Anup Bhandari’s Vikrant Rona starring Kichcha Sudeepa in the title role can be called a ‘dark film’ literally. The film’s positioning or at least our understanding of the same was to be a fantasy adventure entertainment set in the wilds. However, It seems to be a cocktail of many things. Most part of the film is set in the wilderness shot in the dark. What could have been the reason to make the film in 3D format?
Fortunately sitting in the pitch-dark auditorium helps one to at least make some sense of what the narrator wants to show but with the 3D glasses on, the entire brightness is lost and so is the entertainment value. Of course, if one is set out to show some elements that may enhance the storytelling or the effects through 3D can be considered, but there are hardly any shots/scenes where the 3D seems emphatic or worthwhile. For one this could be an uncalled-for drawback! Also, at places, Kichcha Sudeepa’s dialogue delivery style/mannerism resembled that of Salman Khan (or may be that since Salman Khan has presented the Hindi version, this author’s mind was over working).
Sudeepa’s Vikrant Rona is many things blended into one and leaves one confused. The film has too much going on at the same time and it doesn’t let you focus on any one character or incident to put the puzzle together.
The film begins with a mother daughter duo driving through a dark dense forest when, suddenly, out of the darkness, comes a scary noise, and a shadow prances across the path, the car comes to a halt only to not start again. Probably, a sane person would have stay put in the car, but that does not happen!
Vikrant Rona is set in the fictional Kamarottu village and a house which has a grumpy old man Janardhan (Madhusudan Rao) who is living with his wife who is battling cancer and is always teary eyed. Their estranged son Sanju (Nirup Bhandari) has suddenly returned from London after he left the house under strange circumstances when he was just a child. Janardhan’s younger brother and his family have come to Kamarottu to marry off their daughter Panna (Neetha Ashok). No prizes to guess that she eventually falls for Sanju!
The villagers see dead bodies in a well, children’s bodies hanging from trees and a masked man. Enters Vikrant Rona (Kichcha Sudeepa), a mysterious man who appears from nowhere and claims to be a cop, and most of the times has company of his little daughter always clutching a doll. Vikrant begins his search to get to the bottom of the mysterious murders of the kids that are believed to have been killed by a Brahmarakshasa. How Vikrant unravels these mysteries, picking up series of unsolved clues left by his predecessor, moving from one place to another (all in dark), while also dealing with his personal loss forms the Vikrant Rona story.
Sudeepa as Vikrant Rona is virtually omnipresent throughout the film and is impressive. He creates his own swag with his mannerisms and constant smoking (I fail to understand, why actors like Sudeepa, etc. need to showcase their smoking mannerisms, when the writer too, in the film’s narrative through its character says that smoking is injurious to health and must have a disclaimer on top of their scene too!!)
Nirup Bhandari surprises with his balanced performance in a few scenes. Neetha Ashok has a pivotal role but without a well-defined character arc hence gets limited scope to showcase acting capabilities on screen. And there’s Jacqueline Fernandez as dancer Racquel D’Coasta, who has hots for Vikrant, but is nothing beyond a cameo, not adding much to the story except an item number and a minuscule scene.
Blame it has something to do with being lost in translation in the Hindi dub (of a Kannada film), but neither the convoluted plot, which includes an unconvincing romance between a mismatched couple (Nirup Bhandari and Neetha Ashok), nor the stilted dialogues and their delivery make for an entertaining watch. All you are left with is a string of unanswered questions.
As for the music there is nothing much that could be said about it. B Ajaneesh Loknath composed the songs and background score, Vikrant Rona marks his first collaboration with actor Sudeep. The single ‘Ra Ra Rakkamma’ with Jacqueline Fernandez dancing is an item number with actor Sudeepa. The second single ‘Rajkumari’ written by the director Anup Bhandari, the third single ‘Hey Fakira’ followed by the fourth single ‘Gumma Banda Gumma’ (Devil’s Fury Theme Song).
Anup Bhandari’s Vikrant Rona with Kichcha Sudeepa in the lead is an ambitious film, and could have been amazing too, had it treaded the path (read story/script/editing) more cautiously. At most places, one would feel the team got overambitious and, in a bid to achieve and show too much to the audience, ended up a with a confusing tale with no focus. If you are a Sudeepa fan, this one is for you to enjoy Sudeep’s superstar persona and making some action scenes look breathtaking.
Movie: Vikrant Rona
Director: Anup Bhandari
Cast: Kichcha Sudeepa, Nirup Bhandari, Athish Shetty, Neetha Ashok, Jacqueline Fernandez, Ravishankar Gowda, Madhusudan Rao, V Priya, Vasuki Vaibhav, Siddu Moolimani, Ramm Bogadi, Chitkala Biradar, Samhitha, Ramesh Kukkuvalli, Vajradir Jain, Karthik Rao Kordale, Yogish Shetty, Achinthya Puranik, Milana Nagaraj
Run Time: 147 mins