|Rakta Charitra (Hindi and Telugu)
Ratha Sarithiram (Tamil)
|Directed by||Ram Gopal Varma|
|Produced by||Sheetal Vinod Talwar|
|Story by||Prashant Pandey|
|Based on||Lives of Paritala Ravindra and Maddelachervu Suri|
|Narrated by||Chetan Sasithal (Hindi)
Ram Gopal Varma (Telugu)
Gautham Menon (Tamil)
Kota Srinivasa Rao
|Music by||Part I:
|Editing by||Nipun Gupta|
|Distributed by||Vistaar Religare Film Fund|
|Running time||Part I: 123min (Hindi)
Part II: 121min (Hindi) and 117min (Telugu)
Single part:118min (Tamil)
|Budget||25 million (US$400,000)|
Rakta Charitra is a two-part Indian parallel, biographical crime film based on the life of Paritala Ravindra, directed by Ram Gopal Varma. The film features Vivek Oberoi as Ravindra in the lead role, whilst Suriya plays Surya, who predominantly appears in the second part which did not repeat success of first part. Sudeep, Shatrughan Sinha, Abhimanyu Singh, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Sushant Singh, Priyamani, and Radhika Apte play other supporting roles.
The film was released in three different languages. The Telugu and Hindi versions were released in two parts, six weeks apart, while the Tamil version was released as a single film titled Ratha Sarithiram which was completely panned by critics.
The film starts with a narration about politics and gangs in Anantpur district, Andhra Pradesh. The opening scene of a murder in broad daylight, which the narrator calls "rakta politics", sets the tone of the movie. Narasimha Reddy, a local politician, is a powerful man in the area. His close associate Veera Bhadra (Rajendra Gupta) is his trustwothy ally for his political work, to the extent that Narasimha Reddy gives him freedom to contest Jilla Parishad polls with his men. Veera Bhadra champions the causes of the poor and oppressed and they look up to him like their leader.
Nagamuni Reddy (Kota Srinivasa Rao), who is the local MLA of the district and close to Narasimha Reddy, becomes jealous of the budding trust between Veera Bhadra and Narasimha Reddy, and starts poisoning Narasimha Reddy against Veera Bhadra. Narasimha summons Veera Bhadra and asks him not to contest the polls with his contestants, but rather support Nagamuni Reddy's. Veera Bhadra lashes out at Narasimha Reddy for being unfair to the lower castes and storms out. Nagamuni Reddy calls for Manda (Ashish Vidyarthi), a close follower of Veera Bhadra, and manipulates him into killing Veera Bhadra, giving him the assurance that if he does it, people will suspect the policies of Veera Bhadra as his own follower killed him and he will be the next in line as the leader of the poor people, else take his life. Manda reluctantly agrees to it. Veera Bhadra and his wife (Zarina Wahab) travel in a bus with 40 people to a wedding. Manda and Nagamuni's men stop the bus, kill Veera Bhadra's guards, and tell him to step out of the bus or else he will be killed along with the other innocents on the bus. Veera Bhadra comes out, looking at Manda, and dares him to kill. Nagamuni's henchman Durga shoots at Veera Bhadra, making it look like Manda shot at him; prompting Manda about the deal he made with Nagamuni, he tells him to kill him in front of everyone. Manda takes a boulder and crushes Veera Bhadra's skull and kills him.
This results in an agitation led by Shankar, who wants to avenge his father's murder by killing all the men of Nagamuni and Narasimha Reddy. Enter Nagamuni's son Bukka Reddy (Abhimanyu Singh), described as a ruthless man who enjoys raping women and killing men in brutal ways. He starts killing Shankar's men in gory ways: drilling a hole into their skull, chopping off their heads with a sugarcane chopper, burning them alive and feeding them to ravenous rats.
Pratap Ravi (Vivek Oberoi), who is in college in the city, gets the news of his father's murder and rushes to the village. Nagamani Reddy orders local police inspector to kill Shankar in a fake encounter. When Pratap goes to the police station to ask about his brother, the inspector shows him Shankar's dead body and mocks him. Infuriated with this brother's murder, Pratap and Veera Bhadra's men kill all the police officers and the inspector.
Pratap Ravi hides in the jungle with his father's associates and vows to kill Narsimha Reddy, Nagamuni Reddy and Manda one by one, instilling fear of death in each one of them. He starts by busting in the house of Narasimha Reddy, killing his guards and finally killing him with a scythe in front of his wife as she looks on in horror. Next is Manda; as he roams in the market, Pratap's men follow him, and before he can defend himself, they chop his hand off. Manda begs for his life but Pratap stabs him in front of everyone. They plan to kill Nagamuni Reddy, but they are cautious as there is heavy police security in his house. As Nagamuni Reddy is sitting on his lawn conversing with a police officer, he is shot at by Pratap, who is dressed as the cop, and his men, dressed as cops as well, kill most of the policemen.
