RED Movie Review: Ram Pothineni starrer is an unexciting thriller and fails to create an impact

Red Movie Review: There are some highs that really stand out in this Ram Pothineni starrer.
RED Movie Review: Ram Pothineni starrer is an unexciting thriller and fails to create an impact
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   Movie Name: RED

Cast: Ram Pothineni, Nivetha Pethuraj, Malvika Sharma, Sampath Raj and others

Director: Kishore Tirumala

Rating: 2.5

'RED', the latest Telugu-language hit, borrows its story from the Tamil-language thriller 'Thadam' (2019). Magizh Thirumeni's story can be described as a thriller with a potentially heartrending spin. However, the remake stages it as a mass masala flick where Aditya (Ram Pothineni), a self-styled swindler, tops his debauchery with a special song involving a flamboyant seductress (Hebbah Patel). 

This is the kind of film where a construction engineer Siddharth (Ram, again) attempts to woo a beautiful colleague while working on a real estate project on which his whole life depends. Aditya and Siddharth are identical twins who cross paths for the first time in the film in a jail where they have been brought as prime suspects in the case of a youngster's murder. 

Aditya has to bail out his sidekick (Satya, as a fellow con artist) and is running out of time. He gambles away when he is not defrauding people. To the film's credit, his characterization is not generic. He is also a sharp-witted rascal who has landmark court verdicts on his fingertips. The problem is that his twin's character is not as colourful. And the love story involving this largely flavourless character is even more banal. We are given glimpses of Siddharth telling his girlfriend (played by Malvika Sharma) about some "creative" engineering principle behind a woman's innerwear! Talking of such other 'jokes', the film mocks the disability of a hearing-impaired character repeatedly. Not done!

 
 

There are some highs that really stand out. The small stretch that introduces us to Aditya's obsession with the game of cards is nicely-executed. It is as if it was choreographed for style and more style. But then, we sigh with exasperation when we realise that substance is missing for the most part. 

Since a lot hinges on the backstories of the twins, the flashback is understandably elaborate. The lines in these emotion-heavy portions should have tugged at the audience's heartstrings. There is a complicated mother in the film and even her unusual character is not tapped into for poignancy. Sampath Raj is a rare character, a somewhat capricious cop who awaits retirement and wants to settle old scores in the two months that he has. Even his character comes across as a relaxed one. 

The first half goes on and on without making the audience feel that something terrible is going to happen in the life of the protagonists. This is a serious flaw. Even when they are in a danger, they look eerily assured. 

The investigation track is watered down by damnably witless cops who don't do a thorough job at the scene of the crime. In comes a comedic stalker (Vennela Kishore as a forensics expert), doing things that should have been done Day 1. Nivetha's character brief was that she should look tough from the outside while being soft from the inside. You know what kind of scenes emanate from this characterization? A male character ogles at her, makes his lust evident and peeves her deliberately. This is all explained away as an element of his smarts!   

Above all, themes like a pang of life-time guilt and irreversible fate are not explored well. 

Ram is effective, albeit not consistently. Amritha Aiyer fits the bill of a naive woman, while Pavitra Lokesh makes her presence felt. Mani Sharma's songs ('Dinchak' and 'Nuvve Nuvve') are entertaining, and the background music doesn't pack a punch.

 
 
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