Rann – Truth is indeed terrible….

Rann, could not have come at a better time. It has come at a time when the quality of news has reached an all time nadir.The movie covers the fallacies of the media moguls and the empires that they operate within. It has touched a nerve on the sensitivities of the last link in the chain of news transmission, namely us the viewers. The media empires are conceptualized to be ruthless when it comes to dissemination of information. They are shown to play havoc with the minds of the gullible audience where news feed is falsified and exaggerated all for the sake of TRPs. I imagine Rann is not far off the mark in trying to showcase the happenings of what goes on behind the scenes of the news channels where sensationalism is deemed appropriate and remains the biggest content.

Rann goes a step further in undressing the naked truth of how difficult it is for news channels not to take the easy road or the righteous path if they have to be one up in the frenzied TRP game. The necessity to be so, stems from the rabid competition and bottom line profit figures. Besides, Rann also unveils the political clout that shrouds media companies and corruption that makes into the very heart of these establishments via kickbacks and bribery. I tend to believe that this does exist in the world that we live in too and thinking otherwise is a blind belief in utopian state of affairs. The chart that I had put up a few days back ( Can the media break free? ) establishes this very point. Many of the Indian TV channels and news paper companies strings are pulled by crafty politicians and well-connected individuals who ultimately determine the feed that we get to chew. Rann has driven home this point exceptionally well and I reiterate that the timing of this movie’s release is sweet.

The master craftsman in this movie is undoubtedly Harshvardhan Malik ( Mr Bachchan ), the founder of a private news channel. A man of integrity and honor, whose ethics of business are different from the rest of the pack. He is a man who belongs to those rare breed of journalists, those who reveal the truth, the way it should be told, without exaggeration and falsification. Harshvardhan reminds us younger generation of the old school of thought, a dying school of thought. He exemplifies a doctrine which is a precious relic of the way business ought to be conducted, in a true and fair manner. But the vagaries of everyday politics that seeps into the roots of these media empires in vying for the top slot makes Harshvardhan’s son Jay Malik ( Sudhip ) succumb to the very same temptations of his competitor’s. Unfortunately, Harshvardhan tends to believe in his son’s ideas without being privy to the bitter truth and unveils a lie to the world. A lie that leads to the sacking of the PM of the country. Harshvardhan is a man who mistakenly thought that his son would be the upholder of his own beliefs and principles. Unfortunately, Jay Malik casts a web in which he traps himself  by trying to find succor in the forbidden fruit. Jay’s lies to Harshvardhan about his modus operandi have far greater consequences than what he was prepared for and ultimately leads to his own suffocation. There is another honest journalist in this story, Purab Shastri ( Ritesh Deshmukh) who plays a pivotal role in uncovering the mistakes of Jay Malik and his associates. Purab is a chip of the old block as he emulates himself after Harshvardhan. Purab’s passion for journalism and Harshvardhan’s beliefs enables Purab to expose the nexus of politicians and industrialists involved in creating paid news which led to the sacking of the Prime Minister and thereby exposing Jay Malik, the man who produced the false news.

Sudhip as Jay is marvelous. Sudhip is strong, focussed and centric in his approach. His intensity is realistic and his weakness more so. We hope to see more of Sudhip in hindi cinema, he remains a noted kannada actor. Ritesh is good and restrained, a very different role for Ritesh and he meets the requirement. Mr Bachchan’s portrayal of Harshvardhan is exemplary. From the moment when Harshvardhan is informed about Jay’s costly mistakes to the moment when he shares this news with the world, Amitabh Bachchan well and truly showcases an acting finesse which is unsurpassable. The shock written all over his face as the father of a treacherous son and his astounded daze is crystal clear in his enactment. Amitabh Bachchan, even when he does not utter a word until the day he shares the terrible truth with the world at large, speaks to us, his audience in a language no other can. The dry smirk which he gives Mohan Pandey ( Paresh Rawal ) on accepting an invitation to relay the swearing-in ceremony translates into a zillion words by itself. His last address to the audience is worth a standing ovation and the one, last “namaskar” that he does, where he hangs his head more in gratitude and relief rather than shame is the coming together of two glorious hands of the same actor. One hand of completeness and the other of class. Mr Bachchan has yet again proved he is far ahead of the pack. RGV has not created a Sarkar or a Sarkar Raj with Rann but he has most certainly driven home a valid point about media corruption and their nexus. But, the soul of this movie lies in Mr Bachchan’s performance, a hallmark one.

Cast : Amitabh Bacchan, Paresh Rawal,Sudhip,Ritesh Deshmukh,Gul Panang,Suchitra Krishnamurthy

Director: Ram Gopal Verma



33 Responses to “Rann – Truth is indeed terrible….”

  1. Hi Sharmila,just drop in to wish you a good stay in London.
    Take care

  2. Have a good trip Sharmila.

    truely speaking Rann didn’t appeal me much. AB good as always but has very little to do in the film. He has given better emotional performances than this. i find his character very unreal in the film,quite far from reality.

