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'Ragala 24 Gantallo' movie review: A confusing whodunit

Satyadev and Eesha Rebba

Satyadev and Eesha Rebba   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

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Eesha Rebba and Satyadev sparkle in this otherwise unimpressive Telugu film

Damarukam fame Srinivas Reddy doesn’t waste time at all in leading us into a palatial house in the first scene. While Vidya (Eesha Rebba) is petrified as the power goes off and there is a huge downpour, we get to see on television that three notorious criminals have escaped from jail. They have an encounter with her in the house and as the door bell rings, she hides the criminals in her bedroom cupboard.

Vidya is having a silly argument with her neighbour Paul (Krishna Bhagawan…who has apparently written the dialogues for the film) at the door when a dead body tumbles out of a cupboard (the same that the trio is now hidden in). The body is that of her husband Rahul (Satyadev), an acclaimed fashion photographer who had fallen in love with her and married her. Vidya tells the trio that she killed him because he reveals his sadist part of his personality; he records their intimate moments and blackmails her to do a nude photoshoot for his assignment and also gets her pregnancy terminated and her uterus removed to pave way for a bright future in modelling. The criminals empathise with her situation and help her exhume his body.

Ragala 24 Gantallo (Telugu)
  • Cast: Satyadev, Eesha Rebba
  • Direction: Srinivas Reddy
  • Music: Raghu Kunche

As the film progresses, no evidences are asked. Curtains burn on their own, the house gets waterlogged suddenly and we have to wait till the last scene for the director to tie the loose ends. It has become a norm for filmmakers to narrate a story in the first half, drag it and by the time the film draws to a close… we are told that the person who has committed the murder is not actually the culprit, someone else is. So do we see the film believing the story or do we wait patiently for another version to crop up?

In the first half, Vidya narrates a story to the criminals as to why she killed her husband. Now, post interval the jail birds explain why they feel sorry for the woman and come up with another sub plot. As the screenplay goes on, we feel we are into another film till Rahul returns as someone else’s version is up.

Tamil actor Sriram plays the cop. The funniest part is the sub-plot of a model who befriends the three jail birds. She dilutes the seriousness of the story, though it has a connection. The expressions of the little known cast becomes unintentionally comical and we lose our interest in the subject.

Eesha Rebba and Satyadev occupy centre stage and do a commendable job, but the complicated script falters midway and caves in. The ending is also silly and abrupt, showing someone as above law and as a Samaritan when the person should be jailed for covering up a crime and criminals. Some dialogues are hilariousas a writer Krishna Bhagawan is in a wrong genre.

Ragala 24 Gantallo as the title suggests, is an ominous warning to viewers who walk in to see the movie.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 9:15:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/reviews/ragala-24-gantallo-review-eesha-rebba-and-satyadev-sparkle-in-this-confusing-whodunit/article30050983.ece

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