As Bukka Reddy and his brother Puru Reddy see their father's dead body, Bukka becomes enraged to the extent that he slaps the policewoman (Ashwini Khalsekar) who has come to take the body for postmortem. The story progresses as famed filmstar-turned-politician Shivaji Rao (Shatrughan Sinha) targets Anandpur for contesting elections. The day he enters Anandpur for the rally, Bukka's men throw bombs, which makes Shivaji Rao get back inside the car and go back. This insults him greatly and he asks his secretary for the one who can stop Bukka. Immediately, his secretary mentions Pratap's name; Shivaji Rao sends for him and puts down a proposal of joining his party and ticket for contesting elections. On the other hand, Bukka Reddy makes his brother Puru Reddy contest for elections and tries to sabotage the voting process by stealing the ballots. Pratap starts his rampage by eliminating, one by one, every rival of his party. Eventually, he comes across a man named Babu Qadri who seeks Pratap's help in avenging his sister's death. Bukka Reddy had raped his 16-year-old sister, because of which she immolated herself, and Bukka had then broken Babu Qadri's leg. Pratap assures him his vengeance but asks him to forget everything for some time.
As Bukka's men fail in rigging the election process, Pratap wins by a majority. Immediately, Bukka Reddy is arrested. Puru Reddy seeks the help of opposition leader Sethji's help in influencing the release of Bukka on bail. As soon as Pratap learns of this news, he looks out for the location where Bukka is hiding. Bukka, inflamed with the desire to avenge his father's death, hides out in an apartment with his men, and plots to kill Pratap Ravi. Pratap comes to know about his hideout devises a plan to execute him. He immediately gathers his men and calls Babu Qadri, who had sought Pratap's help in avenging his sister, to lead the execution of Bukka Reddy. He calls for the servant of Bukka Reddy and bribes him with 500,000 to aid in the execution. Babu Qadri and Pratap's men rush into the apartment, killing all Bukka's men; Babu shoots at Bukka but he escapes the bullets and runs to the balcony through the back door, where Babu shoots him from behind, and hacks him repeatedly with his axe, venting his anger. Pratap Ravi, being at the peak of his power with Shivaji Rao's full support, invites all the gangsters of the state to his place for lunch; after lunch he orders everyone to stop their illegal activities or face the music, emphasising the power that he has in the state now.
The first few minutes show a recap of part I, such as the events of how Prathap Ravi (Vivek Oberoi) takes revenge for the murder of his father and brother as well as how he comes to power. When no one in Andhra has the courage to stand up against Ravi, a man comes into light to seek revenge on Prathap. Suriyanarayana Reddy (Suriya Sivakumar) is seen waiting in the woods near the main road, waiting for Prathap Ravi and hurls a bomb at his convoy. Unfortunately for Surya, Prathap Ravi escapes the bomb blast. Prathap Ravi's henchmen attempt to kill Surya but he manages to escape.
Surya informs his wife that he missed the chance of killing Prathap Ravi. Meanwhile the media asks Prathap if this attempt is a Surya's revenge for the TV bomb placed in Surya's home by Prathap himself. Prathap Ravi denies the charge. Shivaji Rao asks Prathap to stop this vengeance but Prathap insists on killing Surya. Prathap orders his action team to kill anyone who opposes him. DCP Mohan Prasad starts to investigate the case.He finds Bhavani (Priyamani), wife of Surya, and demands Surya to surrender or else he would harm his wife and baby son Arya. Surya thinks that he has missed a great chance and another chance will not come so easily and decides to surrender for protection plots to kill Prathap Ravi. DCP Mohan Prasad produces Surya in court to face trial. Prathap Ravi sends a henchmen to kill Surya in court itself, but Surya manages to fight him and kills the henchman in front of judge. Surya is sent to prison.
Prathap Ravi decides to kill Surya inside the jail, he plans carefully and decides someone from outside their camp should do this, so that the police does not suspect them. In prison Surya befriends Muddu Krishna by telling him his story. The flashback shows that after Prathap Ravi's attempt to kill Narasimha Reddy (Kitty), Surya's brother wants to take revenge. Surya, on the other hand, doesn't want to take revenge straight away, and tells him to be patient and to leave the matter as it is, as he doesn't want to put his mother and sister in any danger. Within a few months Surya's entire family is killed in the TV bomb blast. After hearing the story, Muddu Krishna decides help Surya in killing Ravi. The henchmen in prison try to kill Surya but Surya fights them back. After this failure Prathap Ravi is warned by Shivaji Rao. As a result, Prathap Ravi decides that he wants to stop this revenge and he meets Surya in jail. Ravi tells Surya to stop this bloodshed, to which Surya promptly replies "I'll surely stop – after killing you". Prathap thinks he can't do anything because he is in jail, which makes him defenceless.