    • Monalisa – I agree AB does not have too much, but whatever role he played was extremely effective. Not sure, how many could have pulled this one off. I think even if there may never be one who will be like him in “reality”, he was meant to be shown that way as the messiah of truth. RGV could not have had otherwise. I agree this was no Sarkar or Sarkar Raj.

  3. Anand Khare Says:

    I must admit that I could understand the film better only after reading this.You think and write execptionally well.Combo material..

    How is it that you are in London? Are you in touch with Jasmine of London also?


  4. parmaatma Says:

    Good Rann review though I feel the rating is a bit generous.

    I think Madhur Bhandarkar did a better job than Verma in handling the same subject in his film ‘Page 3’. Besides Konkona has that Smita Patil type aura, which someone as dark as Verma wouldn’t know how to direct!

    If only she can adopt a easier name that I can remember! Konkona sounds like Kaun kaun and the mind wanders… 🙂

    • Sudhir – I was on a long flight to London, hence the absence. I think my rating comes from the fact that imho I do not think Rann is too far off the mark. Do you remember the politics played around Jayaprada’s photos. The impossible is possible in this business. I honestly was also captivated by AB’ performance which was pivotal in determining the rating. This is not RGV’s best and Page 3 was an exceptional movie. I would give Page 3 a 4. Konkana, remains a favorite actor of mine. Verma is better than Johar any day but not as good as Madhur.

      • parmaatma Says:

        London… where each man seems like an island unto himself… hope the global warming is melting those solid glaciers called Englishmen!

        Verma’s best have been non-AB starrers in my opinion. Like Satya and Rangeela.

        Karan Johar’s position is similar to Abhishekh Bachchan. Both are nowhere close to the legacy of their dads. Besides something is different about Karan. He is so middle of the road and everything!


      • parmaatma Says:

        yes, I remember. Jaya Prada won the election despite the smear campaign.

        Back in ’86 I did some free lancing for a local politician back in Pune when I was dealing in some sensitive real estates around the city. Most of them required clearances from higher ups like the District Collector, State Minister for urban Land Ceiling etc.

        At each bureaucratic hurdle, our guy found a way forward by putting up different business plans under various development schemes supported by the government. One was under the PM relief fund, another under the SME revival, one under the save the silkworm industry and so on. The common factor was they all pretended to protect the rights of the natives!

        I have always maintained that politics anywhere in the world is about common fundamental rights. Any other subject is only a modus operandi. Some are ethical, most are unethical.

        Jaya Prada won the election because at some level the voters know this too!

  5. Hello Sharmila !
    Hope u r enjoying your stay at London in such a cold season 😉 Like your reviews on movies but still shocked why the movie is not hit ?? Really surprised and feeling very very bad ! Now,waiting to read your reviews for Teen Patti 🙂 Till then, Love u,bye.

    • Thank you! Yes Zainab, it is cold, light snow too today. I think it is going to get worse. It is not necessary for a good movie to be a hit. What really matters is what we are able to take back from the experience of watching it. I too am waiting for Teen Patti.

  6. Good review as always, Sharmila. BTW, have a great time in London.

  7. Sudhir – The protection of silkworms really made me laugh! As if these worms give a damn about the harassed silk worms.

  8. Two fabulous replies from AB yesterday to some questions from the EF

    ab says:
    February 8, 2010 at 12:53 am
    welcome to the blog … appalling to learn that the only reason you come is to exhibit how conveniently influenced you are by an obnoxious, malicious and mischievous, biased, ridiculous, utterly misguided completely unjustified allegation, that has no place or need for response in my world. .. I do not need to take a stand, h baajwa, because I stand tall and straight.. those that are tilted by their own devious slants, shall never be able to see me standing straight… a pity … my love to you .. and remember a word of advice .. many a grave tragedy and disaster having enormous worldly consequences has occurred because of unsubstantiated misconceptions ..misconceptions that you have most unfortunately fallen victim to..

    And to another question on sitting on the fence –
    thank you Moonie .. i am not sitting on any fence .. i am sitting at home and sitting upright ..i am apolitical, and have nothing to hide …many attempts have been made to drag me into controversy for personal material gain by people who themselves have no spine .. these people are uninvolved and distant from reality … the world looks lovely when you are perched on top of a mountain built out of vested unambiguous deceit .. they need to be pitied .. not entertained

  9. AAH! for the very first time his replies to any posts would have been so elaborate & edgy! seems those posts really made him angry. interestingly right he is about the world and its a height of naivety of those who tries to suggest/advice or preach him on the blog. He is a very sharp & experienced man who knows all in s & outs of the industry where he not only survived but flourished for 40 yrs. and set a mark .
    its just one thing i disagree on, Him being apolitical. to be political one need not join any political party. its like charity begins at Home, politics begins at Home too and no human being can be kept away & become totally apolitical anyway.
    the way him being diplomatic and took no sides or stand shows his wisdom. After all he is a Libran. isn’t he!? and Librans can’t be FOOL.And Thats what i really admire about Librans.

