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Rama Rao on Duty Movie Review: This Ravi Teja starrer is a semi-thriller that needed smarter writing

 Rama Rao (Ravi Teja) has his task cut out when he learns that his ex-girlfriend Malini (Rajisha Vijayan) is in trouble.

Ramarao on Duty Movie Review

Title: Ramarao On Duty
Cast: Ravi Teja and others
Director: Sarath Mandava
Run-Time: 146 Minutes
Rating: 2.5/5

'Ramarao On Duty' has got some unexpected scenes in the first act. The titular character sets the screen on fire by aggressively attacking land-grabbing elements. He is a Deputy Collector whose violent acts get to be described as controversial moves by the judiciary. A court scene where Rama Rao is absolved by a seemingly fawning judge sets the tone for the rest of the film.

Rama Rao (Ravi Teja) has his task cut out when he learns that his ex-girlfriend Malini (Rajisha Vijayan) is in trouble. She is not the only one in distress in the Chittoor district of 1995. Many families have been traumatized by the sudden disappearance of their bread-earning members. The hero is infuriated and intrigued at once. What is the mystery all about? This question sets off multiple rounds of investigation into the biggest story unfolding in the district. 

The film needed to steer clear of hero-glorifying lines. Even the flashback involving Malini starts with a character raising a toast to Rama Rao's leadership and guts. His family members behave as though they have to mandatorily refer to his sacrifices and extreme duty-mindedness at every turn. At least, his wife (played by Divyansha Kaushik) is lucky to get a song, unlike others in the family. Tanikella Bharani plays Rama Rao's fanboy-cum-superior who goes to the extent of lauding him as a revolutionary officer. 

Since Rama Rao's profession is the lifeblood of the film, the dialogues and demeanour should have been specific/realistic. Take the scene where Rama Rao takes Malini to the corrupted cop Murali (Venu Thottempudi). The conversation lacks specifics, with Rama Rao talking as if he is a commoner who knows nothing about the system. Had he made Murali feel nervous by bombarding him with departmental truth bombs, it would have been superb. 


This is not to say that the film doesn't milk Rama Rao's professional background at all. The backdrop is used to enrich one or two scenes for sure. If the second half doesn't descend into chaotic and messy action scenes, it is because the script stays somewhat true to Rama Rao's place in the sarkari system. 

However, Rama Rao's investigation lacks tension. There is no semblance of edginess even when the goal looks unreachable here and there. In an unintentionally funny scene, a child conveniently helps the hero in giving leads.

The emotions hit choppy waters as melodrama takes over in some portions. Nasser's reaction to the hero talking about Rahul Ramakrishna is a case in point. These are stale tropes that have should have no place in today's cinema. There are more than a couple of scenes where it rains. And it's not like the rains make the drama look atmospheric. John Vijay doesn't have anything memorable to do. 

Kollywood's Sam CS has a certain style of background score, something this film fails to fully encash. The songs 'Bulbul Tarang' and 'Sottala Buggallo' boost the mood to an extent. 

All in all, Ravi Teja's image needed far smarter writing. Whether or not there comes 'Ramarao On Duty: Part 2' (the climax hints at it), for now, Ramarao On Steroids is not a reality and that's sad!

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