Rangrezz is an over-wrought melodrama, which has stray moments of power but is ultimately is too convoluted to be convincing. Jackky Bhagnani plays Rishi, a lower-middle class boy from Mumbai who drives to Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh to help a friend unite with his girlfriend. The plan? Rishi and his two friends kidnap her, marry them with her consent and dispatch them to Goa. Both the girl and boy have powerful parents – one is an industrialist and the other a politician – but their army of henchmen can’t prevent it. Clearly the UP badlands aren’t as deadly as they used to be.
Rangrezz is a remake of a Tamil film Naadodigal and the best thing about it is an unexpected twist in plot. The film also has some heavy-weight names attached – the cinematography is by Santosh Sivan and production design by Sabu Cyril – so it has a certain moodiness and polish. Rangrezz is designed as a showcase for Jackky who of course gets to fight, dance, romance and deliver some fiery speeches. All of which he does with sincerity but he remains, at best, a lightweight actor. You can really see his lack of acting chops when he comes up against a powerhouse like Pankaj Tripathi, who plays the UP industrialist. I was more interested in Rishi’s livewire friend Pakkya, played nicely by Vijay Verma, who always seems to be on the edge of a nervous breakdown.
Director Priyadarshan attempts to create a gritty ode to friendship, which in this film, is stronger than family ties and love. Rangrezz isn’t bad but it isn’t sparkling either. I’m going with a generous two and a half stars.