Racha is a film where the heroine's Mission Dammu culminates in finding a hero with the strength of one thousand men and intelligence of one lakh people (!), and the hero comes to know who is the villain of the flashback, and the identity of his childhood sweetheart, to quote two of the benefits he gets out of an unexpected turn of events. Sounds stale? Can't help it. Since RB Chowdhary had honestly described that Raccha was 'No logic, only magic', it might have been rightly feared that Racha, at best, was going to be nothing more than a hotchpotch of old-style heroism, hackneyed masala stuff and age-old romance track, and, at worst, a byword for confusion. To be fair to the makers, Racha has some semblance of logic. Unfortunately, it has no magic.
The story is all about reunion and revenge. Wait, you have several self-important dialogues (heroically delivered by Cherry Babu, with an unmistakable hubris and a glint in his eyes, often making reference to his proud lineage), a dose of street smartness and a lot of gravity-defying and Raccha-reinforcing fights. The heroine has been on a hunt for a Google Star With Guts And Gyan and she finds one at the right time. No prizes (since there is no contest!) for rightly guessing that he is Cherry aka Betting Raj aka Basthi Raj.
In the very first scenes, father Parthipean teaches his son the meaning of 'gelupu' and quite expectedly, the young boy grows to be Ram Charan who doesn't know what it means losing a bet. Awed by his guts is James, who now challenges him to woo Chaitra (Tamanna Bhatia), the daughter of Bellary (Mukesh Rishi), a multi-millionaire father who over-protects his daughter. A small mess up can result in his death, but Betting Raj is not afraid.
Chaitra finds in Raj the gutsy hero she has always wanted to meet. Thanks to the buffoons protecting her, Raj manages to offer her a flower and tell her 'I Love You' in Bellary's home, possibly one of the most protected residences in the country! Raccha means 'Admi kam, risk zyada.'
Bellary is a bit better than the morons (like Ravi Babu) around him. He apprehends that Chaitra may fall in love with Raj and house-arrests her. At the stroke of the midnight hour, the babe stages an escape (which is accomplished in less than five seconds by our director) and the twosome elope after a Raccha-edifying fight. Before you are allowed a break, Mukesh Rishi tells us that he has been waiting to kill Chaitra - a revelation that would come as a surprise to none but a first time cinegoer.
The second half is all about what you already know is the story!
Sampath Nandi thought that retelling an outdated story with a relatively fresh face like Charan would look novel. That proves to be a serious miscalculation. We have seen many an otherwise aimless son find his calling in making real the unfinished agenda of a dead soul, be it his father or the heroine's father. In Racha, he is joined by a heroine who reiterates that her 'mogudu' will wipe the tears of the poor! In a puzzling action sequence of sorts (but an otherwise brilliantly choreographed fight), Hyderabadi goons morph into Chinese! Racha means 'creative liberty'.
All the good dialogues from the film were popular even before the film's release. There was nothing more in store and Paruchuri Brothers' dialogues lacked the zing. Comedy was drab and Brahmanandam as choreographer Rangeela was a bore. Ali was not needed.
Talking of performances, Charan is a treat for his fans. In fact, he is one reason why his fans should watch the film with a 'Dillaku Dillaku' attitude. He shows flashes of Chiru-ness more than he ever did in the past; be it his baritone or demeanour, he is a Megastar in effect. Vana Vana, like the Dillaku number, was well-shot, well-choreographed and well-performed by Charan. Helped by a strong script, he could have been much better. Tamanna was more of the same. Ajmal's characterization was curious - he was shown as a negative character to mislead the audience. Nonetheless, he does justice.
Mani Sharma's BG score was adept.
At the end, Racha means telling an old story with lot's of bells and whistles (over the top dialogues, destructive fights, falling back on the poor, etc).