Vangaveeti created curiosity among film buffs as it was based on Vijayawada gang warfare, one of the unforgettable chapters in Andhra Pradesh crime history.
Ram Gopal Varma has previously done various films that are loosely based on this subject. This time he tries to document the history as he knows.
Vangaveeti Radha (Sandy) joins hands with a communist leader Venkata Ratnam who is a very powerful man in Vijayawada. Venkata Ratnam doesn’t like Radha’s increasing popularity among the youth and asks him to get out of the city or work like a slave under him.
Radha decides to kill Venkata Ratnam and he executes a perfect murder plan and becomes a rowdy, people’s leader in other words. Then few politically powerful people eliminate Radha.
Now his brother Ranga (Sandy) takes his place. Student leaders Devineni Nehru (Shritej) and Gandhi (Kautilya) turn against Ranga as differences crop up between them. Ranga’s men kill Gandhi and his younger brother Murali (Vamsi) wants to avenge his brother’s death.
Ranga and Nehru becomes MLA by joining different parties. Murali starts killing all of them who killed his brother and eventually Murali gets killed by Ranga. How did Ranga’s life end after that is the climax of the story.
Sandy did a fine job as both Ranga and Radha. Ram Gopal Varma took special care about Sandy’s styling so that he has striking resemblance to Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga.
Naina Ganguly is just okay as Ratna Kumari. Shritej is decent as Nehru and Kautilya also did well in justifying Gandhi’s role.
Vamsi Chaganti will be remembered for his portrayal of Murali. There are hardly any familiar faces in the star cast and most of them have done a good job in their respective roles.
Ram Gopal Varma is definitely out of form and it is evident in the way he has handled this powerful subject. He didn’t get into the details of the subject and made it look like a documentary.
He did well to recreate the 70’s and 80’s ambience, but other than that Vangaveeti misses vintage RGV’s mark. It is not even a patch on Rakta Chartita I.
Loud music and innumerable songs doesn’t elevate the drama. Films like these need a powerful background score and Ravi Shankar totally failed in that aspect.
Cinematography is plain ordinary with typical Ram Gopal Varma framings and light setting. Editing is alright. Production values are ordinary.
One would expect RGV to touch the controversial elements of the history, but he played a safe game throughout the film without going deep into the characters and their feuds.
If you are expecting something exciting and unknown about the history, then you are in for huge disappointment as Varma barely gets into the real conflicts and drama.
If you aren’t aware of the Bejawada gang wars at all, then you may get a slight idea of what happened at that time.
Going by the title and real life characters we would assume that RGV will give us a clear idea of what has really happened that sparked permanent rivalry between two communities across the coastal belt.
However, what Ram Gopal Varma shows us is the documentation of all the ‘notable’ murders of Radha-Ranga era. It is like watching a television documentary most of the times.
Low production values, unknown star cast and the awful voiceover of Ram Gopal Varma makes Vangaveeti a disappointing fare. It is almost like watching an episode of crime watch on TV.
Vangaveeti Ranga was not a mere rowdy but a powerful force that had left a lasting impact on Bejawada politics. We hardly get to see the real Ranga in this film as RGV showcases him as a power hungry, blood thirsty and insecure goon.
Vangaveeti is just like an attempt to make a quick buck on the controversial subject. Barring a few episodes like Murali and Radha murders, there is nothing to excite or thrill the audience.
It is yet another dud from the maverick director who made unforgettable crime dramas like Shiva, Gayam and Satya in the past.
Verdict: Very Disappointing Documentary