RANGITARANGA: AN INCOMPLETE ENDING

It’s been more than five days since I watched the movie ‘Rangitaranga’ – a Kannada movie which has been the talk of the town among the Indian cinema lovers. I was one among the 80 adults who watched the screening in a small Kino in Zürich. True to its hype, I loved the movie as it had a link to my childhood – a distinct theme that forms the basis for the movie which is recurring (on my mind) from the 90’s tele-serial in Kannada, Gudada Bhootha. The movie was refreshing in many ways and my thoughts on the same.

 
SPOILER ALERT: I DISCUSS THE PLOT AND THE MOTIVES OF CERTAIN CHARACTERS…
 

‘Rangitaranga’ (Colourful wave) – a word that will soon find its way in the Kannada dictionary is a well-thought out movie and the title justifies to a large extent about how different moods of a human being is identified with certain set of colours. Songs with matching music and lyrics penned entirely in Kannada/Tulu remains the best side-kick of the movie. The background music mixes well with the visuals and we are in a maze right from the moment movie begins.

 To get a psychological-mystery (thriller) right requires a master screenplay and attention to details as  various thought processes connect the characters with the story to take it forward.

If ‘why’ isn’t part of your thought process while watching the movie, then you have missed something!

When taken in isolation, every character has an element of ‘mystery’ barring the antagonist…until the dying minutes of the movie.

The ending of the movie was abrupt and it left me with more questions than answers to those mystic puzzles found in the movie. The antagonist came in as a surprise element (kudos to that!) and credit to the writers to have treaded a unique path leading up to the climax!

Unlike most movies, I rate movies highly if it has the ability to make me think and have some strong discussions on the same. One such unsettling feeling I have from the movie is the way they revealed the antagonist and his role in the entire movie. In spite of very well penned sequences –  the shades and the background for the antics of the antagonist lacked material, sophistication and instead it was hurried upon to close the gaps the story had created thus far.

Was it a case of wearing a ‘mask’ all along or a medical case of ‘bipolarity’?

I must admit, I am partial to this school of thought influenced by the quote from Jim Morrison – “The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask.”

In the defence of the movie-maker – a movie isn’t a great platform to explain things unlike say a ‘book’ or a mini-series. However, paying attention to the ‘climax’ must never be overlooked and I would say, instead of two back-to-back songs that comes after intermission, there could have been elements added in the movie that provided depth to the ‘character’ who’s end meant, the puzzle was solved or was it?

Looking back, a great opportunity would have been when the Yakshagana scene was shot, an event which the hero Gautam attended. The antagonist could have been shown with fervour – a slight hint to his traits of being the ‘Uttama Villain’. Instead, it can be seen, many deliberate attempts were made to conceal the ‘truth’ and plot frequently misguided our thoughts. While Gautam was engrossed in the show, our mask man was busy plotting something else.

Coming back to whether it was a ‘mask’ or ‘bipolarity’ – the antics of the antagonist is fine during the day time as he comes across as a poetic, jovial and even supportive on various issues. Was he wearing a mask to go by the day until the dusk beckons to unleash his ‘dark side’? this is in spite of not recollecting ‘the hero’ whom he knew pretty well.

Or did he give into his dark side and let his mind loose on hunting down pregnant women – and re-live his first killing each year? As stated, there is a pattern in the movie, July 7th each year and the eleventh day after that, when he unleashes his darkest weapon – his anger and satiates himself by killing the kidnapped pregnant woman. That’s all for the year!

What happens to this dark side of his for the rest of the year? Does he wander (as shown in the movie, he does) when he has a bout of depression and the maniac in him takes over? or is it a case of hunting down his prey days leading up to July 7th? The more I think about it, I am convinced it was a ‘mask’ all along and the antagonist knew very well what ticked him towards his beastly side!

There are many questions about the antagonist which made the movie incomplete and made me believe, there is a scope for a documentary in revealing the idiosyncrasies of this accused ‘Gudada Bhootha’! Would the movie makers be interested in revealing the actual character?

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