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Thursday, 12 July 2018



Sometimes, the best way to tell a story is in the simplest of ways – crisp, fast and straightforward. Yes, there are often several layers to a story and multiple shades to each character, but when you keep the essence of the story simple, everything else falls into place. Ajay Bhupathi’s RX 100 at its core, is a straightforward story of love, deceit and heartbreak. But the film is stretched beyond its potential with over-the-top melodrama, blood and gore.

Set in a small village in Andhra Pradesh, the focus is on Shiva (Karthikeya) who’s an angry, young man who drives an RX 100, smokes ganja and beats up everyone he sees. He’s a poor man’s Arjun Reddy in a way – angry, volatile, unstable and heartbroken. More often than not, there’s a girl responsible for such behaviour, and in Shiva’s case, it’s his love for Indhu (Payal Rajput) that drives him crazy.

Daughter of a politician and village head, Vishwanath (Rao Ramesh), the city-bred Indhu lusts after Shiva's toned body and raw sex appeal. She knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to get it. It’s not long before she tells him how she feels. She teaches him how to kiss and soon, the two are inseparable. By now, Shiva is head over heels, but will their father accept their love? More importantly, does Indhu feel the same way or is he just a passionate summer fling?

The refreshing aspect about RX 100 is how the director is unafraid to show a woman who looks at a guy with pure lust, and doesn’t shy away from making the first move. Indhu’s character is bold and refreshing and is rare to find in mainstream Telugu cinema. There are no inhibitions and that’s what makes it work.

Unfortunately, the rest of the film is way too over-the-top, and at times, amateurish. Each scene is stretched out way beyond its potential to drive home a straightforward point. For instance, when Shiva finds out that Indhu is getting married to someone else and tries to disrupt it, Vishwanath sends his goons to stop him. He is beaten to pulp and thrown in a warehouse – he gets up, gets thrashed until he collapses. The same cycle repeats for the next five minutes, and you feel like screaming ‘Okay, we get the point’. It’s cringeworthy and cumbersome.

Unfortunately, this becomes a pattern with Karthikeya’s character and the heavy doses of melodrama regarding his prema gets tiring after a point. While the young actor puts in an earnest performance, he’s a tad inconsistent with the different shades of his character. Payal Rajput makes an impact with a solid performance, while Rao Ramesh is terrific as usual. Actor Ramki, who’s bizarrely called ‘Daddy’ by everybody, puts in a noteworthy performance as Shiva’s guardian.

Take away the blood and gore and there’s a story here. RX 100 touches a rather unexplored subject but falters in its execution. You can’t help but wonder why the director plays around with so many different camera angles and tries to create a dark setting. RX 100 has sex, tears and a lot of blood, but the essence of the film is somewhere lost in between. Just like that RX 100 bike which is in focus all the time, but in reality, is insignificant. 

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