  10. parmaatma Says:

    Re-posting from the previous page in case you miss it…

    Hi MonaLisa and Sharmila,

    I have a child’s perception of death – it is too early to think about it as long as I am alive and I will know what it is when I am dead! (I mean I’ll cross the bridge when I reach it 🙂 )

    But other than that, as an adult who indulges in life seriously, I do test my beliefs when I need to use them. Vedas and all the other known scriptures believe in a soul. That belief is, I think, the first introduction of ‘Faith’ in the consciousness of a person.

    In my opinion, the functions of consciousness and the mind are created by the body and die with it. I have described it as such on my blog.

    Once a person believes in a soul, then the rest of the faith follows automatically i.e God, Devil, Reincarnation, Heaven, Hell, Religion etc.

    The metaphysics of Good-Bad, Right-Wrong, True-False is possible with a consciousness and a rational mind. This does not need oone to assume the existence of a soul.

    In fact, cloning definitively proves my understanding that the soul is an assumption.

    Death is the complete annihilation of matter and energy. Death exists. But surely not in a form and dimension that we are aware of. Its like a star falling into a black-hole and disappearing completely.

    I do hope I am right. I hope there is no soul or reincarnation or a volitional God. I don’t want to be born again. Not on this planet or in this universe in any form of matter or energy. It’s very boring, to say the least…


    • Hmmm…..you have quite a surety of what’s going to happen tomorrow. in other words you are damn sure you have long way to go and death can’t catch you in any form soon. wow..!
      would you or anyone be able to put that experience of being dead or meet with Death in words then!!!???lol…..let me know if i am alive. Oh..! And keep that Child alive inside you till then.

      • MonaLisa,

        You know what, there is a name for your stream of thought, it is called ‘Logical Positivism’.

        I never said I know how long I am going to live till the day I die. I am only saying that, like a child, I would be happy to live the way I want to, even if it is only for this moment.

        I am 46 this year, an age and stage when I don’t need a ‘caretaker’. I have to only plan for an ‘undertaker’. Thats all the politics I need hereafter to live in a society.

    • Sudhir – I wish to attain self actualization. How do I attain this oneness with the “god”, so that I am not born again?

      • Sharmila,

        Self actualization was a term coined by Dr. Maslow in one of his management ladders. I have no clue what he meant by that and why it should appear so high up after income, security, safety et al.

        Brihad Aranyak, the most elaborate Upanishd of all, mentions a five element process on self actualization. Here again, the term is used simultaneously with other celestial phenomena like Brahma, Purusha, Prakriti, Satva etc.

        In fact, God, as the name of the one “Creator” of this universe, is “not” mentioned in any of the Vedas, Brahmanas, Purana or Upanishads. There are Deities and Devas, that are metaphorical or personified natural phenomena, Like Indra, Varuna, Marut, Mitra, Usha, Brihaspati etc. Some are humans too like Krishna, Rama, Shiva, Parshurama, Agastya, Vashishtha, Vishwamitra, Vishnu, Saraswati, Laxmi and so on. All the Vedas are poetry. Its difficult to say when a poet is mixing his metaphors or personifying a force.

        I was taken aback by Nietzcshe when he begins his narrative ‘Thus Spake Zarathustra’ with – “God is dead. Man is Free”. For many days I was trying to find out why he would have said that. I found the source in one of the Gathas written by Zarathustra.

        Its like a poetic license… like Mirza Ghalib writing about the Queen of Delhi – where he calls her a beautiful white swan… I bet she was too fat to fly!

        If “self actualization” is an insurance against the probability of re-birth, I would love to know what it is.


  11. O my my …sudhir! i have not seen some one loathing life so much for a long long time! I think life is such a beautiful & wonderful thing. it sucks & rots just because of the structure we are living in.
    Hoping for something miraculous to happen to make your life interesting and unboring.

    • MonaLisa, You Temptress,

      At this rate Sharmila is going shove us out of this space! 🙂

      I don’t loathe life baba! I love it more than anyone can imagine!

      But I don’t want to be re-born and all that. That part is boring. What a drag doing all this growing up again!

      If the only purpose of life is discover what has already been created and trying to survive in that, whats the fun? Aaaaaaargggghhhhhhh!!!


  12. Salman Shahid Alvi Says:

    Haven’t watched Rann yet but as per your elaboration it seems to be another fabulous piece from AB……

    BTW Sharmila don’t you like the idea of writind the place and time of post as Mr.Bachchan and others do…….I see you are in london…….Enjoy!!!!Gonna land there next month…..Inshallah

  13. masterpraz Says:

    Ace review….i LOVED RANN and will catch it again tonght before I review it :)!

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