Ranchi Diaries movie review: A story best not told
Director: Sattwik Mohanty
Cast: Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill, Soundarya Sharma, Satish Kaushik, Himansh Kohli, Pitobash
With Gangs of Wasseypur, Anurag Kashyap created a genre of dark humour and crime stories set in small towns. Sattwik Mohanty’s Ranchi Diaries is the laziest attempt we have seen in the genre.
The film revolves around a young girl who wants to become a famous pop singer and her friends. How her friends land in trouble, thanks to a corrupt politician who is attracted to the girl and how they escape from his clutches forms the entire narrative.
The film’s narrative is so confused and chaotic that even the filmmakers appear to be lost regarding the direction and purpose of their work. The film lacks coherence and there is no method behind its madness.
You would expect seasoned actors like Jimmy Shergill and Anupam Kher, who have proved their acting abilities many times over, to get something as basic as their diction right. Alas, they don’t. In fact, Ranchi Diaries shows people speaking ‘Bihari Hindi’ in an English accent. Only two young actors in the entire movie get it right. In terms of performances too, everyone seems to be sleepwalking through the film.
The film comes armed with enough clunky references – local goons roam around in an old van as a Hindi ode to Godfather plays in the background; there is also a Hindi poster of the Hollywood classic. They want to take tips from a book called “Mahasagar Gyarah” as they prepare for a bank robbery.
From ‘naxali gang’ to corrupt politicians, lazy cops to street-smart local goons and even ‘jihadi farishtey’, there are several moments when we wait, and hope, that the film will yet redeem itself. It does not even try.
This is a film which when called to dive headlong into action, prefers to chew paan in a corner. Jimmy Shergil’s character perfectly describes the listlessness that ails Ranchi Diaries. He plays a police officer who is supposed to catch robbers holed up inside a bank. Instead of doing something, anything, to catch them, he prefers to sit in a jeep all night outside the bank.