First of all, I don’t think that ‘Ranam’ is a complete rip off of the 2011 Hollywood movie ‘Drive’. But its hard not to notice the impeccable similarities between both the movies. I do have a feeling that maybe the director, who is also the scriptwriter of the film, got heavily inspired by ‘Drive’. And it’s justifiable. ‘Drive’ is often considered as a modern classic. And movie makers often tend to adapt stories from the movies they love the most.
The main similarity is seen in the plot itself. Both movies come under gangster crime drama genre. Many or most of the characters in ‘Drive’ are adapted into ‘Ranam’ and are slightly modified accordingly. For example, if we analyse the lead characters of the two films; they are both mechanics who work in a garage which is owned by a man who is very close to them. Also, both the characters have a connection with gangsters. Like this, all the important characters in ‘Drive’ has a similar counterpart in ‘Ranam’.
One can’t fail to notice the similarity in the posters as well. Even the pink colour used in the title text of ‘Drive’ is the same in ‘Ranam’ posters. Also, while I watching ‘Ranam’, I was constantly reminded of some shots from ‘Drive’. The camera angles used to shoot the driving scenes were very much similar to what the makers of ‘Drive’ did in their movie. The same is the case for the colour tone of the movie as well.
In my opinion, ‘Ranam’ can be called as a hybrid makeover of ‘Drive’, with a little “extra drama”. ‘Drive’, on the other hand, was more subtle. If one would have to compare both the movies, ‘Drive’ would easily win, hands down. Because mainly every aspect of ‘Drive’ felt truly genuine. But in ‘Ranam’ there are many things that seemed a bit flawed. Not all the characters in ‘Ranam’ did justice to the story. Apart from few of the leading casts, the new faces in the movie seemed to lack confidence and gave away their performances.
Prithviraj in Ranam VS Ryan Gosling in Drive
This can be controversial but it’s only understandable that people can have different opinions. For all those who have not yet seen ‘Drive’, Prithviraj’s performance in ‘Ranam’ might seem satisfying. But for those people who were astonished by the flawless and impeccable performance of Ryan Gosling in ’Drive’, Prithviraj’s performance might seem just average. I think, many people, nowadays have this opinion that Prithviraj has become a bit mechanical when it comes to acting these days.
In ‘Drive’, Ryan Gosling did not have many dialogues, he was mostly seen standing silent and staring at something. But what’s remarkable in his performance was that everything he did was convincing to the audience. People who have seen the film know what I’m trying to say here. The compassion, the care and love, the character had for that single mom in the story was convincingly portrayed by Ryan Gosling without the help of any voice-over or flashback scenes and he did that just by sheer performance and talent.
In comparison, Prithviraj’s character felt shallow since Ryan’s character had much depth. I personally did not feel any compassion to the character played by Prithviraj in ‘Ranam’. There are many fight scenes in ‘Ranam’ which looked pretty good. But as an acting performance, I would have to say Prithviraj was average to what Ryan Gosling did in ‘Drive’. There is one elevator fight scene in ‘Drive’, which is unforgettable. That emotion, wrath mixed with care and compassion, in Ryan Gosling’s face, was something phenomenal. There was no such scene in ‘Ranam’ that’s worth remembering like that.
Mostly, these differences are likely to happen since the Malayalam industry is very much smaller than the Hollywood. And each and every aspect of the Hollywood movies are handled by highly paid experts and especially in movies like ‘Drive’, it’s very unlikely for errors to occur. And as a Malayalam movie and for a debut director, ‘Ranam’ is still an achievement and should be very much appreciated.