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Racha (film)

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Racha
Racha poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Sampath Nandi
Produced by R. B. Choudary,
N. V. Prasad,
Paras Jain
Written by Sampath Nandi,
Paruchuri Brothers
Starring Ram Charan
Tamannaah
Ajmal Ameer
Mukesh Rishi
Music by Mani Sharma
Cinematography Sameer Reddy
Edited by Gautham Raju
Production
company
Megaa Super Good Films
Release dates
  • 5 April 2012 (2012-04-05) (Telugu version)
  • 6 April 2012 (2012-04-06) (Tamil version)
  • 13 April 2012 (2012-04-13) (Malayalam version)
Running time
144 minutes
Country India
Language Telugu
Budget 320 million (equivalent to 370 million or US$5.5 million in 2015)[1]
Box office 450 million (equivalent to 520 million or US$7.8 million in 2015)[2]

Racha (English: Uproar), also spelt Rachcha, is a 2012 Indian Telugu action film directed by Sampath Nandi and co-written by the Paruchuri Brothers. Produced by R. B. Choudary in association with N. V. Prasad and Paras Jain under their banner Megaa Super Good Films, it features Ram Charan and Tamannaah in the lead roles, with Mukesh Rishi, Dev Gill and Kota Srinivasa Rao playing the antagonists. The film marks the Telugu debut of Ajmal Ameer and R. Parthiepan who make a crucial cameo appearance.

The film focuses on the attempts made by a gambler Raj to make a medical student Chaitra fall in love with him as a part of a bet where he is challenged by his rival James. Raj accepts the challenge in order to meet the expenses of his adopted father's liver transplantation but later discovers that he has been trapped by James and Chaitra for a purpose.

The film was edited by Gautham Raju; Sameer Reddy provided the cinematography; Mani Sharma composed the film's score and soundtrack. Made on a budget of 320 million, the Principal photography commenced in June 2011 and was shot in various locations throughout Asia, mainly in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu of India apart from Sri Lanka and Bangkok. The film was also shot in the Anji County of China making it the first Telugu film to do so.

The film was released worldwide on 5 April 2012 to mixed reviews from critics. However, the film collected a share of 450 million in its lifetime at the global box office and became one of the highest grossing Telugu films of the year. The film received four nominations at the 60th Filmfare Awards South where it won the award for best choreography. It also received five nominations at 2nd South Indian International Movie Awards but did not win any.

Racha was dubbed into Tamil as Ragalai and into Malayalam as Raksha. The former was released on 6 April 2012 while the latter was released a week later. Both the dubbed versions were commercially successful. The film was dubbed into Hindi as Betting Raja in 2014.

Plot[edit]

Raj (Ram Charan) is a Hyderabad-based gambler living with his adopted parents who supports his means of living. Tragedy strikes the family when his adopted father (M. S. Narayana) is diagnosed with cirrhosis as a result of alcoholism. Raj needs 2 million for his father's liver transplantation, which must be done within a month. As he is on the lookout for money, he is approached by James (Ajmal Ameer), his rival in betting, with a betting challenge. James dares Raju to make Chaitra (Tamannaah), a dental student and the daughter of a dreaded and influential businessman Bellary (Mukesh Rishi) to fall in love with him. If he is able to complete the task before 31 December 2011, James will give him the money needed for his father's operation and if not, he has to give up betting forever.

Desperate for the money, Raj takes up the challenge and begins wooing Chaitra. Initially, she appears to spurn his advances and sets him even tougher challenges to propose her. Raj successfully overcomes all these challenges and Chaitra soon reciprocates his advances. Bellary finds out about their relationship and sends his henchmen to kill the couple on the night of 31 December. Raj and Chaitra successfully dodge the henchmen and escape to Srisailam. Bellary, with the help of his corrupt minister-friend Baireddanna (Kota Srinivasa Rao) and the latter's Dubai-based son (Dev Gill), begins a search for them. At Srisailam, James rescues the couple from Bellary's henchmen but gets stabbed by Baireddanna's son who also kidnaps Chaitra. An injured James then reveals about Raj's past.

