The story is set in 1995 in Chittoor. Ramarao (Ravi Teja), a deputy collector, is sincere and honest. He doesn’t mind transfers in going against the powerful forces to serve the people.
Meanwhile, Ramarao’s former girlfriend (Rajisha Vijayan) comes across letters addressed to the government office seeking help in her husband’s missing case.
As he begins the investigation, Ramarao finds there’s more to it than a mere missing case. How’s this case connected to Red Sander smuggling?
Ravi Teja has tried playing the character of a government officer. The energy that we find in his acting goes missing here. Rahul Ramakrishna does justice to his role.
Heroines Divyansha Kaushik and Rajisha Vijayan have little to do in the film, except getting a romantic duet each.
Venu Thottempudi in his comeback is bad and the dubbing part is worse. In a way, he gained nothing with this reentry. He plays the role of a police officer. Other actors do the regular job.
Sam CS’s songs stand out like a sore thumb. The songs come in the wrong place. None of them are appealing on screen. But the background score is okay.
The cinematography is good. The aerial shots in the forest are filmed well. The writing is of poor quality.
The smuggling of Red Sanders is a major issue in the Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh. The killings of Tamil coolies in the Seshachalam forest in the 1990s created a huge controversy. After “Pushpa”, Ravi Teja’s “Ramarao On Duty” aims its lens on this subject.
Set in 1995, “Ramarao On Duty” begins as a tale of a sincere government officer dealing with corrupt police officers and politicians. Slowly, it turns into an investigative drama of missing persons who may or may not have been linked to a missing maal (goods of smuggled Red Sanders). Director Sarath Mandava takes plenty of time in providing details about the mechanism of the government’s executive wing.
He deals with the subject in an unconventional way for a film starring a mass hero like Ravi Teja. His approach is more like a documentary initially. But after a point, it becomes clear that he goes off the mark. The problem lies in his narrative, we find.
Ravi Teja gets to know that his former lover (Rajisha Vijayan) wrote letters to the government about her missing husband. The handling of the scenes between Ravi Teja and Rajisha in this episode proves that Sarath Mandava doesn’t know how to present such scenes.
Example: Ravi Teja has a wife (Divyansha Kaushik) in the film. The director seems to have realized her presence sometime later in the second half. Until then we see her serving tea or doing household chores. Suddenly, his wife heads to his former lover’s home and finds her husband’s ‘greatness’. And finally, she gets a song (a dream song in Spain). Both Rajisha and Divyansha do not fit into this story.
Despite having a decent premise, the director has written an uneven screenplay. The lack of gripping narration tests our patience. The investigation process drags on, and the climax portion (with the hint of a sequel) is another misfire.
Too much of details are provided when there was no necessity in the first half, but when it should have been wrapped better, the effort goes missing.
All in all, “Ramarao On Duty ” is neither a mass film nor a classy take. The attempt to tell a serious (?) story with mass Maharaja Ravi Teja backfires, mainly due to the unengaging narration.
Generally, there is a widespread opinion that the employees in government offices sleep while on duty. Probably to do justice to that opinion, the director made the audience sleep while watching this film.