About an hour into the film, Ram Charan tells Tamannaah, “Hum bahar se bahuth accha... Hum tere liye idar vaccha... donno mile tho racha,” and the audience laps it up with a thunderous applause. Racha is made-to-order for Chiranjeevi and Ram Charan fans. The canvas is larger than life and there is no budget constraint. So, visual effects come into play to add zing to the hero's unfaltering steps in dance sequences.
The hero, by the way, is a one-man show who can skilfully balance himself astride two bamboo shoots in a forest as he beats his rivals to a pulp, can single-handedly make his way through a security battalion right into the heroine's house to gift her a red rose and can drive on the railway track in top gear against a speeding train and escape in the nick of time to win a bet. To top it all, there's the much-popular singing and dancing in the rain (will our cinema never outgrow the wet-sari obsession?).
Amidst all this, there is a storyline that's all too familiar and rehashed from movies down the decades. Raj (Ram Charan) has a fetish for betting and will risk anything to win a contest. Mouthing a gem of a dialogue, “Aadmi kam, risk zyaada,” he takes up a bet with James (Ajmal) and wins it by a whisker.
An outraged Ajmal challenges him to woo Chaitra (Tamannaah), the daughter of feared goonda Bellary (Mukesh Rishi). Raj accepts it for the prize money which will help him save his ailing step father. Raj is on a mission to tame the shrew and win her love. When success seems to be in sight, there is a twist in the tale. In fact, several twists.
Racha has a lot going for it, from the high-on-adrenaline stunts to situational comedy and an indulgent display of Ram Charan's dancing prowess. The punch dialogues are targeted at the actor's fans. To sample a few, “Nuvvu aristhe arupule. Nenu aristhe merupule” and “Edo choosukuni thodalu kotte type kaadu ra nenu”. As an actor, Ram Charan shows mettle.
On the flip side, the film gives no scope for any of the supporting actors to shine. Ajmal, Brahmanandam, Jhansi, Ali, Dev Gill and a host of others are relegated to props. A talented actress like Geeta gets wasted in a minuscule role. Nasser and Parthiban appear in guest roles. Tamannaah has nothing to do apart from providing the glamour quotient.
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 Singham, Pokiri or Kick.
Go without expectations and you will be entertained.
Cast: Ram Charan, Tamannaah, Ajmal and others
Direction: Sampath Nandi
Plot: A tale of love and revenge.
Bottom line: A mass entertainer targeted at fans.