Rama Rao On Duty Review: Rama Rao submits resignation

Ravi Teja- Sarath Mandava’s recent film “Rama Rao On Duty” makes it’s release in theatres. The film created huge hype in social media in recent times with promotions. Venu’s re-entry, Ravi Teja in a mass appeal created buzz on the film. Let’s see how the film fares at box-office.


Ramarao, a mandal revenue officer who was formerly removed from the position of deputy collector, is posted in Chittoor in the year 1995 and he decides to find out about a few unsolved murders in his area. He learns from his own investigation that an illegal smuggling ring is responsible for the deaths. How Ramarao unravels the mystery and stops the smuggling of red sandalwood in his district is the subject of the remaining half of the narrative.


‘Ramarao On Duty’ title sounds like an out and out masala film but the theme is a serious one. The director tries to fill the first half with few family scenes. Ramarao gets married another girl than his original love. In process of finding missing youth, he confronts with the local police officer Jammi Murali ( Tottempudi Venu) and his SP. All the leads point to the sandalwood mafia which has been managed by a person named Viraz. Second half deals with how Ramarao takes on the culprits.

First half of the film is more of conversational and passive. Audience might take a while to sync with the slow paced, award film approach in first half – which is unusual of Raviteja films. Investigative films succeed more if director is able to engage the audience with the core murder plot. In this case, instead of engaging audience script confuses them. The songs are shot on high budget and often on foreign locations. However, the songs doesn’t go well with the rustic rural theme of the film especially set in 1995. At times the script gives honest impression but struggles to fit a mass star.


Mass Maharaja Ravi Teja plays a character that is not his typical style. It creates a couple of issues which unfortunately can’t be overlooked. The first thing is he is without his trademark energy. The attempt at subtlety doesn’t quite work and it is linked to his looks. The star also appears aged on screen and it is enhanced with the act. The styling is decent, but that’s about it. Divyansha Kaushik and Rajisha Vijayan play the heroines. Sadly, they lack any semblance of a role and appear in and out briefly in the narrative. The former is poor even in that regard as one wouldn’t miss her being part of the narrative at all. The latter at least has some part in connection to the story and helps it move forward.

Venu Thottempudi marks his return to the big screen after a gap. However, one wonders if this was the right part to do. While the actor plays a decent hand in taking things forward, there is nothing beyond the surface-level involvement. The characterisation too is poorly written and doesn’t register. Eventually, it is another forgetful attempt to come back from the actor. It is hard to say CI Murali role open doors for him for his second innings. Other actors like Nasser, Rahul Ramakrishna, Naresh, Pavitra Lokesh, Tanikella Bharani, Prithvi and others which also includes an antagonist, but none have a decent role to speak off.


Sarath Mandava directs Ramarao On Duty. He also provides the story, screenplay and dialogues. For his debut, Sarath Mandava has picked an interesting subject involving thriller elements. As mentioned above, Sarath Mandava attempts to bring a content-driven narrative to the audience. But, he has a mass hero at his disposal. It is the attempt to balance both where he fails and also fails the subject at hand in the process.

The music by Sam CS is unnecessary. The songs reflect the same as they lack any appeal. To make matters worse they are placed in the wrong places. It is all about background score there Sam CS scored decent marks. Sathyan Sooran’s cinematography is decent. There is an attempt at rugged visuals which are fine in places. Praveen KL’s editing is alright. There is nothing much he can do when the content itself consists of largely filler sequences. The writing gives an overstuffed feeling.


Few Investigation Parts



Convoluted Narrative

Uneven Screenplay

Half Baked Characterisations