With Ricky, director Rishab Shetty seems to have extracted the best in others and himself in his debut itself. The diversity in the subjects he has tried to cover does not threaten the script; it actually enhances the experience of watching the film as the sequences are tightly bound with fragments of love. Shunning the infatuation of filmmakers with underworld-gore. Rishab explores the ties that bind the Naxalites, connecting it seamlessly with the havoc wrought by Special Economic Zones. But, the crux of Ricky is a love story which merges beautifully with the green belt of Malnad, an aspect common in most of Rakshit’s films.
As for the story, Ricky (Rakshit Shetty), a wildlife conservationist, is in love with Radha (Haripriyaa) who resides in his hometown, Malnad. The two are madly in love and after the approval from their families, they get engaged. But before their marriage, Ricky leaves for a wildlife assignment. An unexpected tragedy in Radha’s family forces her to leave home and join the Naxalites where she is given a new identity of Seetha. The film takes a serious turn in the second half, delving into details of the naxalite revolution while staying focused on the love between Ricky and Radha. Whether it is a declaration of love of Ricky and Radha or Laal Salaam (the revolution of the Naxalites), Ricky exercises restraint.
Rishab’s impeccable taste shows in capturing the unparalleled beauty of nature, while stressing life’s hardships through simple lines. He has clearly challenged himself to bring in love, revolution and survival issues with melody. Ricky gives enough space to actors, each conveying emotions in a mature and apt manner.
The lead cast performs admirably and shares a good chemistry. Rakshit behaves true to his character as a wildlife conservationist and a lover boy. His emotions and determination to live with Radha are finely expressed. But it is Hariprriya who steals the limelight with her portrayal of an ordinary next-door-girl turning into a hard-hitting Naxalite. Her transformation seems quite natural and she is definitely the highlight of Ricky.
Achyuth Kumar as Hariprriya’s father and Pramod Shetty as the antagonist lend good support. Music by Arjun Janya justifies the love story while cinematographer Venkatesh Anguraj conveys the story by capturing the best of nature.
Ricky is totally a team effort and Rishab lives up to the promise with his debut. Watch it for a different kind of a love story.