Raj's father Suryanarayana (R. Parthiepan) was a respected man in Rayadurg and his best friend, a rich man named Ramamurthy (Nassar), was Chaitra's father. Chaitra and Raj were childhood friends. Bellary, who is Ramamurthy's brother-in-law, found out about the presence of iron ore under Ramamurthy's land and along with Baireddanna, decided to exploit the ore for their own benefit. When Suryanarayana and Ramamurthy objected, they and their families, except Raj and Chaitra, were killed by Bellary and Baireddanna. Chaitra was adopted by Bellary who planned to kill her when she becomes an adult so that he could acquire Ramamurthy's land. Chaitra, who was aware about Raj's love for making bets, told her childhood friend James to trap Raj by placing the bet (which took place earlier in the movie) so that Bellary and Baireddanna can be destroyed using him. Raj decides to avenge his father's death and kills Bellary, Baireddanna and his son at Rayadurg. He rescues Chaitra and distributes Ramamurthy's land to the villagers after marrying her.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

R. B. Choudary, in association with N. V. Prasad and Paras Jain, produced a film titled Merupu directed by Dharani starring Ram Charan and Kajal Aggarwal in the lead roles whose production began on 30 April 2010. There was no proper script except a vague one-line for the film then and a song was shot on Charan. After the release of Orange (2010), Charan and the producers asked Dharani to come up with its bound script. He narrated it to both Charan and his father Chiranjeevi. When Dharani quoted a high budget, Chiranjeevi and the producers suggested a reduction.[3]

After completing a schedule, Merupu was shelved and later, N. V. Prasad approved a script narrated by Sampath Nandi and announced in late February 2011.[4] The film's official launch ceremony was conducted on 12 June 2011 at Ramanaidu Studios in Hyderabad where the film's working title was announced as Racha.[5] Mani Sharma was signed to compose the film's music. Sameer Reddy was recruited as the film's cinematographer while Raju Sundaram and Shobi choreographed the songs along with Prem Rakshith.[6] The film's Telugu logo was unveiled on 14 February 2012 and the title was confirmed as Racha where the first two letters were taken from Ram and the other three letters were taken from Charan.[7] The first look poster featuring Charan was unveiled on 18 February 2012.[8]

Casting[edit]

Charan left for an abroad trip for a complete make-over of his attire and practiced different dancing steps as part of his homework for the film.[9] He also underwent training in strict physical exercise for about 45 days in David Barton's gym.[10] Reports in early March 2011 suggested that Tamannaah would be signed in as the female lead,[11] who was finalised for the same in mid May 2011.[12] She was confirmed to play the role of a rich woman who falls in love with a poor man.[13] She later revealed in an interview that her character is integral to the film's main plot and its layers get revealed as the film progresses.[14]

R. Parthiepan made a cameo appearance as Charan's father in the film marking his Telugu debut who accepted it after Nandi explained the role's importance.[15] Ajmal Ameer's inclusion in the film's cast was confirmed in late July 2011.[16] He revealed later that every character in the film would be introduced through his role which would be a cameo appearance, adding that it would be an impactful one bringing twists in the story. He could not dub for his role since he was shooting for a Tamil film in France.[17] Brahmanandam and Krishna Bhagavaan were included in the film's cast in early October 2011.[18] Dev Gill was signed to play one of the antagonists. He revealed that all his action sequences will be with Charan only.[19] Lisa Haydon performed an item number in the film.[20]

Filming[edit]

Buddha Statue of Hyderabad where the title song's shoot was wrapped up.

