Here the minds of all the characters are yearning for a reprieve from the morass they are trapped in. The past and nostalgia haunts these expatriates especially Aadhi, played by Prithviraj. He is always disturbed by the nightmare of his childhood. If some of them dream of a peaceful future in their homelands, some fight for establishing their dominance in a city where drug smuggling and illegal activities are rampant.
Written and directed by debutant Nirmal Sahadev, there is room for a perfect thriller with right dose of action in 'Ranam.' But Nirmal fine-tunes the usual concept by exploring the mental conflicts of the characters too. So, keep your expectations for suspense and twists at bay as the director also focuses on the aesthetic element of his creation. Moreover, it is hard to digest why the cops are unable to pull the plug on the activities of the local gangs. If the gangs are so invincible, where is the intensity in the narration that establishes it?
'Ranam' (Detroit Crossing) unfolds the dreams and aspirations of people on a foreign soil. Some of them are anxious about the future of their children, who are addicted to a new lifestyle and culture. Bhaskaran, portrayed by Nandu, is a struggling car mechanic in Detroit. Once nicknamed 'Motor City' due to its popularity as an auto industry hub, this city in Michigan, US, is now a hot bed of drug smugglers and gang wars. Aadhi (Prithviraj), who is working in the garage of Bhaskaran, keeps an intimacy with his family.
A smuggler based in Detroit, Damodar Ratnam, played by Rahman, seeks the aid of Aadhi quite often in his smuggling activities albeit Aadhi longs to evade his company. Aadhi bumps into Seema (Isha Talwar) and it brings changes in his life. Seema has a tumultuous marriage life with Rajan Kuriakose (Shivajith Padmanabhan). Her erratic teenage daughter Deepika, essayed by Celine Joseph, always gives her troubles. Bhaskaran too is worried about the future of his son Aju (Mathew Arun).
Bhaskaran and Seema are slugging it out against their emotional conflicts. But Bhaskaran has problems outside his home with Damodar. Finally, the onus falls on Aadhi to get them rid of their problems.
Prithviraj diligently fulfils the role with powerful expressions and fire for revenge in his eyes. Interestingly, Rahman grabs the eyeballs even as he is a ruthless villain with sophisticated nature. He steals the show in most parts as a suave and stylish fellow, whose demeanor is cunning and mischievous. He is soft-spoken in appearance and ferocious in his actions; yet delightful to watch. Isha Talwar appears in a meaty role with ample room for performance. It could be one of her best performances so far.
Cinematographer Jigme Tenzing uplifts visuals on par with global standard. Perhaps, the visual brilliance gives 'Ranam' a new layer of embellishment covering up an uneventful gang war story. Jakes Bejoy deserves credit for pumping up the mood with apt music. 'Ranam' is a decent action drama with strong technical qualities. It is inconsistent in parts, but the craft and the premise hold it with good performances from the lead actors Prithviraj and Rahman.
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