Rangasthalam

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Rangasthalam
Rangasthalam.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySukumar
Produced byNaveen Yerneni
Y. Ravi Sankar
Mohan Cherukuri
Written bySukumar
Story bySukumar
StarringRam Charan
Samantha Akkineni
Anasuya Bharadwaj
Jagapathi Babu
Aadhi Pinisetty
Prakash Raj
Music byDevi Sri Prasad
CinematographyR. Rathnavelu
Edited byNavin Nooli
Production
company
Distributed byKonidela Production Company
Release date
  • 30 March 2018 (2018-03-30)
Running time
173 minutes
CountryIndia
LanguageTelugu
Budget60 crore[1]
Box office216 crore[2][3]

Rangasthalam (transl. The stage) is a 2018 Indian Telugu-language period action drama film directed by Sukumar and produced by Y. Naveen, Y. Ravi Shankar and C. V. Mohan under the banner Mythri Movie Makers. The film stars Ram Charan and Samantha Akkineni in the lead roles, along with Anasuya Bharadwaj, Aadhi Pinisetty, Jagapati Babu, and Prakash Raj in other pivotal supporting roles. Music for the film is composed by Devi Sri Prasad. The film was officially launched by Chiranjeevi in February and commenced its shooting from April 2017.[4] The film released worldwide on 30 March 2018. It became the third highest grossing Telugu movie of all time after the Baahubali series.[5]

Plot[edit]

The film begins with Chitti Babu (Ram Charan) rescuing MLA Dakshina Murthy (Prakash Raj) from a seemingly fatal road accident.

The story then shifts to a village, Rangasthalam. Chitti Babu is a partially deaf, lighthearted, jolly villager who earns a living by watering irrigational lands of the farmers of Rangasthalam using a motor which belongs to another villager and his best friend Rangamma (Anasuya Bharadwaj), who he fondly calls Rangamma Atta (Aunt). Chitti Babu is in love with Ramalakshmi (Samantha Akkineni), the daughter of the village drunkard. Rangasthalam is shown to be run by President Phanindra Bhoopathi (Jagapathi Babu), an influential, cruel landlord who runs the ‘Society’, which lends loans to farmers but notes down higher amounts in records and extracts high amounts from poor farmers.

Chitti Babu’s elder brother Kumar Babu (Aadhi Pinisetty) works in Dubai and is very fond of him. He arrives in Rangasthalam but is disappointed at the happenings in the village. Realizing there must be a change in power, Kumar Babu signs a nomination for the position of President of Rangasthalam, being the first to do so in over 30 years, with the help of Dakshina Murthy, whose party he joins. Kumar Babu and Chitti Babu warn Phanindra Bhoopathi of the change in power in Rangasthalam. However, Rangamma tells Chitti Babu about her husband's (Rajeev Kanakala) death, who was a businessman based in Dubai. He was murdered brutally when he stood up against Phanindra Bhoopathi. Rangamma warns Chitti Babu saying many others faced the same consequences when they stood up against Phanindra Bhoopathi. Chitti Babu, feeling scared, decides to safeguard Kumar Babu. He even resorts to withdrawing the nomination but realizes his brother’s ambitions for developing Rangasthalam.

Chitti Babu eventually stumbles on a suspicious group of men and realizes Kumar Babu is going to be killed. Kumar Babu, who had gone to meet his girlfriend Padma (Pujita Ponnada) in the neighboring town, is attacked by hit men from outside the village. Chitti Babu manages to save Kumar Babu, but when they stop at a local shop for turmeric to cover the injuries, another man comes and slits Kumar Babu’s throat, and he dies. Before he dies, he tries to communicate something to Chitti Babu, which he could not understand. To avenge his brother's murder, Chitti Babu and the villagers go to Phanindra Bhoopathi's house to attack, but fearing for his life, he escapes from Rangasthalam, after which Dakshina Murthy's accident takes place. Meanwhile, Rangamma is unanimously elected the president of Rangasthalam.

The story comes back to the present. Chitti Babu serves a comatose Dakshina Murthy for 2 whole years without going back to his village. Dakshina Murthy wakes up from his coma, and is elected minister 2 months later. Chitti Babu visits him with Ramalakshmi, where he reveals he is aware that Dakshina Murthy is Kumar Babu's murderer. Kumar Babu, in his last moments, had said “Srimannarayana” to Chitti Babu, who he realizes is the name of Dakshina Murthy’s assistant (Amit Tiwari). Dakshina Murthy’s motive to murder Kumar Babu is revealed to be the latter’s relationship with Padma, who happens to be Dakshina Murthy’s younger daughter. Chitti Babu reveals he had already found Phanindra Bhoopathi hiding in Northern Rangasthalam and had beaten him to death, after which he wished to kill Dakshina Murthy when the latter was healthy and fit. The movie ends with Chitti Babu slitting Dakshina Murthy's throat.

