Ranam – Detroit Crossing is a classical case where the technical contributions were outweighed by the lack of a proper story, dramatic dialogues and slow pacing. Visuals, actions, songs, background score,sound design,editing and also the making gave the movie a different style and makeover. Prithviraj’s screen presence was also a positive aspect but in totality, Ranam lacks the punch, misses the cut, cannot engage fully and end up as an average experience for me.
The settings and premise happens in Detroit, mentioned as the dangerous city in United States. This city is the symbol of drug mafia, crimes and gang war now. Damodar Ratnam, hailing from Srilanka is a gangster who wants to get complete hold over the city while Aadhi, a young man working for Damodar as drug trafficker wants to redeem himself to lead a normal and peaceful life. Can both of them achieve their dream? Well, that’s what the movie directed by debutant Nirmal Sahadev portray.
Each and every frame looked sleek and stylish. From a making perspective, Ranam is on a different level and such a result for a director who is making his entry as an independent director is no mean feat. But it appeared the focus was more on the technical side with compromises made on the story aspect. The pacing is also slow that naturally paved the way for a lagging feel on many occasions.
Dialogues had that artificial flavor on many instances. Dramatic dialogues and their rendition was a major area of weakness in the screenplay. Whatever cliches you could see in a crime drama is there aplenty in Ranam as well and that’s not a major fault but the packaging and pacing of the screenplay isn’t completely flawless. The good thing about this film as I noted above are the technical aspects and the standards that we see in Ranam is quite higher to what we normally see in Mollywood. But the weak plot and screenplay is the dampening factor spoiling the party.
Prithviraj played Aadhi and he was apt for that role considering his ability to portray such roles to near perfection. The nuances demanded for the character was correctly nailed by the actor. Again the dramatic dialogues given to him did affect his dialogue delivery on few occasions. Rahman as Damodar Ratnam was impressive even with the limited space given to him. His character looked cramped up and to be fair, the role required more weightage and space as an antagonist.
Isha Talwar was handed over a different role when we look at her career in Malayalam films and she looked convincing with some minor glitches. Nandhu was notable while Ashwin Kumar who was impressive in Jacobintey Swargarajyam failed to get himself noticed as his character was not allowed to blossom at any point and was sidelined. Giju John as the officer in charge was good while Mathew Arun and Celine Joseph were also successful in their attempt in portraying the roles assigned to them.
Technically, Ranam was one notch higher which I already mentioned in the beginning. So not going into those aspects again. Still it would be unfair if I didn’t mention about Jakes Bejoy’s music and BGM. The title track is something exceptional and quite clearly had lot of energy in it.
So to sum up, Ranam didn’t disappoint me but it was not close to what I expected. The trailer gave a hint of an outright action and gangster film but the movie turned out to be more of an emotional drama happening amidst the gangster war. The making style stood out while some other factors contributed in the film’s downfall to an extent. Still I would say one need not turn a blind eye towards Ranam since it has positives to showcase. (the film deviated from the tried and tested style of story telling but couldn’t taste complete success in that attempt)