Ranchi is based on a real-life incident that occurred in director Shashikanth Gatti's life
Ranchi story: Struggling filmmaker Deepak (Prabhu Mundkur) comes across an opportunity to make a documentary for the Railway department in Ranchi. A multi-crore prestigious project to be greenlit by the railway ministry, he is told. But the middle-men involved want Deepak to pay them 10% of this budget to ensure he gets the project. Smelling a scam, Deepak decides to dig deeper with the help of a Ranchi-based police officer Pravin Kumar (Tota Roy Choudhary). Can they nab the culprits?
Ranchi review: Stories based on real-life incidents make it to the big screen every now and then, but a filmmaker using a personal experience is not. Ranchi is based on a director Shashikanth Gatti’s dangerous encounter with a gang of conmen, when he was offered a deal to do a government-funded documentary. He’d managed to extricate himself from their clutches with the help of the local police. This is the backdrop of the film, but I’ not sure how much of it actually happened and how much is based on the filmmaker’s artistic expression.
The problem with Ranchi is that Shashikanth tackles the film’s core subject – the scam to loot Rs 40 lakh from an unsuspecting filmmaker from Bengaluru in the heartlands of Ranchi – in the first half of the film. In fact, if you edit out the first few minutes that introduce Deepak’s girlfriend and close pal, this is actually a story that can be told in about 50 minutes. But then, the filmmaker figured out how to stretch this further for another hour, which, unfortunately doesn’t add much value and feels like a force fit to give the story ‘commercial value’. Turning a thriller into a revenge drama wasn’t the best choice.
Shashikanth’s uninspired writing and direction apart, his casting choices were also far from stellar. Prabhu Mundkur tries to infuse some life into his character, as does Tota Roy, but the duo is woefully let down by the rest of the cast. Ranchi, which released in theatres on December 1, 2023, is now coming to OTT. The film will be available on Cinebazzar from January 15.
Verdict: Now that Ranchis is on OTT, and you still want to see it, our suggestion is to have a watch party of sorts and stick to the first half only – that’s all the story you should watch.-