Earnest actors keep this formulaic action drama afloat

Earnest actors keep this formulaic action drama afloat

Aniissh Tejeshwar in 'Ramarjuna',

Aniissh Tejeshwar’s directorial debut ‘Ramarjuna’ unabashedly embraces the formula and that’s the film’s biggest drawback.

The story is as old as the hills. Ram (Aniissh), an insurance agent living in a slum, is loved by all. So, it doesn’t require great imagination to know what happens when a multinational corporation poses a threat to the local people.

One striking aspect of ‘Ramarjuna’ is its good-hearted characters which, of course, includes the gem-like protagonist. While the heroine (Nishvika Naidu) is a dog-lover, there is an experienced painter (a terrific Rangayana Raghu) raising funds for underprivileged children and a doctor always ready to help the needy. But, the banal writing makes their scenes uninteresting.

The make matters worse, none of these characters add any value to the film’s bigger picture. Rangayana Raghu’s portion is decent but it ends up as a standalone feature while Nishvika, like typical commercial film heroines, is reduced to help the hero in his mission.

The first action sequence and romance number exist not because the story demands them but because that’s what ‘masala’ films are about. In this manner, Aniissh adheres to the jaded template with minimal focus on a solid screenplay. The love story falls flat as there is zero scope for chemistry between the leads. The humour too doesn’t work.

Aniissh’s ‘star-acting’ pushes the film into a preachy zone. Despite the wafer-thin storyline, ‘Ramarjuna’ would have worked if it aimed to be a smooth entertainer. Or, if the film’s conflicts were better than the silly ones we see. The twisty climax, though clumsily staged, somewhat redeems the film.

Aniissh is convincing as an action hero and he could make a greater impact in an action thriller.