We often grumble that we don't make films targeted at kids unlike the West where this genre has cut across barriers and reached out to not only kids, but also teens and adults. Ramaa - The Saviour tries to go into a zone where no Hindi film has visited in the past: Video gaming.
But a terrific idea is no guarantee for a terrific film. Everything depends on how gripping and absorbing the screenplay is and how deftly the director executes the subject material. Ramaa - The Saviour has some attention-grabbing moments, but they are few and far between.
It's a story of six kids - Rohan, Riddhi, Kunal, Komal, Sameer and Saanjh. The kids play a newly launched video game - The Last Battle - and while playing the game, they suddenly find themselves on an isolated island. The children, while exploring the island, run into trouble. Riddhi is attacked by a giant, Vali [Khali], but is rescued by Ramaa [Sahil Khan], who lives in this jungle all alone. Danger arrives in the form of a boat commanded by Kali with a small army of mercenaries and a scientist-assistant Samara [Tanushree Dutta]. The rest of the tale depicts the fight between the good and the evil.
It's a tough call to cast the right faces when you set out to attempt a kiddie film. They need to look the parts, but most importantly, live the parts as well. The kids in Ramaa - The Saviour pass the test with good marks.
But it's the writing that plays a spoilsport and doesn't do justice to the concept and the efforts invested in the project. Let me explain. To start with, there should have been some detailing on the protagonist [Sahil Khan], who comes across as a mix of Tarzan and Conan The Barbarian. He has the ability to connect via telepathy with humans and animals, we're told, but what is he doing in the secluded island-jungle? Besides, what's Vali's [Khali] connection with Ramaa? Also, why were they fighting in the first place? Is Vali human or demon or spirit? Tanushree's character isn't well penned either. She belongs to the evil camp, but crosses over to Ramaa's side without any valid justification.
Director Haadi Abrar deserves marks for opting for an innovative plot, but the writing lets him down. The action scenes [action: Peter Hein] are the mainstay of the enterprise. The fight on the river in particular is fantastic. Sejal Shah's cinematography captures the forests with expertise. Amongst the songs [Siddharth-Suhas], the one filmed on the kids, 'We Don't Need', is truly energetic.
Sahil Khan exhibits his physique to the optimum, but the screenplay doesn't offer him scope to exhibit histrionics. Tanushree surprises in action scenes. She's wonderful. The new villain, Taleb, looks ferocious. Khali is okay. The kids, all of them, are super confident.
On the whole, Ramaa - The Saviour isn't convincing.
Director: Haadi Abrar
Cast: Saahil Khan, Tanushree Dutta, Khali, Ishita Panchal