The first thing that hits you about Rathnan Prapancha is the interesting twist on the old adage -- blood is thicker than water. Director Rohit Padaki successfully proves that human bonding is, in fact, thicker than blood relationships. Billed as a travel-comedy-drama that highlights middle-class values, Rathnan Prapancha is more about the emotional journey of the protagonist Rathnakara (Dhananjay), an insurance agent, and his mother Saroja (Umashree).
The film is a powerful study of the attachment and conflicts between the mother and son duo. While Saroja is overprotective about her son, Rathnakara disregards everything of his mother’s behaviour. Despite this, he still follows her instructions and makes sure her small desires are fulfilled. However, a revelation wreaks havoc in his already frustrated life and makes him drift further away from his mother. To rediscover himself, Rathnakara decides to travel far and wide to find his roots, and he has a reporter Mayuri (Reba Monica John) tagging along. Will the journey help him to get away from the self-doubting life, and will he find his much-sought-after happiness is unraveled in relatable sequences that make for an intriguing tale.
Rathnan Prapancha is purely Rohit Padaki’s vision, and he has had the best support coming from the cast and crew. Rohit successfully showcases the struggles of a common man, and reflects profoundly on a complicated relationship, which is both relatable and inspirational. The evocative end is disturbing, but sure to ring in your mind for a long time. The establishment of various characters at the right intervals elevates the story. However, the runtime of the film could be cut short by 15 minutes, by letting go of unnecessary scenes, which dampens the flow.
The travel-comedy-drama is more about the drama and travel and lacks a solid space for the humour parts. The director’s placing of songs and the background music is laudable. Music director Ajaneesh Lokanath has delivered the right blend of songs, which also tell a story. Cinematographer Shreesha Kuduvalli has managed to capture the hustle and bustle of Rathnakara, up and close. Special mention for the picturisation of the picturesque locales, especially the Kashmir portions.
Dhananjay explores a never-before-attempted character, and his portrayal is impeccable. As Rathnakara, he delivers an emotionally charged performance that is sure to connect with the audience. For those who missed watching Umashree’s acting prowess, Rathnan Prapancha is a must watch. Playing a possessive mother, she is a live wire, and her performance will give you goosebumps.
Even though her character does not appear much in the second half, she still cements her presence with her phone conversations, which becomes an important tool to connect the mother and son. Reba Monica John as Mayuri often finds a way to bridge relationships around her, and she has handled the role well. Pramod’s performance in the film will probably elevate him to the next level. Other actors, including the likes of Anu Prabhakar, Sruthi, Ravi Shankar Gowda, Vainidhi Jagadish, and Ashoka, make their presence felt in Rathnan Prapancha.
Rohit Padaki’s film, which is out on Amazon Prime Video, is about the journey of an ordinary man who comes across extraordinary situations. Just like the journey in the emotional drama, the strength of Rathnan Prapancha is the power of human bonding — between the audience, and... the film.
Cast: Dhananjay, Umashree, Reba Monica John, Pramod, Anu Prabhakar Mukherjee, Sruthi, Ravi Shankar Gowda and Vainidhi Jagadish
Director: Rohit Padaki
Producer: KRG Studios
Streaming on: Amazon Prime