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I don’t have much to say about Sampath Nandi’s Rachcha, except I’m starting to worry that Ram Charan Teja will never again match his portrayal of Harsha/Kala Bhairava in Magadheera (I’m starting to think that portrayal was caused by magic, and that magic’s name is S. S. Rajamouli). Ram Charan is spectacular in Rachcha‘s songs, but outside of those, when he is actually required to act (or what passes for acting among Telugu film heroes, which might more precisely be called performing) I just think he has no charisma.

In Rachcha, Ram Charan plays “Betting” Raj. At the beginning of the film we see him lose his parents, as well as his father’s best friend and his daughter, in a terrible accident. Raj is adopted by a couple (played by Telugu movie stalwarts M. S. Narayana and Sudha) and seems to make his living winning bets. Then his adoptive father, who is an alcoholic, suffers liver damage and Raj must find the money for a transplant. Conveniently, he is approached by James (played by the delectable Ajmal Ameer) who lost a bet to Raj earlier in the film. James challenges Raj to make Chaitra (the equally delectable Tamannaah Bhatia) fall in love with him. Chaitra is the daughter of an incredibly rich and powerful businessman/gangster and is constantly under guard. If Raj can get close to Chaitra and get her to fall in love with him James will give him the money he needs for his adoptive father’s transplant.

Post-Interval it is revealed that not is all as it seems with Chaitra and her father, and how this relates to the ‘accident’ in Raj’s childhood is not hard to guess. All this culminates in a pretty gory climactic fight sequence. Sadly, the romance between Raj and Chaitra is hard to invest in, and although the stakes eventually get pretty high, that part of the plot doesn’t really get going until the last third of the film. Tamannaah does get to do a version of the “avenging goddess” act she did so well in Oosaravelli and that was certainly a highlight of the movie for me. Another highlight was the songs, which are really good, and as I mentioned before Ram Charan (and Tamannaah, let’s be fair) are spectacular in them, so I present them here for your edification.

Rachcha – in which Ram Charan reminds us that he was that guy in Magadheera and Lisa Haydon looks ridiculous in Indian wear.

Dillaku Dillaku – Ram Charan sports capes and funky boots – surely this is in reference to Chiranjeevi? Snaps to the costume designer for Tamannaah’s ‘Arabian Nights at the Disco’ outfits.

Oka Padam – in which Ram Charan pretends to play the harmonica really badly. Try to decide who is prettier – Ram Charan or Tamannaah. It’s hard, isn’t it?

Singareni Undi – I love the colourful costumes in this one. And that hair is ridiculous but Tamannaah werks it.

Vaana Vaana – I love that this starts out seeming like a romantic song but almost immediately turns into a disco number complete with booty popping and chest bumps. Also Tamannaah’s facial expressions in this song are hilarious.

And speaking of references to Chiranjeevi – Vaana Vaana is actually a remix of a song from the Chiranjeevi-starrer Gang Leader. Do yourself a favour and click on that link, just, um, maybe not where anyone can see you.

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