Way back, Tina Turner sang "What's love got to do with it?" Now in Rangrezz, the question is spun into a spunky dizzying drama of brutal love and betrayal. When love comes to shove, all hell breaks loose.
It's been a while since Priyadarshan made us sit up and watch in rapt attention. Visually and in terms of the content, Rangrezz is his best work in years. Full marks to the action director for cutting to the chase without negotiating a single faltering step in the way the drama unfolds.
Indeed, the real hero of this surprisingly watchable film on the violent end of that much-abused emotion called love, is cinematographer Santosh Sivan. Santosh's unerring eye for a detailed lush and vivid emotional and physical landscape makes this Priyadarshan's most visually rich film since Gardish in 1993.
Even in the smallest scene in a small-town dhaba, the spiced-up fumes emanating from the kitchen hit your nostrils. This is an elemental film, not the least apologetic about serving up a spicy dish .The Bihar-Uttar Pradesh dialectic dialogues come across self-consciously the way they are mouthed by the two actors - Pankaj Tripathi and Lushin Dubey, playing warring politican-parents of lovers-on-the-run. Ms Dubey is specially hammy. But then this is no place for the soft-spoken.
While Amitosh Nagpal, Vijay Verma and the redoubtable Rajpal Yadav as the protagonist's buddies in arms are first-rate, Jackky Bhagnani as the boy next door, who doesn't think twice before plunging viciously into a friend's love problem, gives a quietly self-assured performance. His character Rishi hardly sings and dances. But you know he can. You can sense the rhythm simmering under the surface of discontent.
Go for it. The rebellious boys' club of Rangrezz is every bit as meritorious as its counterpart in Kai Po Che.