambitious. The Ugra Narasimha theme doesn't come off, thanks to uninspired action.
Films where the hero or villain is named Vicky, films where one or the other good guy is named Rajaram, films where the antagonist is named GK/Papa Rao have outdated drama vibes written all over them. Incidentally or otherwise, 'Rama Banam' has got all these names for its key characters. It is not known if director Sriwass gave those cliched names after reading Bhupathi Raja's outdated story. If that is the case, he surely deserves an award for warning the audience through those hackneyed onscreen names.
This is also the kind of film where Madhusudan Padamati's dialogues are drawn from the family dramas made in the 2000s. "Love needs two individuals, marriage needs two families". Stuff like that.
A funny element pertains to Vicky's motive to seek a reunion with his estranged brother and 'vadinamma'. He does it after his girlfriend's father enlightens him about the value of a close-knit family. It's not like he is emotionally inadequate. If you feed him for just one day, he will be your lifetime loyalist. How come such a sentimentally incredible person abandoned his family for a decade?
The second half of the film was fairly shown in the trailer itself. As such, the emotional impact is never heightened. Even the flashback where Rajaram's travails at the hands of GK are narrated feels dull because of how the trailer was cut.
The courtroom scene was totally unsuited to the genre. Since Rajaram is someone who is capable of finishing the stocks of an ethically harmful business, his vulnerability feels unnatural. He could just have appeared on TV channels and shouted that he faced a life threat from GK to rally public support for himself.
'Rama Banam' is at least a decade late to theatres.