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Ramana Avatara movie review: Rishi’s light-hearted entertainer is painfully lackluster

Directed by debutant Vikas Pampapathi, Ramana Avatara is a modern-day retelling of the Ramayana in a romantic comedy

Ramana Avatara movie review: Rishi’s light-hearted entertainer is painfully lackluster
Rishi in a still from the film

Last Updated: 08.10 PM, May 18, 2024


Ramana Avatara movie story: When Rama’s (Rishi) crowdfunding mission to support his electoral campaign goes awry, he is forced to leave his village and seek refuge in Mangaluru, where a friend works at a beach-side resort. There, he meets and is instantly smitten by a guest (Pranitha Subhash), whom he drives around as she works on a ‘project’. She won’t tell him her name or where she’s from, so when she’s then kidnapped, Rama has to find a way to free her.

Ramana Avatara movie review: When a film’s few passable moments make it to the trailer, leaving it with pretty much nothing else to talk of, it’s a gross failure. One that makes a viewer wonder what appealed to its cast members to be a part of this film that can, at best, be described as dull. For what it’s worth, lead actor Rishi had sounded warnings galore that audiences ought to expect a light-hearted entertainer. The problem is that it was not light-hearted or entertaining and was rather frivolous, to be honest.


Initially, the idea of a young man trying to create jobs in his village to stop brain drain, sounded promising, but that premise is thrown to the kerb within minutes. Instead, director Vikas Pampapathi’s modern-day Ramayana retelling is introduced, with the hero embarking on a rebound relationship with a girl he knows nothing about, but is then willing to go to any lengths to rescue when harm befalls her. Well, he was responsible for her misfortune, so it is justified that he takes responsibility, I guess.

As far as performances go, there’s really nothing to write home about. Rishi tries his best to infuse some life into the proceedings, but it’s in such unimaginative material that one is left unable to appreciate his efforts. Shubra Aiyappa gets the raw end of the stick, as far as characterisation goes. But the silver lining is that she is in one of the better songs from the film. Pranitha Subhash is also under-utilized, with the actress’ brief probably reading something like ‘wide-eyed and pretty’ and nothing else. The worst of the lot has got to be Arun Sagar; the less said the better.

I’d missed the theatrical release of Ramana Avatara and managed to watch it only a few days ago. But then try as I might, I just couldn’t find the inspiration to write a review for the longest time; that's how disappointing it was. 

Ramana Avatara movie verdict: When Ramana Avatara was first announced, it was meant to have Rishi joined by Danish Sait and Raj B Shetty, presumably in the roles that Anirudh Acharya and Arun Sagar did eventually. They dodged a bullet, Rishi didn’t; perhaps he should have too.

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