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Aranya Review: Soulless Docudrama!

Aranya Review: Soulless Docudrama!

Movie: Aranya
Rating: 2/5
Eros Motion Pictures
Cast: Rana Daggubati, Vishnu Vishal, Zoya Hussain, Shriya Pilgaonkar Ananth Mahadevan, Raghu Babu, and others
Dialogues: Vanamaali
Music: Shantanu Moitra
Cinematography: AR Ashok Kumar
Editor: Bhuvan 
Action: ‘Stunner’ Sam & Stun Siva
Producers: Eros
Written and Direction: Prabhu Solomon
Release Date: March 26, 2021

Rana’s ill-health, the COVID-19 lockdown, and several other factors have delayed trilingual “Aranya” release. And finally, it is here.

Let’s find out the merits and demerits of this big-budgeted environmental drama.

Bhupathi aka Aranya (Rana Daggubati) comes from a family that has been protecting the forests and animals for generations.

Aranya devotes his life to the forest and also gets awarded by the President of India.

Kanakamedala Rajagopalam (Ananth Madhavan), a politician and a developer, has a dream to build a township in the forest.

How Aranya prepares for a battle with Rajagopalam is the rest of the drama.

Artistes’ Performances:
With a thick-beard and ultra-lean avatar, Rana looks completely different from his previous films. As a forest man, Rana seems to have put in a lot of effort to play this role. 

Sadly, barring Rana Daggubati, no character leaves an impression. Tamil actor Vishnu Vishal has played the role okay. But he suddenly disappears from the scene after one incident.

Anant Mahadevan as a politician is okay. Raghu Babu’s role is flat.

Technical Excellence:
The film is mounted on a big scale, with excellent contribution from production and technical crew.

Cinematography and rich visuals loaded with graphics stand out. The background score and the sound design are the best part. It is a technically sound and visually rich movie.

Editing should have been crisper.

Rana’s show
Sound design

The documentary style of narration
Weak Screenplay
Flat drama
Boring second-half
Lengthy runtime

“Aranya” is the big-budgeted film that deals with some builders’ greed to encroach the forest land for their real estate projects, which harms nature and the elephants. 

The movie with a strong message has Rana playing a forest man who will go to any length to protect the ‘natural’ order. 

“Aranya” as the title suggests is set in the forest and talks about nature, and the movie is mounted on a lavish scale. 

The director takes his own time to come to the main point. Within 30 minutes of the movie, all the sequences that we have seen in the trailer appear, and the main conflict is also established. But the film has two and half hours of runtime. This would give a rough idea, how unbearable it for the audience to sit through for the rest of the movie. 

When the conflict comes in the first act, the directors generally rely on subplots to hold the audiences’ interest. But the subplots – a mahout of Kumki (played by Vishnu Vishal), a Naxalite group to fight for the people, and a journalist who records Aranya’s fight – are underdeveloped and doesn’t interest. By the interval, it becomes pretty clear that the director has lost the grip on the narration completely. It turns into a big bore. 

Vishnu Vishal and his love story with a Naxalite  looks spineless. There is no clue why such half baked love track is planted in this film. It contributed towards nothing but extending the runtime. 

On a whole, it is a weak script with many boring sequences. 

In a nutshell, the intention of the director and the message of “Aranya” is appreciable, but the narration lacks interest, at times it gives a docudrama feel, at other times looks silly.

Bottom line: Good Message, Boring Narration

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