Enter Krishnaswamy, the opposition Party leader, who decides to meet Surya. He says that to kill Ravi, Surya has to become a bigger name in Anandpur than Ravi. Krishnaswamy requests Surya to ask his wife to stand in election. Surya convinces Bhavani to stand for election. This makes Ravi to fear for his life and also for his ministerial post, consequently his henchmen want to eliminate Bhavani but Nandhini (Radhika Apte) pleads with Ravi not to kill Bhavani, causing Ravi to abort the plan. However, one of Ravi's closest gang member, Umapathy, is already on his way to kill Bhavani. Muddu Krishna kills Umapathy and saves Bhavani. Krishnaswamy comes to prison to thank Surya, and Surya thanks him in return.
A scared Prathap organises a meeting involving the leaders of all the districts in Andhra Pradesh. Knowing this, Surya plots to kill Prathap. He realises that in the meeting, all the leaders will participate with their bodyguards. He orders Muddu Krishna to dress like a bodyguard since no one would be able to identify whose bodyguard belongs to whoever. Using this ambiguity Surya's henchmen can kill Ravi. After the meeting comes to end, Ravi plans to leave. As he was leaving, he see's a familiar face and is struck. He sees Surya, standing in front of him with his handgun. Surya fires at Prathap until he dies in a pool of blood. Surya's friends put teargas and create panic, and under the cover of smoke, Surya escapes from the scene and returns to the prison. Nandhini cries by hugging her dead husband Prathap Ravi.
Muddu Krishna takes the blame for killing Prathap Ravi for Surya. DCP Mohan Prasad comes to meet Surya in jail and justifies why Ravi became a factionist. It was the circumstances that made Ravi a factionist. He adds to Surya that the same circumstances will change him into a Ravi. Surya finally says "Thank you, but I won't change into another Ravi". The movie ends with the birth of Prathap Ravi's child.
|Soundtrack album by Imran-Vikram, Dharam-Sandeep, Bappi-Tutul, and Sukhwinder Singh|
|1.||"Khaul Khaul Ke"||Jojo, Ujwal||4:29|
|2.||"Mila Toh Marega"||Ravindra Upadhyay, Vishvesh Parmar, Sandeep Patil||3:40|
|5.||"Kaaton Se"||Suresh Wadkar||4:12|
|6.||"Karma Dharma"||Vardan Singh, Aditi Kaur||3:08|
|7.||"Har Jazbe Mein"||Sukhwinder Singh||4:32|
|8.||"Paisa Mix"||Sukhwinder Singh, Sumitra Iyer||4:35|
|1.||"Patthar Ko"||Sukhwinder Singh||3:09|
|2.||"Khel Shuroo"||Armaan Malik, Shreekumar Vakkiyil||4:03|
|3.||"Nagendra Haraya"||Sukhwinder Singh, Viveka||4:02|
|4.||"Maar De jo bhi tere raste mein ayega" (Remix)||Jojo||6:04|
|5.||"Mila Toh Marega" (Electro Mix)||Sandeep Patil, Ravindra Upadhay||3:48|
|6.||"Patthar Ko" (Theme Music)||Instrumental||2:05|
The film opened to mostly positive reviews from critics. Vivek Oberoi's performance in the role of Paritala Ravi drew widespread praise, while Abhimanyu Singh's devious turn as Bukka Reddy, modelled on the real-life Obul Reddy, was regarded as one of the most terrifying villainous acts captured on celluloid in a long time. The brilliant yet erratic Ram Gopal Varma was hailed for his effective direction. Detractors of the film were seemingly put off by the film's numerous violent scenes. On the review-aggregation website ReviewGang, the film scored 5 stars in a scale of 10. Renuka Rao of DNA India gave the movie 4 stars in a scale of 5, concluding that "After producing a series of duds like Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, the two Phoonks and Rann, RGV has surprisingly thrown at the audience a film that could actually evoke some emotions in you. A must, must watch." Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave the movie 3 stars in a scale of 5, saying that "On the whole, RAKHT CHARITRA is not for the faint-hearted or the lily-livered. The violence, the blood and gore depicted in the film will shock and disconcert you, which only goes to establish as to how proficiently the subject material has been treated." Nikhat Kazmi of Times of India gave the movie 3 stars out of 5, stating that "Rakta Charitra holds up a brutal mirror on the muck that masquerades as democracy in India." Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave the movie 3 out of 5 stars, noting that "Rakta Charitra is a bold, disturbing film that’s bursting with the kind of confidence we haven’t seen from the filmmaker recently. If the sight of blood doesn’t make you uncomfortable, chances are you’ll enjoy this film." Kittu Singh of Rediff gave the movie 2.5 out of 5, writing that "Once the film is over you realise that all Rakta Charitra has been is a two-hour promotional fare for Rakta Charitra 2. Yes, there is more to come." Anupama Chopra of NDTV gave the movie 2.5 stars in a scale of 5 stars. Shubhra Gupta of Indian Express gave the movie 2.5 stars out of 5, and wrote that "It is an interesting story, and Oberoi, re-united with RGV after Company does a good job as Ravi. But the blood overtakes it all: Rakta Charitra is not for the faint-hearted." 
