Cupid caught in Naxal crossfire

Cupid caught in Naxal crossfire

Cupid caught in Naxal crossfire

Ricky
Kannada (U/A), Director: Rishab Shetty
Cast: Rakshit Shetty, Haripriya, Achyut Kumar, Ravi Kale, Shashikala, Veena Sundar

Finally here is a film that is off the beaten track and makes one sit and watch.
Rishab Shetty’s Ricky, despite its commercial mould, is a film with a difference. Set against the context of forceful land acquisitions for SEZ projects and Mangaluru’s mountainous regions as colourful canvas, Ricky is a riveting romance.

Slow-paced and understandably so, given director Rishab’s larger social intent, Ricky charts the tumultuous love story of Radhakrishna and Radha as subtext, spotlighting on how Naxalism breeds and how State is responsible.

With several poetic passages for dialogues to drive home its message of skewed development versus displacement, the film speaks of how people – deprived of their green fields, hamlets and livelihood – are left with no choice, but head to jungles and take to guns, as Naxals.

Radhakrishna aka Ricky and Radha’s puppy love blossoms into full-fledged romance. Both get betrothed, but Ricky, being an environment conservationist, heads to Kashmir to track a white leopard.

Back home, Radha, losing her parents to State’s arbitrary acquisition of land for a SEZ project, is drawn to Naxalism. Ricky returns to learn that Radha is now Comrade Seetha and Prithviraj, her master and mentor, and Red Salute (Lal Salaam) her life’s slogan.

Does Ricky win back his lost love? Do Seetha and her comrades get convinced by Ricky’s counsel to shed violence? These are questions Ricky raises in a forceful manner.

For once, the heroine takes centre stage with Haripriya doing full justice as demure Radha and fiery Naxal Seetha. Rakshit Shetty as the love-lost beau is adequate. The major irritants are crass comedy of Sadhu Kokila and half a dozen songs which distract one from the otherwise sensible narrative.

Go for Ricky. And Lal Salaam to Rishab Shetty.
Way to go!

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