Principal photography commenced in June 2011 at Hyderabad. The next schedule began at Sri Lanka in early July 2011.[21] Tamannaah joined the film's sets on 7 July 2011 and she revealed that the film would be shot in the jungles of Sri Lanka in a long schedule.[22] A song featuring Charan and Tamannaah was shot in Sri Lanka in late July 2011 on whose completion the schedule was wrapped up.[16] Filming continued at Bangkok till 15 August 2011.[23] Later, a dance academy set was erected in the outskirts of Hyderabad where few comedy scenes were shot.[18]

Few scenes were shot in a set erected near the Aluminium factory at Gachibowli. Tamannaah and Brahmanandam participated in the film's shoot at Hyderabad till 6 October 2011 after which the makers planned to shoot the film in China.[24] After much silent shoot in Hyderabad, filming continued at Goa. During the shoot of Charan's introduction scene, the cables fixed to the train failed and Charan, who was sitting in a car on the railway track, jumped from the car and was injured.[25] After the schedule's completion, Charan visited Sabarimala to end his Aiyyappa Deeksha.[26]

The song Vaana Vaana Velluvaye was shot on Charan and Tamannaah in early November 2011.[27] A special set in Annapurna Studios was erected where the song was shot for four days after which the film's China schedule commenced from 12 November 2011.[28] A song and a fight sequence was shot at a Bamboo forest in Anji County of Zhejiang province till the end of November 2011. Racha became the first Telugu film to be shot in the dense forest of interior China. On its completion, Charan took a break for ten days.[29][30] The film's shoot resumed at Rayalacheruvu near Tirupathi in December 2011.[31] After a brief shoot at Ramoji Film City, the last schedule began in Chennai on 17 January 2012.[32] The shooting of the title song choreographed by Prem Rakshith was wrapped up at Buddha Statue of Hyderabad on 23 January 2012.[33]

Periyar National Park in Kerala where the film's shoot was initially disrupted and later resumed.

The film's shoot continued at Periyar National Park of Kerala in February 2012. Charan and Tamannaah were filming for a song sequence on a boat when the park's deputy director Sanjay Kumar insisted that the duo should use life jackets as they were entering a risky spot. After few disagreements, the film's shoot was temporarily halted and some long shots were shot when the duo used the jackets. The forest officials also restricted the entry of about 20 vehicles and 100 members into the park due to which the shoot was limited to a small portion of a song.[34]

After spraining his leg during the song shoot at Annapurna Studios, Charan was advised to take a bed rest for three to four weeks. He rejoined the shoot on 25 March 2012 to complete the remaining two songs.[35] After completing the shoot for the song Dillaku Dillaku at Annapurna Studios in Hyderabad, the last song Singarenundi was shot at Anaimalai Hills and Siruvani Waterfalls near Pollachi on Charan and Tamannaah.[36] On its completion, the film's team returned to Hyderabad and the principal photography came to an end on 1 April 2012.[37]

Music[edit]

Main article: Racha (soundtrack)

Mani Sharma composed the film's soundtrack and background score.[38] The soundtrack consists of 5 songs. The song Vaana Vaana Velluvaye from the film Gang Leader was remixed for this film.[39] Aditya Music and Star Music marketed the soundtrack albums of the Telugu and Tamil versions respectively.[40][41] The soundtrack was released by hosting a promotional event at People's Plaza near Necklace road on 11 March 2012.[42]

Release[edit]

The film was initially scheduled for a release in March 2012.[43] After Charan suffered a muscle tear in his leg, the film's shoot was delayed due to which the film's release was postponed to 5 April 2012.[44] The film's Tamil dubbed version titled Ragalai was announced in mid March 2012 after the release of Maaveeran.[45] Racha was awarded an 'U/A' certificate by Central Board of Film Certification on 3 April 2012.[46]

After Competition Commission of India imposed a fine on Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce for restricting free trade, Racha released in Karnataka in more than 120 screens.[47] Ragalai was released on 6 April 2012.[48] The Malayalam dubbed version Raksha released on 13 April 2012 though it was planned for a simultaneous release with Ragalai.[49][50] Racha‍‍ '​‍s Television broadcasting rights were sold to Gemini TV.[51] Both the Indian and overseas DVDs and Blu-Rays of the Telugu version were marketed by Aditya Videos.[52][53]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Sify called the film a "paisa vasool" one and stated "Both, actor Ram Charan and his director Sampath Nandi play a safe game by following the same pattern of earlier mass-masala movies. Rachcha offers nothing new but has enough elements that entertain the mass audiences and mega fans."[54] Sangeetha Devi Dundoo of The Hindu stated "Within the framework of pleasing the actor's fan clubs, the film works. But the sense of déjà vu in the tale of revenge is palpable. Even when you tune yourself into watching a mass entertainer and don't expect anything intellectually stimulating, you do miss the ingenuity and spark that were the hallmark of mass entertainer blockbusters like Singam, Pokiri or Kick. Go without expectations and you will be entertained."[55]

