'Ravi Bopanna' review: Is strictly for crazy star addicts

The dream merchant of Kannada cinema V Ravichandran’s latest outing, Ravi Bopanna, raked up a lot of expectations, especially among his fans.

Published: 15th August 2022 09:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th August 2022 09:33 AM   |  A+A-

Still from 'Ravi Bopanna'.

Express News Service

The dream merchant of Kannada cinema V Ravichandran’s latest outing, Ravi Bopanna, raked up a lot of expectations, especially among his fans. Ravi Bopanna, the official remake of the critically acclaimed 2018 Malayalam film Joseph, is a crime and investigation thriller with the intricacies of relationships and emotions interwoven in the narrative.

Ravichandran already has a distinguished reputation when it comes to recreating successful films of other languages in Kannada. Presented in his typical style, Ravi Bopanna, adding elements from his previous films Ekangi (2002) and Apoorva (2018), has glamour and oomph interspersed with the original suspense genre, which is very reminiscent of his previous film, Malla. Ravi Bopanna can easily be split into two parts — A family drama with past truths, and a thriller.

The film revolves around Karma, a character created in the inner self of Ravi Bopanna, a master investigator but a dejected man now spending all his time smoking and drinking. Karma keeps appearing on the screen, almost in every frame through the first half, and at the end. While mocking Bopanna with a weird laugh, Karma preaches to the audience and also narrates the story of the titular role.

The film’s plot, which is centred mostly in the second half, is about a retired and intelligent cop, who is still sought after by the police department. Circumstances lead Ravi Bopanna to investigate the case of his ex-wife, and whether she was murdered or died in an accident. How he goes about cracking the case and exposes the truth forms the crux of this crime thriller.

Even if Ravichandran wanted the audience to just go with the flow of the narration, it does get confusing for the viewers. He has approached the nonlinear method in narrating the story. The repeated appearance of Karma distracts the audience, who are more interested to know about the murder and the culprit.

The director has taken the core plot of the suspense thriller (Joseph) and has intelligently joined a few scenes (the episodes of him and Radhika Kumaraswamy) from his other film, which was yet to see the light of day. This is where he loses the grip but he manages to mesmerise us with his signature style of filmmaking. Ravichandran in Karma’s role is exceptional while as Bopanna he is sophisticated and composed, appearing in three get-ups at different ages.

Sudeep’s cameo appearance as a lawyer has been justified. Radhika Kumaraswamy looks beautiful but has nothing much to do. Kavya Shetty sets the screen on fire with her bold moves. Mohan, Ramakrishna, and Lakshman, who portray the roles of Bopanna’s friends, are good but have limited characterisations. Like many of his past films, the technician in Ravichandran has taken on a lot of responsibilities.

The background score is soothing. We get to hear some old tunes from his films but only a couple of songs are impressive. The cinematography and editing pattern are worthy of mentioning. Ravi Bopanna is surely for all those Ravichandran fans who can understand his philosophy and his kind of filmmaking.

Cast: V. Ravichandran, Kavya Shetty, Radhika Kumaraswamy, Sudeep
Director: V. Ravichandran
Rating: 3/5


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