Cast[edit]

  • Ram Charan as Chelluboina Chitti Babu alias Chitti Babu alias Sound Engineer
  • Samantha Akkineni as Ramalakshmi, Chitti Babu's love interest
  • Anasuya Bharadwaj as Kolli Rangamma alias Rangammatta
  • Jagapati Babu as President Garu (the President of Rangasthalam) alias Phanindra Bhupathi
  • Aadhi Pinisetty as Chelluboina Kumar Babu alias Kumar Babu, Chitti Babu's elder brother
  • Prakash Raj as MLA Dakshina Murthy
  • Amit Sharma as Srimanarayana, Dakshina Murthy's assistant
  • Naresh as Koteswara Rao, Chitti Babu's father
  • Rohini as Kantamma, Chitti Babu's mother
  • Pujita Ponnada as Padma, Kumar Babu’s love interest
  • Bramhaji as Election Committee BDO
  • Banerjee as Sitaram
  • Noel Sean as Erra Sreenu
  • Baby Annie as Chitti Babu's sister
  • Mahesh Achanta as Chitti Babu's close aide
  • Padmajaa El as Dakshina Murthy's wife
  • Seshu as Farmer
  • Ajay Ghosh as Sheshu Naidu
  • Kadambari Kiran as Society Secretary
  • Rajesh Diwakar as Society Secretary
  • Shatru as Kasi
  • Naveen Neni as Kasi's brother
  • Getup Sreenu as Toddy Seller
  • Pooja Hegde as an item number "Jigelu Rani"
  • Rajeev Kanakala as Rangammatta's husband in a guest appearance

Music[edit]

Rangasthalam
Soundtrack album by
Released15 March 2018
GenreFeature film soundtrack
Length27:24
LanguageTelugu
LabelLahari Music
ProducerDevi Sri Prasad
Devi Sri Prasad chronology
Middle Class Abbayi
(2017)
Rangasthalam
(2018)
Bharat Ane Nenu
(2018)

Devi Sri Prasad composed the film's soundtrack and score. The former consists of six songs, all written by Chandrabose.[6] Chandrabose wrote the lyrics at Puducherry after holding discussions with Sukumar and Prasad.[7] He completed writing five songs out of six in four days,[8] with each one taking half an hour to complete.[7] The tunes were composed after Chandrabose completed writing the lyrics.[6] To sound authentic, Prasad approached folk singers Shiva Nagulu, Rela Kumar and Ganta Venkata Lakshmi to provide vocals for the songs "Aa Gattununtava" and "Jigelu Rani". For the latter, he used a 70 year old clarinet as the song would reflect the mood of Rajahmundry of the 1980's.[8] During the re-recording phase, the soundtrack version of "Aa Gattununtava" was discarded due to issues in lip syncing and the initial rough track (sung by Prasad) was used. Nagulu, however, received credit as the singer of the song in the soundtrack.[9]

The first single "Yentha Sakkagunnave", sung by Prasad himself, was released by Lahari Music on 13 February 2018.[10] Two other tracks "Ranga Ranga Rangasthalana" and "Rangamma Mangamma" were released on 2 and 8 March 2018 respectively.[11][12] Lahari Music released the soundtrack on 15 March 2018 in YouTube and all other digital platforms.[13] The initial release contained only five tracks; the sixth one was excluded as it contained spoilers about the film's plot.[14] The sixth track, titled "Orayyo", was a song used in the score for the scenes depicting Kumar Babu's funeral in the film.[15] Sung by Chandrabose himself, "Orayyo" was released on 3 April 2018.[16]

Track-List[13][17]
No.TitleSinger(s)Length
1."Yentha Sakkagunnave"Devi Sri Prasad04:23
2."Ranga Ranga Rangasthalana"Rahul Sipligunj05:04
3."Rangamma Mangamma"M. M. Manasi04:28
4."Aa Gattununtava"Shiva Nagulu03:09
5."Jigelu Rani"Rela Kumar, Ganta Venkata Lakshmi05:05
6."Orayyo"Chandrabose05:15
Total length:27:24

Review[edit]

Reviewing for Firstpost, Mridula Ramadugu termed Rangasthalam's soundtrack as Prasad's "most offbeat album yet" and added, "It would be biased to say — Not one track from this album goes unnoticed; but we are going to say exactly that. We took in this pure folk so well and enjoyed every bit of it."[18] Scroll.in, in its review of the soundtrack, opined that Prasad's compositions "channel folk tunes that could have easily found a place on the stage" with "Yentha Sakkagunnave" mirroring Sukumar's effort "to bridge the gap between the stage and the screen", thus standing out from the rest.[19] Priyanka Sundar of Hindustan Times called the soundtrack "rustic" and "highlights the backdrop of the film well", with the song "Yentha Sakkagunnave" being the soundtrack's highlight.[20] In contrast, Suhas Yellapantula of The Times of India called the soundtrack "one-dimensional", criticising for its lack of variety despite being in sync with the film's theme.[21]

Release[edit]

Rangasthalam was released worldwide on 30 March 2018.

