Ramaleela review: A well-written, neatly crafted movie

Ramleela is a not a political movie. It is neither a regular ‘Dileep brand’ slapstick comedy movie. What it is, is a well written and neatly directed movie worth watching, writes Deepa Antony.

"This movie is a political crime thriller with a well thought out plotline and brilliantly executed climax." 

Withstanding the storm of scandals and controversies Ramleela, starring Dileep opened to a full house. But the credit for the movie rightfully goes to the debutant director Arun Gopy and the scriptwriter Sachy for a neat script executed well. This movie is a political crime thriller with a well thought out plotline and brilliantly executed climax. 

As the title suggests, this movie is about Ramanunni. Ramanunni, played by Dileep is a smooth talking, adept,intelligent and shrewd politician. A lawyer by discipline Ramanunni knows how to navigate his way around in politics. Son of communist parents, Ramanunni’s father is a communist martyr, Raghavan. So, when Ramanunni decides to switch his loyalties to the right wing his decision causes a rift between him and his mother, Saghavu Ragini played by Radhikaa Sarathkumar. The film revolves around a by-election campaign, and a crime that takes place for which Ramanunni is accused.

It is one of those movies where the climax reins the story. If one is to rightly put it in a genre, it will serve as a spoiler. The main highlight of the movie will be the crisp narration and the even crisper editing. The film does not lag at any single point. The music and the camera gel into the narrative almost seamlessly. Another major highlight of the movie are the actors. Seasoned and mature actors like Mukesh and Vijayaraghavan raise the bar high with their controlled acting. Away from his usual comic light-veined self, even Dileep gives one of his most controlled and level-headed performances. Kalabhavan Shajon is in his element providing the only comic relief the cinema has to offer. Radhikaa Saratkumar as Saghavu Ragini seems slightly rigid and strained in her acting. Prayaga Martin visibly struggles to get into her character. Her character reminds one of Manju Warriar’s character in Pathram, but Prayaga struggles to do justice to the role. The two female characters are stereotypical caricatures of how women are portrayed in a usual political cinema.

The trailers and posters of the movie had suggested similarities in the storyline with the current scenario. Yet, the story of the cinema is nowhere close to the actor abduction case that Dileep is accused of. However, many dialogues in the cinema are suggestive and received applause from viewers. Some scenarios are also suggestive to the point that viewers might be pulled into the theatres to see how far the movie jinxed the actor in the state of affairs he is in. Also, with an explosive climax that may remind viewers of Drishyam the cinema blatantly valorizes crime and the criminal. This could open yet another discussion for media on the right and wrong of it.

The cinema is being projected as a political thriller. However it is more of an investigative thriller in the backdrop of a socio-political drama. While the first half of the cinema sets the pace and background of the narrative, the second half gets into the investigation of the committed crime. Through this cinema Arun Gopy portrays the politics of money. He ends by opening the viewers’ eyes into the loopholes of law. In that the cinema is a bold statement towards the current state of affairs. Ramaleela announces the arrival of a new, bold and intelligent director who is capable of executing a good script with the subtlety and class it demands.  

reviewed byDeepa Antony

29 Sep 2017 | 01:50 AM

  • directed by
  • Arun Gopy
  • Produced by
  • Tomichan Mulakuppadam
  • Starring
  • Dileep
  • Renji Panicker
  • Prayaga Martin
  • Radikaa Sarathkumar
  • Genres
  • Thriller
  • Drama