Vikrant Rona Review {3/5}: A solid mystery that unfolds a little too late

Vikrant Rona Story: A fictional village in an unknown era sees mysterious sightings when the children go missing. Is the guilty man or devil? Can Vikrant Rona (Kiccha Sudeep), the cigar-smoking, tough new cop in the ghost town solve the puzzle and track down those responsible when everyone else is a suspect?

Vikrant Rona Review: Anup Bhandari’s dark fantasy adventure (in 3D) is made in Kannada and dubbed in Hindi. It’s a brave effort. It is also atmospheric. Not many Indian movies have ventured into this genre before. However, the director struggles to find direction and specificity in his story. It starts out as a children’s fable, then turns into a supernatural horror thriller, then a mystery and a western. It tries to be many things. The story also lacks a proper timeline. The first half wanders aimlessly, dragging forever with no character or story development. All we see is Kiccha Sudeep giving a smoldering heroic look in slowmo with a shocking background score that never lets the fear creep in. With a duration of at least 2 hours and 30 minutes, your patience will run out and the story is going absolutely nowhere. A random love story laced with random songs eats up further on screen time and strays from the plot.

Strangely enough, a second half has never been more contradictory. The movie actually starts in the second half where there is a semblance of story. The mystery that unfolds a little too late is solid and poignant. If it had picked up speed sooner, this movie had the potential to be a great thriller.

Four years in the making and even filmed during Covid, the film visually does its best to live up to the ambitious scale of the genre. A battle sequence in the rain is particularly interesting and looks international. If you can overlook the sloppy first half, the second half is quite captivating and pretty good to watch. Jacqueline Fernandez is an impeccable dancer and her sizzling song (Ra Ra Rakkamma) and presence peps up the story.

If you’re in the mood for a decent horror mystery told in a loud and dramatic style, with an extra focus on Kiccha Sudeep’s swag, you wouldn’t mind this one. Vikrant Rona could evolve into a decent mystery series filled with more sinister adventures if the creators get rid of the unnecessary fluff. With so much potential, we wish this mysterious fantasy had come to the occasion sooner.

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