“Love is not heart of life. Love is only part of life” – The dialogue out of context; it doesn’t belong to Rangrezz, the film being currently reviewed, but to a 2002 film called 'Kya Yehi Pyaar Hai', about a college slacker wasting his time and ultimately his life following the girl he loves.
The reason it is being mentioned here is because of a similar pious and sorrowful social message about love at the end of Rangrezz too.
This film is about three friends (which film isn’t?) Hrishi (Jackky Bhagnani), Winu (Amitosh Nagpal) and Pakkya (Vijay Verma) on the threshold of their future careers. While waiting for their appointment letters, business loans and passport to arrive respectively, they loll away their time at a neighbourhood dhaba eating on credit, breaking matkis at Govinda processions and people’s heads in Irani stores.
One day, Hrishi’s depressed friend Joy visits him in Mumbai; he is seeing some girl but their parents aren’t allowing them to get married. The overzealous Hrishi decides he shall kidnap the girl from her house and help them elope (Inexplicable really. Hrishi hasn’t met this friend in at least a decade. They were in school together at some point in history and haven’t stayed in touch till then.)
So the trio rent a car (again, from some unknown benefactor rental agency friend who tells them not to worry about the money) and zoom into the girl’s town and with minimal planning and strategy, kidnap the girl in front of her father and four jeeps-full of goons. Joy, the man who actually is in love with this girl, watches from the sidelines as Winu loses his leg, Pakkya loses his hearing and Hrishi gets an ugly scratch on his face during this fracas.
Well anyway, the couple is married off (again with the help of some local benefactor whom the director doesn’t bother introducing us to) and sent to Goa for an indeterminate amount of time at the expense of yet another benefactor who runs a hotel.
Because of the police case that ensues from this kidnapping, Hrishi loses his job offer in the State Police and therefore his long-time sweetheart whose father’s only condition for marriage is a government job. The trio struggles to get back on their feet, try their hand at a catering restaurant business and make a success of it. Only to realise that the couple they sacrificed so much to unite has decided to divorce! What a pity.
By now we are all familiar with Priyadarshan’s template of films. Although based in Mumbai, the middle class characters of his films inhabit some strange world full of shiny brass vessels, Kerala style armchairs and four-poster beds. Not to mention, Rajpal Yadav in coloured hair and waiter garb hamming
to glory. But while most of his films could be called funny – if you are into that sort of loud, over-the-top silly humour – Rangrezz isn’t one of them.
The template continues: although earnest, Rangrezz is loud but not enough to be cheesy; it is funny but not enough to be a comedy, it is serious but not enough to be taken seriously and has an interesting premise but with so many gaps that it can barely make sense. And worst of all, it has a social message! That’s the kind of film one should safely be wary of.
Performances: Jackky Bhagnani is competent. Amitosh and Vijay also make a good debut.
Lushin Dubey’s loud Bihari (or is it Bhojpuri?) accent and beautiful sarees.