Karthik Pasupulate of The Times of India gave the film 3 out of 5 stars and felt that the film is designed for the "hardcore Mega Fans and it makes no bones about it". He added "Clearly there are a lot of prospective hooting opportunities for the die hard Ram Charan fans. As for the other kind of audience, well, you'll have to ask them. We suspect they might just be feeling a little unattended".[56] Praising the screenplay written by Sampath Nandi, Ramchander of Oneindia Entertainment stated "Finally, Sampath Nandi has come out with a good film. Though, the story is not that great and is quite predictable one, the ability of the director made it quite interesting."[57]

Rating the film 2.5 out of 5 stars, CNN-IBN felt that the film was technically brilliant but lacked a credible storyline. They termed the film's presentation as a "lacklustre and ordinary" one.[58] Radhika Rajamani of Rediff.com gave 2 out of 5 stars and criticised the film for its predictability and stereotypical pattern and stated that Racha is a potboiler meant for the masses and not for a discerning audience.[59] Praising the lead pair's performances by calling them as one of the reasons to watch this film, IndiaGlitz opined that at the end, Racha means "telling an old story with lot's of bells and whistles — over the top dialogues, destructive fights, falling back on the poor, etc."[60]

Box office[edit]

Racha debuted with an average occupancy of 90% and collected 85.4 million (US$1.3 million) at the AP/Nizam box office in its first day.[61] The film collected a total of 150 million (US$2.3 million) by the end of its first weekend and by then, Ragalai had a successful theatrical run.[62] In its first week, the film collected 244.2 million (US$3.7 million) at AP/Nizam box office out of which 75 million (US$1.1 million) was from Nizam region. The film collected 25 million (US$380,000) in Karnataka, taking its first week Indian box office total to 269.2 million (US$4.1 million).[63] By late April 2012, the film collected 150 million (US$2.3 million) nett in Karnataka.[47]

In four weeks, Racha grossed 534.8 million (US$8.1 million) at the global box office including the collections of the dubbed versions with a distributor share of 374.8 million (US$5.7 million) at the AP/Nizam box office.[64][65] The film completed a 50-day run in 127 direct centers across the AP/Nizam region out of which 38 screens were from Ceded region and 16 screens were from Nizam region. By then, the film was declared a blockbuster.[66] The film completed a 100-day run in 38 centers across Andhra Pradesh on 13 July 2012.[67] Racha collected a lifetime share of 450 million (US$6.8 million) at the worldwide box office and became one of the highest grossing Telugu films of the year.[2]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Ceremony Category Nominee Result Reference(s)
60th Filmfare Awards South Best Film R. B. Choudary Nominated [68][69]
Best Actor Ram Charan Nominated
Best Actress Tamannaah Nominated
Best Dance Choreographer Jani for "Dillaku Dillaku" Won
2nd South Indian International Movie Awards Best Actor Ram Charan Nominated [70]
Best Actress Tamannaah Nominated
Best Music Director Mani Sharma Nominated
Best Male Playback Singer Vedala Hemachandra for "Oka Paadam" Nominated
Best Dance Choreographer Shobi for "Vaana Vaana" Nominated

In popular culture[edit]

The specially designed axe used by Ram Charan in the film's climax was auctioned by Movie Artist Association. In an press meet, Tammanaah showcased the axe to the media and the proceeds of its sale were announced to be used to educate poor children in Telugu cinema.[71] In Aagadu (2014), Brahmanandam performed a spoof on this film along with two other 2014 Telugu films Legend and Race Gurram.[72]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]