‘Vikrant Rona’ movie review: Kichcha Sudeep’s latest is marred by logical loopholes and a faulty narrative

The film fails to connect with the audience, despite the presence of Kichcha Sudeep, his actions, punchy dialogues, and the imposing visuals of a tropical rain forest

Updated - July 28, 2022 06:38 pm IST

Published - July 28, 2022 06:32 pm IST

Kichcha Sudeep in ‘Vikrant Rona’

Kichcha Sudeep in ‘Vikrant Rona’

Vikrant Rona, a 3D action-adventure mystery thriller, and one of the highly anticipated films in Kannada after KGF: Chapter 2, is a disappointing affair, even forardent Kichcha Sudeep fans. Originally titled Phantom, the film helmed by Anup Bhandari (of Rangitaranga fame) had created a huge buzz in South India through its chilling teasers.

However, the film fails to connect with the audience, despite the presence of Kichcha Sudeep, his actions, punchy dialogues, and the imposing visuals of a tropical rain forest that create an eerie ambience for the film. This is because of the loosely-knitted storyline and faulty narrative technique adopted by the director. It seems like Anup Bhandari could not come out of Rangitaranga’s influence, even seven years since its release.

Vikrant Rona (Kannada)
Director: Anup Bhandari
Cast: Kichcha Sudeep, Nirup Bhandari, Neeta Ashok, Jacqueline Fernandez, Ravishankar Gowda
Duration: 147 minutes
Storyline: Inexplicable events attributed to a supernatural force happen in the forest village of Kamarottu, while a cop investigates

Though both the films have no direct connection, they resemble each others in terms of the narrative technique. Both stories are based on unusual deaths in the dense forests of the Dakshina Kannada region. While in Rangitaranga, the victims are pregnant women, Vikrant Rona deals with the deaths of little children whose bodies are found hanging from trees.

For those who wouldn’t mind a middling horror-mystery that is high on drama and low on logic, Vikrant Rona might just do. It appears that Anup tried his best to realise Sudeep’s dream of making a movie along the lines of Jumanji and Indiana Jones. But in doing so, the filmmaker has failed miserably to connect with the audience.

Moreover, he borrows so much from the mystery films of the 80s’, that issues like superstitions, deaths, poverty, smuggling and the victimisation of lower castes seem forced into the narrative. If that’s not all, the film is also riddled with logical loopholes.

Firstly, a story such as this doesn’t warrant a 3D experience. The film opens with a scene that is straight out of Rangitaranga. The film is set in a time period from half a century ago, at a remote village in a rain forest. Here, fear is rooted to the core, with inexplicable occurrences often attributed to a higher supernatural power. Things change with the sudden entry of Vikrant Rona, a daring police inspector, culminating in a fiery finale.

Before its release, Vikrant Rona was termed the biggest entertainer in the history of Kannada cinema, only next to KGF: Chapter 2. It is no doubt a visual spectacle, and it does entertain the audiences sporadically. However, Anup’s attempts to blend in the commercial elements to engage the audience fails.

While the first half of the film is wasted in character introductions, the second half moves at a snail’s pace. The filmmaker also misses out on using the kids in the film as the narrators, which could have attracted children to the theatre.

Through his Indiana Jones-esque entry on a ship, his iconic whistling, swinging from the trees, and what not, Sudeep offers his fans something to cheer for. Nirup Bhandari surprises the audience with his performance as the prodigal son who returns to Kamarottu. Neeta Ashok essays her character, Aparna, to the best of her abilities. Nothing much caan be said about the role of Jacqueline Fernandez, whose existence makes little difference to the storyline. Her dance number Ra Ra Rakkamma is the only solace for young souls.

The efforts of art director Shivakumar towards creating a realistic illusion of a rain forest through his magnificent sets fail to uplift the film, while Ajneesh B Lokanath, who previously worked with Anup Bhandari in Rangitharanga, has done his best to entertain Sudeep’s enormous fan base through the film’s music.

Vikrant Rona is currently running in theatres

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