Rama Rama Re is a 2016 Kannada film directed by D. Satya Prakash, written by D Satya Prakash, Nagendra H S and Dhananjay Ranjan. The film stars K Jayaram, Nataraj, Dharmanna Kadur and Bimbashree Neenasam.
The film is a very simple road movie but the themes being explored and the filmmaking at hand is anything but simplistic. As the trailer of the film would suggest, a few everyday people run into an escaped convict and the film explores each of its character’s actions, motivations for said actions and outcomes for those actions. The commendable part of the film is its very non larger than life characters. These characters are your regular group of people who have their regular wants and needs with very primal motivations for their actions. Even though the characters do not go through major arcs or shifts, the fact that they are coming to terms with who they actually are and the choices they have to make to achieve their own versions of salvation by the time the end credits roll does enough to help the audience connect with the story they are watching unfold on screen.
The most spellbinding part is the filmmaking on display. The film does not cheapen itself with laziness for the large part. There is no wasted momentum or a wasted frame, to be perfectly honest. Every little thing you see on screen is always a point to move the plot is the direction it needs to go. The film might have its own languid pace keeping in line with the jeep’s languid pace, but it is never boring for more than a few minutes. The shots of the barren landscape, which seems to have more of an allegorical meaning than meets the eye, are a visual treat. But the visuals don’t just end with great landscape shots, there are some masters at work here. A lot of the story and character motivations are explained visually. The movie follows the show don’t tell rule through almost 95% of its run time. Some intelligent framing and night shots which seem to be actually filmed during night with some intelligent lighting is just the little red guy on top of the Dr. Moreau which is the cinematography in this film.
The score by first time music director Vasuki Vaibhav is phenomenal. The songs might now gel sometimes with the overall tone of the film even though they are not in any way bad. The score is on a different plane altogether. The attention to detail in this department left me floored at a few moments. The care one needs to have to keep the sound of the wind blowing over the desolate landscape throughout the entirety of the film’s runtime requires a very special mention. It helps keep the audience engaged and does not let them forget the harshness and the emptiness of the barren wasteland they are watching the characters in. There are many more examples of the score being exceptional but the one stated above might be enough to convince any sceptics. Cinematographer Lavith, take a bow.
The flaws of the film are few and far between but that’s not to say there are none. The film does have its own pace as mentioned above but it gets too slow for its own good sometimes. The arresting visuals can only keep the audience hooked so far when nothing of worth is seemingly happening on screen. Secondly, the movie gives up on the visual storytelling it was going for and achieving very well by having one of its characters be an exposition conduit. The audience at large might not recognise this very small chunk of the film, but it is present nonetheless. On a personal note it felt like a small cheat in narrative style. Lastly, the resolution for a specific few characters seems a bit unearned in the final scheme of things. The resolution almost negates their motivation to be on the road in the first place. The fight scenes lacking grit is also a small nit-pick.
On a final note, this is a film worth your time and money. It is also worth a lot of brain cells at work as well. The film is clearly a labour of love from a few very dedicated people behind and in front of the camera. It warrants a watch for its heady themes, its exceptional film making coupled with its visual style, humour, diverse characters, score and overall message to the audience.