The movie selects the fun and quirky route and is made in a way that keeps the audience rooted
Story: Bhaskar is a store clerk by day and a thief by night. Deciding to settle down in life with a woman he is in love with, the con-man plans one last heist. He is soon entangled in a net which leads to a path of enlightenment.
Review: How often have we heard the story of the thief set on the path of enlightenment? Raja Raja Chora is yet another movie that has a thief as the protagonist. But the movie is not like most other movies in many ways. For one, writer-director Hasith Goli’s filmmaking is fun, whacky and never bores the viewer. The movie also does a great job at taking a not so morally right thief, yet finding ways for the audience to root for him on his way to enlightenment.
The movie follows Bhaskar, who works as a store hand at a stationery store. We understand that he is a robber at night and a con-man by day. He changes his profile and becomes a busy “software” worker when he is with Sanjana, another corporate worker. The two are madly in love and resonates chemistry, as they plan a future together in Bangalore.
The first not-so groundbreaking twist or surprise in a movie that weaves in a few, is that Bhaskar is already a family man, who also has a child studying in grade 2. Bhaskar is a man almost trapped in a loveless marriage, one that happened just for the dowry.
This is when you question his morality. The writing and performances make you fall out of love with the protagonist even before all the major cast are introduced. While conning a woman into romance is not right on its own, this second strike seems too much.
But why do you still watch this movie? The story has an ebb and flow that are backed with fine cinematography, great editing and subtle use of background music. As Bhaskar continues his ruse, throwing a lie and a deceit every time he feels fit, you still hope that he finds a way to redeem himself.
The movie offers several honest laughs, from Bhaskar’s questionable choice of English with Sanjana to the almost mindblowing realisation of what secrets Sanjana holds. After all, even a master con-man can be blinded by love.
The movie decides to redeem the questionable protagonist following his arrest, which is the result of a comedy of errors and wrong timings. Yet another scene you might know is coming, but that wouldn't stop you from cracking up. As his law studying wife, whose tuition fees he has never cared enough to pay or work for, steps up for him in his time of need, Bhaskar understands that most things he has done in life are wrong. His redemption stems from him rediscovering or possibly discovering his love and respect for his wife.
Choosing to live for his family, Bhaskar then sets out on a path of redemption. But things are not as easy as it seems as he is lured back in. However, when things start going south, he decides to end his partnership with S.I Reddy, yet another character who has a broken moral compass but gets the pass due to his antics, which are more than often funny.
On the downside, perhaps the movie is a tad too long for the tale it is telling. But this gives the audience more time with the movie’s characters, who are not as simple as they look. The extra time with Bhaskar, Vidya and Sanjana give better clarity on their character arcs. The music by Vivek Sagar also has to be lauded. It gives a punch and extra life to some scenes in the movie.
Verdict: Raja Raja Chora does a lot of things with its narrative but does not compromise on comedy. Even if you end up questioning the originality of the story, the laughs and characters keep you rooted. Telling a story we’ve heard before, the director takes the cake with his filmmaking and writing.