Ravi Teja appears in no mood to take charge of his sinking career that hits a new low with the Sarath Mandava directorial
Last Updated: 07.49 AM, Jul 29, 2022
Ramarao is an honest government officer, ready to go to any lengths to protect the voiceless. When he’s transferred to a village in Rayalaseema, a tragedy in the life of his ex-lover forces him to dig deep into a larger issue. Will Ramarao succeed in his pursuit and find answers?
Ramarao, the titular character in the action entertainer, is an epitome of idealism who can do no wrong. He stands by the farmers who’re fighting for their lands, pardons his ex-lover for not marrying him, is a perfect son, a doting father, a caring husband and a ruthless officer who sends shockwaves into the villain’s camp. There are no black spots in his life - he arrives, he conquers and he leaves.
The hero is so perfect that he should’ve been named after a Ramana Maharshi or a Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and not Ramarao. Ravi Teja makes the audience feel he’s doing a favour by acting. He’s so disinterested, reckless while playing Ramarao that he doesn’t even try anymore. All his expressions, dialogue delivery and action sequences are set in auto-pilot mode - nothing about the actor can surprise you these days.
The backdrops and the scenarios in Ravi Teja's films may change but his performances largely remain the same. He’s in dire need of reinventing himself and Ramarao on Duty only adds insult to injury. John Vijay, in a scene, tells Ravi Teja, ‘You should’ve been a cop instead of a government officer,’ and he’s right. His profession would've made no difference to the film. The first thing that the so-called ideal character does before taking charge as an officer in a new location is to go to a local bar and groove to ‘Naa Peru Seesa’.
Director Sarath Mandava merely recycles the tropes in most of the actor’s hit films and doesn’t care to write a single scene with any authenticity or sincerity. From the two heroines-formula to a raunchy item number to the farmer sentiment, he tries every trick in the book. The entire track about the red sanders mafia is a joke, especially in the post-Pushpa era where a standard has been set with the detailing a viewer expects from a film.
It’s a travesty that a talent like Rajisha Vijayan is reduced to a character of a grief-stricken ex-lover, who’s waiting to be saved. The film wouldn’t have been any different without Divyansha Kaushik, her character is only expected to don colourful cotton saris and romance her perennially occupied husband when he’s tired. Venu Thottempudi’s part as a corrupt cop could’ve been interesting but every character in this universe is single-mindedly focused on hero worship.
Sree and Aravind Krishna aren’t given anything substantial. John Vijay is as flamboyant as ever though the film makes him look clueless most of the time. Nasser, Naresh, Pavithra Lokesh, Sammeta Gandhi, Tanikella Bharani and Rahul Ramakrishna make no impact. Roping in technicians like Sathyan Sooryan or a Sam CS serves little purpose when the script doesn’t give them any opportunity to add value.
Ramarao on Duty is a strict no-no affair. Yet another Friday passes in Telugu cinema where an actor and a director take audiences for granted and need to pay a heavy price. Even the most loyal Ravi Teja fans have very little reason to cheer here.