When will Bollywood learn that everything need not be explicitly stated?
In Ranchi Diaries, we are exposed not just to ‘not so subtle’ writing, but also a dreaded voiceover by Vijay Raaz, spelling out every inch of action that was happening on screen.
So, if we see two buffoons oblivious of the trouble the rest of their gang is in while looting a bank, we have the narrator telling us exactly the same. It’s almost like the makers suspected that while some of us will give in to the impulse and doze off, the audio commentary would do a good job of nudging us back into grudging submission!
Director Sattwik Mohanty, who also doubles up as the writer of the film, situates the story in Ranchi.
A fair balance between young and seasoned actors is maintained with the inclusion of Himansh Kohli, Soundarya Sharma, and Taaha Shah along with Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill, Satish Kaushik and Pitobash Tripathy.
Manish and Guddiyaa, played by Himansh Kohli and Saundarya Sharma, want to run away to a “bada sheher” to fulfill their dreams and escape a lecherous politician (Anupam Kher). On the other hand, Taaha Shah, a self-proclaimed “godfather”and his 2 side kicks go about their bullying routine with the background score screaming “Godfather”! An unbearably sloppy first half further introduces us to Jimmy Shergill who plays a no-nonsense cop with righteous indignation.
The stage is set for a bank robbery and being predictable is only one of the problems that Ranchi Diaries reels from.
The heroine’s schizophrenic jump from quoting ‘The Secret’ and talking about nursing big dreams in one scene to suddenly gyrating to item songs in the next is plain silly. All the actors are sadly crippled by a script that is mostly dull and incoherent.
“In memory of the Rs 1,000 note” is flashed across the screen at the start of the film. The climax on the other hand is hinged on Modi Ji’s demonetisation speech on 8 November 2016. In between there is only boredom and a suspicion of being shortchanged.