Box Office[edit]

Rangasthalam earned Rs.85 Crore in the first weekend.[22][23]

By the end of the first week, Rangasthalam has collected 58.55 crores in Telugu speaking states becoming the 3rd highest grosser of all time after Bahubali series. Worldwide collections stand at 85+ crores becoming the 4th highest grosser after Bahubali series and Khaidi No. 150.[24]

End of second Saturday [April 7] took its collections in USA to over 3 million $ and so becoming the 3rd Telugu movie [after Bahubali series] and the 4th South Indian movie [Kabali being only non Telugu movie] to do so.[25]

By the end of the 2nd week, the movie has collected nearly 165 crores in gross collections, thus beating Khaidi No. 150 to become the 3rd highest grossing Telugu movie of all time after Bahubali series.[26]

By the 45th day of release , the movie has collected a share of 125 crores, 93 of which are from Telugu states. [27]

The film completed 100 days run in 15 direct centres.[28]

Critical reception[edit]

Ram Charan promoting his film Zanjeer in 2013.
Jagapathi Babu at the 62nd Filmfare Awards South ceremony in 2015.
The performances of Charan and Babu, particularly the former, were praised by critics.[29][30]

Rangasthalam received positive reviews from the critics who were particularly appreciative of Sukumar's writing and the performances of the ensemble cast; they were critical of the film's slow pace and runtime nearing three hours.[29][30][31] Baradwaj Rangan called Rangasthalam an "unusual masala movie" whose punch moments "arise organically from the screenplay" which aren't just "a shot or a line set up simply to get the pulse pounding at regular intervals". Rangan added that Sukumar "works with a larger vision", and "leaves behind his fingerprints" in what he called the "most hodgepodge of genres".[32] Subhash K Jha, in his review for the Indo-Asian News Service, called Rangasthalam a film "from the heart" and wrote that it "plays itself out with a karmic velocity giving the main characters a chance to grow without revelling in their dazzle [sic]". Jha praised the performances of Charan and Babu in particular, adding that the former "remains almost flawlessly in character" which was "diffident and disarmingly disingenuous, valiant but not fearless".[33]

Sangeetha Devi Dundoo, in her review for The Hindu, likened Rangasthalam to a novel: "In its first few pages, this fictitious dusty village of the [1980's] reveals itself gradually. The dialect is rooted, not a generic one that mainstream films present in a broad brushstroke for instant appeal." Dundoo opined that it was the most defining film for both Sukumar and Charan, adding that it marked the latter's rise as an actor.[34] Neeshita Nyayapati of The Times of India called Charan's performance "stupendous"; she wrote, "Be it in the scenes where he oozes childishness or the ones when you see a broken man that no one can heal, you can see it all in the way his eyes emote."[35] Manoj Kumar R, reviewing for The Indian Express, called Rangasthalam a "well-crafted canvas" which was made with "honesty and high regard for the audience". He found Babu's portrayal of the village's president "convincing".[36]

Hemanth Kumar was particularly appreciative of Sukumar's writing in his review for Firstpost. He wrote, "To narrate a political drama is one thing, but to create such an universe within the parameters of a revenge drama is sheer brilliance. The more you dig into Rangasthalam, the more rewarding it is." Kumar called the climax "explosive" and remarked, "Adjectives don’t do enough justice to what [the film] manages to achieve in the end."[37] Murali Krishna CH of The New Indian Express too praised the climax, stating that Sukumar "weaves his magic wand" towards the end with an "interesting" twist. However, he was critical of the film's narrative, opining that it "lingers too long" in certain sequences which made them look staged.[38] Calling the film a "well designed mass entertainer" with a "clearly and adamantly rural" narrative, K Naresh Kumar of The Hans India wrote, "As the disunited denizens slowly unite under the saviour, the story takes its interesting twists and turns with a very gripping climax to elevate the film altogether."[39] In contrast, Nagarjuna Rao, in his review for Gulf News, found Rangasthalam a "gripping" tale with a "predictable" end. He called Babu's performance "domineering" and added that the film "could well be" Charan's career best.[40] Similarly, Latha Srinivasan opined that the climax was "a bit of a let-down". In her review for NewsX, she felt that the ending "could have been better written" to "pack a punch rather than just add a twist".[41]

Krishna Sripada was critical of the climax as well. Reviewing the film for The News Minute, he wrote, "Rangasthalam gives you likable characters in a screenplay that aims to touch dizzying heights without packing enough fuel. A story that makes you wait and wait should offer more when it eventually comes to a close."[42] Priyanka Sundar called Prakash Raj the film's game changer towards the end. Sunder wrote that Raj stuns the viewers in the scene "because of the way all of it is presented".[43] Sify, in its review, noted that the film holds the viewers' attention till the end despite the lengthy runtime and slow pace. It praised the performances of the ensemble cast, the cinematography and the music but was critical of the film's plot for lacking novelty.[44] Suresh Kavirayani of Deccan Chronicle too opined that Rangasthalam had a regular storyline but was presented by Sukumar in a unique way.[45]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]