The film opened to largenegative reviews critics. On the review-aggregation website ReviewGang, the film scored 2 in a scale of 10. Bollywood Hungama gave the movie 1.5 stars in a scale of 5, saying that "On the whole, RAKHT CHARITRA 2 highlights the emotion called vengeance most convincingly. It is chilling, raw, revolting, crass and ghastly, the kind that is meant to repulse you. But let's face it: It's a true depiction of human emotions." Renuka Rao of DNA India gave the movie 1 stars in a scale of 5, concluding that "Watch it if you had watched the first part, but don't be surprised if you don't like this as much." Nikhat Kazmi of Times of India gave the movie 1.5 stars out of 5, stating that "Rakht Charitra doesn't break new ground like Satya and Company, nevertheless it remains a must-see film for Ramu fans." Shubhra Gupta of Indian Express gave the movie 1.5 stars out of 5, and wrote that "Like in the first part, RGV’s intention is not so much to delve into the complexities of Andhra politics, which stay firmly in the backdrop, but to create sequences where death is choreographed in varying ways. After a point, you are oblivious to the gore. But you cannot, at any point, bypass Suriya : he has eyes that speak. Bollywood is ready for him." Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave the movie 2 out of 5 stars, noting that "I’m going with two out of five for 'Rakht Charitra 2'. More blood and more killings leave you numb your seat." Anupama Chopra of NDTV gave the movie 1 stars in a scale of 5 stars.
- 2011 Screen Awards
- Screen Award for Best Actor – Vivek Oberoi
- Screen Award for Best Supporting Actress – Zarina Wahib
- Screen Award for Most Promising Newcomer – Male – Suriya Sivakumar
- Screen Award for Most Promising Newcomer – Female – Radhika Apte
- Screen Award for Best Action – Javed-Eijaz
- 2011 Stardust Awards
- Stardust Award for Superstar of Tomorrow – Male – Suriya Sivakumar
- Best Film of the Year – Action / Thriller – Rakht Charitra
- Best Director – Thriller/ Action – Ram Gopal Varma
- Best Actor in an Ensemble Cast – Abhimayu Singh
- Best Actress in an Ensemble Cast – Zarina Wahib
- 2011 Zee Cine Awards
- Zee Cine Award for Best Actor in a Negative Role – Abhimanyu Singh
- "Part 2 Release date". Oneindia. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- "Rs. 30 Crores budget for 'Rakta Charitra'". IndiaGlitz. 28 April 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- "Rakta Charitra I Review". ReviewGang. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- "Review: Rakht Charitra is replete with violence, yet blows you away!". DNA. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- "Rakht Charitra Review". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- "Rakta Charitra Times of India Review". Times of India. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- "'Rakta Charitra' is bold and disturbing". IBN. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- "Rakta Charitra: RGV's overkill". Rediff. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- "Review: Rakta Charitra". NDTV. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- "Rakta Charitra Indian Express Review". Indian Express. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- "Rakta Charitra II Review". ReviewGang. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- "Rakht Charitra II Review". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- "Review: Rakht Charitra II fails to live up to expectation". DNA. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- "Rakta Charitra II Times of India Review". Times of India. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- "Rakta Charitra II Indian Express Review". Indian Express. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- "'Rakht Charitra II' lacks drama". IBN. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- "Review: Rakta Charitra II". NDTV. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- "Nominations for 17th Annual Star Screen Awards 2011". Entertainment.oneindia.in. 3 January 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- [dead link]
- "Nominations for Zee Cine Awards 2011". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rakta Charitra.|