Lacking a plausible plot

The opening sequence of Rangrezz generously pans over a football field on a rainy day, shaded in gorgeous grey, with a game in progress in slow motion. But the promise of a visual treat ends in a few seconds once the credits are done.

Cinematographer Santosh Sivan’s touch is visible only in those moments as the rest of Rangrezz is neither a cinematic treat nor a compelling story.

Based on the Tamil film Naadodigal, Rangrezz is about angry young Rishi (Jackky Bhagnani), who aspires to join the police force because it’s a criteria that will allow him to marry Megha (Priya Anand), who refers to herself in third person. He lives in a chawl in Mumbai with a patient father, anxious-looking sister and hammy mother. When a long-lost friend, Joy (Raghav Chanana), seeks his help over a “love" issue, Rishi and his two best friends head off to Uttar Pradesh to abduct Joy’s girlfriend from the clutches of her politician father, who does not approve of their relationship. The abduction comes with collateral damage, subsequent betrayals, speeches on friendship and commitment, and a sidetrack of running a restaurant. Also, one frantic wedding in a temple.

If all this sounds strange, it truly is. Why would three men get into a dangerous situation without trying to negotiate first? Where in Mumbai is there a large lake as shown in the film where people bathe and wash clothes? Who uses words like ainak (spectacles) and sasurji (father-in-law) in this city?

There’s good chemistry between the three friends, including Vijay Verma as Pakkya and Amitosh Nagpal as Winu, who put in spirited performances, while Rajpal Yadav provides an occasional comic moment. The action sequences are powerful though the violence may make you cringe.

Bhagnani has neither charisma nor much skill as an actor and him being the lead character does not help the movie much. The acting is mostly reminiscent of 1980s B-grade films, with Lushin Dubey (as Joy’s mother and the only character with an exaggerated accent) jarring in particular. Priyadarshan, who “films" his project rather than directing it, clearly did not have much control over his actors. Misplaced song-and-dance sequences mar the flow.

Naadodigal was remade in all the other southern languages and in Bengali, but it needed a cultural adjustment that’s missing in Rangrezz.

Rangrezz released on Friday.

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