Rakht Charitra was released on 22nd October 2010 with the second instalment due to hit cinemas on 11th november 2010. An ambitious two-part biopic shot in three different languages by director Ram Gopal Varma, the film is thought to be the most gruesome movie currently available in Bollywood.
It tells the story of Paritala Ravi who retreated into the jungle after the deaths of family members in politically motivated murders. He emerged to avenge the deaths of his relations and became a violent power-broker who inspired the same vengeful hatred in others, that had once motivated him.
The film was shot in three languages; Tamil, Telugu and Hindi to reach the widest possible audience. The director said of the story:
This story is inspired from the life of Paritala Ravi from South India who got assassinated in January 2005. Even though the actual incident of the story happened and the related character existed in South India, I decided to make it in Hindi because I strongly felt that the sheer uniqueness of the story deserves to be told to a much wider audience.
Paritala Ravi was arguably the most feared individual ever in the history of the blood-ridden faction politics of South India. He was a prime accused in innumerable murder cases and also survived numerous assassination attempts, the most brutal of which happened on a quiet Friday afternoon in November 1997 when a road near Rama Naidu Studio in Hyderabad was turned into a death field by a bomb which killed 26 people but failed to get its intended target – Ravi.
I, in the course of my life, have read biographies of various people and have also come to know through various sources the life stories of many highly dangerous men. But all those stories pale in comparison to Ravi’s life story.
How Ravi, a soft-spoken shy guy under a force of certain circumstances retreated in to the jungles, became a rebel and how he mounted a volcano of violence to avenge his father’s and brother’s deaths and how in time he became a folklore legend and eventually a minister in N.T. Ramarao’s Cabinet reads more grippingly than any fiction writer anywhere in the world can ever imagine.
Set in Andhra Pradesh, the second instalment of the story features the murder of Paritala Ravi, played by Vivek Oberoi. The politician and feudal lord was allegedly assassinated by a team put together by his archi rival Suri. In an ironic twist, Suri was also seeking revenge for the deaths of his father and brother.
This blood-spattered Tarantino-esque tale was adapted from real life by Prashant Pandey, who deliberately obscured some names and identities. Most reviewers decry the documentary style voice-over which persists throughout the film, but overall the reaction has been positive.