You can tell the integrity of a film with the way it looks. Or in this case, the way its leading man looks.
Not only is he terribly unconvincing and miscast in a role that requires heavy-duty acting, the producer-kid also doesn't want to get his face dirty. As a result, his eye injury is a very neat cut across his eye done so slowly as to not hurt the actor even remotely — it’s swollen in one scene and completely gone in the next, with not even a hint of a scar. Because, who wants to look ugly for half the film, right?
Rangrezz is a fine example of how NOT to remake a film, right from the casting, the diegesis and milieu, to well, the cosmetic aesthetics (of what was an extremely rooted film with realistic performances). Even within a rather loud dramatic premise, while Nadodigal showed a fair bit of restraint, here underplaying is given a new spin. No acting. Just a wooden face. Jackky says every line with the same intonation as the makers try to find ways to avoid embarrassing close-ups (Santosh Sivan mounts the climax completely against the grandeur of the sky, shooting the leading man against the sun so that we can't see that the guy just can't act!)
At one point, a fellow actor tries to make his lack of expression look like a character trait: “Duktha hai saale, par tu bolega nahin” (I know it hurts but you won't tell!)
But for such creative instances of trying to make a film work with an actor more wooden than a tree, the rest of Rangrezz is barely watchable, strictly for those who haven't seen the original, those who don't understand Tamil AND those who can't read English subtitles. The shot-taking is so well detailed that you do feel sorry that it's all wasted in a film where the priorities of the producer completely take over the vision of the script. Who in their right minds would even dare to slap a frivolous “Gangnam Style” at the end of a rather gritty drama?
Well, Vashu Bhagnani… the producer who wants to flaunt his son and the fact that he bought the rights of the song for an obscene amount.
Rangrezz is a tight slap on the face of Indian cinema. It hurts to see such abuse of power, money and technical talent.
Surely, a veteran of Priyadarsan's calibre doesn't need to do this!
Cast: Jackky Bhagnani, Priya Anand, Rajpal Yadav, Amit Nagpal
Storyline: Three friends help a buddy elope, risking their eyes, hearing and limbs, only to discover the truths about love
Bottomline: Jackky can't act to save this Nadodigal remake