Other than featuring Ragini in the lead, the film does not change a single element from the standard formula written for male action heroes.

Review Veera Ranachandi is an action film that doesnt know what to do with its woman heroScreenshot from YouTube trailer
Flix Film Review Friday, March 10, 2017 - 16:49

When the makers of Veera Ranachandi sat down to script the film, one imagines it went something like this: “So, there’s this heroine. She’s got lots of oomph, but she also kicks a**! She’s a lady and a hero, a lady Rambo!”

It’s a week of fairly slim pickings in Sandalwood story-wise, considering that four “mass” films have hit the screens together. But even at these low standards, Veera Ranachandi struggles to make the bar.

You’ve got to give it to Ragini Dwivedi. In an industry where women find themselves cast as little more than glamorous adjuncts to male heroes, this is her second attempt to break into the high-testosterone space of the action film. Unfortunately, as was visible with Ragini IPS and now with Veera Ranachandi, the directors, scriptwriters and producers willing to give her that space don’t really have an idea of what to do with a woman protagonist.

In Veera Ranachandi, Nandini/Ragini (Ragini) a gangster who’s nearly killed in a fight with a rival gang, and ends up in a village where an aged couple believe she is their long-lost daughter. There’s strife here too, thanks to an evil sand miner, who’s also got his eye on the hundreds of acres of land the couple own.

Between the urban gangsters and the rural strongmen, there’s plenty of petty goons to beat up. And Ragini certainly plays the part well, throwing punches and kicks with the same stone-faced grit that any of Sandalwood’s leading men can pull off. She certainly has the chops for an action star, getting all of the hero poses just right.

But each time a fight ends, one realises that there’s nothing much else the script has to offer. So, in a film with a woman at the heart of the action, there are long comedy sequences that plumb the depths of crassness and sexism. And there are the requisite “family sentiment” scenes, whose best sentiment is that Ragini is both son and daughter to her adoptive parents.

And almost the first plan the villains can come up with for defeating Nandini is to have someone rape her. Even Ragini’s character doesn’t refrain from issuing challenges to the baddie that begin with, “If you think you are a man…”

And just when you think it can’t get worse, the climax also makes the inevitable vengeful goddess reference, actually bathing her in vermillion and sandalwood water, when her anger doesn’t cool despite killing all the villains.

Given that the plotting is so haphazard and confused, there’s not much to be said about the acting in the film, even though the cast features the likes of Padmaja Rao, Ramesh Bhat and Sharath Lohitashwa. It could certainly have done with better editing and a less predictable soundtrack, however.

At the end of the day, Veera Ranachandi is just another masala flick, perhaps less well-written than most. And that’s a pity, since Ragini manages to give a few glimpses of action hero potential. 

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.