Cast: Ram Charan, Kiara Advani, Vivek Oberoi, Prashanth Director: Boyapati Srinu
There’s a scene in Boyapati Sreenu’s Vinaya Vidheya Rama, starring Ram Charan, where Raja Bhaiyya’s (Vivek Oberoi) henchmen tell a hapless bunch of government officers that except for vultures and death, nothing can reach the remote area where all of them are going to die. There are a bunch of dead bodies, of people who dared to stand up against Raja Bhaiyya, in the vicinity. But in all likelihood, I am sure that they died voluntarily after reading Boyapati Sreenu’s script. They all probably died of an overdose of suspension of disbelief. In another scene, Ram Charan says that he killed 300 people along the way. Maybe, they too wanted to die after reading the script, if there was such a thing in the first place.
It’s a miracle that Ram Charan himself doesn’t flinch while delivering his dialogues or believing in what he’s doing in the film. In that moment, Ram Charan is probably the bravest man around because he’s stuck in a situation where he knows that although he might emerge as a hero in the end, he is going to lose a lot of things that he earned with his recent film, Rangasthalam. Because, there’s no way one can justify a film like Vinaya Vidheya Rama. It’s an assault on your senses. This has got nothing to do with how loud the film is. That is the least of all the problems that plague the film. The tally of dead bodies keeps growing as the film progresses, but what Vinaya Vidheya Rama kills with all its brutality is the joy of watching an action drama. It says a lot about a film, when in 140 minutes of its runtime, there’s just one scene which grips your attention.
Surprisingly, there’s a decent plot beneath the dead bodies in this film, which could have been turned into a stage to narrate a revenge drama. In the beginning of the story, we are told that a bunch of orphans rescue a baby, and soon, they decide to stick together. Few years later, their youngest brother, Ram (Ram Charan), vows to protect the family against all threats, and their eldest brother, Bhuvan Kumar (Prashanth) goes on to become an IAS officer. The rest of the story is about what happens when Bhuvan is sent to Bihar to hold elections in the state and how it brings him face to face with a local don, Raja Bhaiyya (Vivek Oberoi).
The film has an intense conflict point, and it also has plenty of scope for drama and explosive action moments. But alas, none of that matters. The only thing that you are likely to remember is the sight of two heads flying in air only to be caught mid-air by vultures. It’s a masterstroke on paper, but it made me laugh out loud while watching that epic moment on screen.
Realism has absolutely no place in the world of Vinaya Vidheya Rama. This is a film where the hero would jump atop a train, travel from Dwaraka to the Indo-Nepal border, hop on a horse and reach the destination before the villain makes up his mind. I’m not making this up. The funniest moment in the film is a sound effect where the voice over goes – “You have reached your destination”. That had to be the quickest ride ever in the history of transportation. This is also a film where a snake dies after it bites a man. This is also a film where the camera zooms in on a woman’s body first, before showing her face, as part of her introduction scene. This is a film which finds humour in a woman kicking the balls of a man, quite literally.
Look, I get it…you are expected to look over a few fallacies while talking about a mass commercial film. But why would you want to defend a film like this? It has no respect for its audience, let alone the story it wants to say. It doesn’t know if the story unfolding on screen is the present or the flashback. Every actor and technician who has worked on this film deserves better. Perhaps, they know it too.
There are a few things that will never change – 1) Boyapati Sreenu saying ‘Babu…ready…Start Camera…Action 2) Sun rising from the East 3) Our enthusiasm to watch films. A film like Vinaya Vidheya Rama comes as a rude shock to that enthusiasm to watch films. If you haven’t watched the film yet, thank your luck and wish that it doesn’t run out sooner or later. The good thing is that there’s a way to start afresh. If you watched it on 11 January, wait for two days to light the bonfire on the day of Bhogi, and burn your memory of having watched this film.