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Ranbhool: A sad story of a deranged killer!

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भवतालच्या परिस्थितीतून झालेली मनाची जडणघडण आणि त्यातून उराशी बाळगलेला एक घट्ट समज त्या व्यक्तीचं आणि तिच्या संपर्कात आलेल्या अनेकांचं आयुष्य उद्ध्वस्त करू शकतो. संजय सूरकर यांचा ‘रानभूल’ अशाच एका बहकलेल्या, अस्वस्थ, आजारी, उद्ध्वस्त मनाची कथा सांगतो.BLOOD and gore is not something you associate with a director like Sanjay Surkar, but his latest film is about a weirdo maniacal killer you see in Hitchcock’s films.

Ranbhool is a story about a struggling musician, who is rejected by music companies, which makes this talented guitarist flip and leave a trail of bodies in gruesome murders. Abhijeet Deshpande (Subodh Bhave) is actually a college boy Lokesh Satam, who bombs his own college, when not given a chance to perform in the annual function. Later, he assumes the identity of his friend Rajesh by faking his murder and killing his family, with whom he is staying as a paying guest, in a sabotaged gas cylinder blast. Rajesh is declared missing and the case is assigned to a psychological expert, police officer (Mohan Joshi). His superior (Vinay Apte) feels it’s just a simple case of someone missing, but Joshi ties the loose ends and theorizes that a maniacal killer is on the loose. He is right. Abhijeet kills his girlfriend Sai Ranade Sane, when she discovers his true identity, and then her father (Shriram Pendse), who comes looking for her. Then, his house owner is killed because he realizes that Abhijeet is not the real Abhijeet. But, unfortunately, the geek Lokesh chats on the net with a girl of divorced parents, played by Tejaswini Pandit, and the web camera captures the gruesome murders. And Tejaswini, just for a lark, admits to Lokesh that she has seen everything.

What’s more, she playfully comes to the house address, which her younger sister has noted, just to give him a scare, but gets caught in Lokesh’s trap, along with her sister and friend, after the police flash his ‘wanted’ notice all over television screens. Then, the police drama starts and the rest of the film is about capturing Lokesh and rescuing Tejaswini, her sister and friend.

There is also a sub-track, which explains why Lokesh becomes a psychotic killer after a troubled childhood and suffering abuse physically and mentally at the hands of a strict father. His only solace is his grandmother, who tries to console him by saying he is God’s son sent to earth on a mission with his love for music. And, anyone who dislikes his music is a prey for the ‘Raman Raghavish’ Lokesh.

The film is fast-paced and the director succeeds in making a taut thriller in the mould of Jack the Ripper and Boston Strangler. The ‘mask’ idea seems to be influenced by The Silence of the Lambs. The screenplay is fluid, without any relief.

Subodh Bhave is terrific as the long-haired, sick-eyed, drug-abusing, maniacal killer. His guitar-playing seems real, and the only song in the film is sung well by Subodh himself. Tejaswini Pandit, as the fun-loving, college girl in the first half, and the scared hostage in the next, is impressive. Marathi cinema has got a gifted actress in her form after wonderful performances in Vavtal and Target.

Mohan Joshi as the kind, intelligent cop is good. Uday Tikekar as the music company owner and Tejaswini’s father is nice as well. Vinay Apte’s cameo is impressive. Sai Ranade has a brief role. Sanjay Shevale, as the college boy, lends good support. Mangal Kenkre shines in a brief role. The cinematography by Pushpank Gawde has the right colour pattern to denote the dark interiors where Lokesh resides, and the bright dazzling slick bungalow of Tejaswini. The basement set seems a bit unimpressive.

The writer Girish Joshi has attempted something new, and he needs to be applauded for that. The sole lyric by Shrirang Godbole sets the tempo of the film. All in all, Ranbhool is a landmark film in Marathi cinema.

See it, but be prepared to be scared as hell.

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