The camera goes up from where Prithviraj says, "No, I'm not dead... I need to survive.... for, I have things to finish,” giving us a brilliant opening shot.
And just before the climax, he reminds us again that survival is not of the fittest but of the ones who adapt themselves. Detroit is known as one of the largest cities on the United States–Canada border and becomes a well-researched premise for the directorial debut of Nirmal Sahadev.
'Ranam,' also known as Detroit Crossing, revolves around the plight of immigrants settled in the United States but focuses on the crime and shady businesses that plague the superpower's porous borders.
Aadhi (Prithviraj) is part of a narcotics gang headed by Damodhar (Rahman). After a certain point in life, Aadhi wants to move on from a life of crime, something his boss would smirk at. “Fear comes when you sense loosing your loved ones,” and we see Aadhi compelled to work for the gang.
“One has to take a side in a war," says Damodhar and the audience realize that Aadhi is left with no other choice but to fight for his own side.
Prithviraj and Rahman breathe fire and fury into their characters and carry the narrative on their shoulders.
Ashwin Kumar as Selvan plays Damodhar's loyal brother in the movie. A goon's mannerisms are touched up to perfection in his effortlessly fine portrayal. Nandhu as Bhaskar justifies his role as a close relative to Aadhi. Isha Talwar as Seema had a meaty role and fares well except for a few forced dialogue delivery spots.
Talk about the story and one will find cliched one-liners but Nirmal has his way with the storytelling. The screenplay jumps back and forth. Ranam can't be hailed as one memorable gangster thriller but definitely it will be among the thoughtfully crafted ones. The pace of the movie goes up and comes down abruptly.
Yes, there were breakdown scenes but one is inspired to look at the technical side than at the emotional aspect of the movie.
The cinematography by Jigme Tenzing cannot be spared a mention for he creatively mops up the beauty of the place. Even the colour tone and setting for the climax shots perfectly sets the mood for a typical gangster drama.
Jakes Bejoy managed to deliver a few thoughtful scores that never distracts one from the drama and the BGM's too strike the right chords.
Apart from a few cliched shots and slow pace, the film is technically rich. As Prithvi says, 'second chances are sometimes too costly' and hence probably action movie junkies shouldn't give Ranam a miss.