A Ranjith Cinema review: Intense plot and decent storytelling make it a watchable psychological thriller

Nishanth Sattu's directorial debut picks up momentum in the second half as the plot thickens with the murder mystery.

ByArjun Ramachandran

Published:Dec 08, 2023

A poster of the film A Ranjith Cinema
A worthy watch!

A Ranjith Cinema (Malayalam)

  • Cast: Asif Ali, Namitha Pramod, Anson Paul, Aju Varghese, and Saiju Kurup
  • Director: Nishanth Sattu
  • Producer: Nishad Peechi
  • Music: Midhun Ashokan
  • Runtime: 2 hours 29 minutes

A Ranjith Cinema — it’s the name of Asif Ali’s new movie directed by debutant Nishanth Sattu. From the title, the audience can make out that it is a story set against the backdrop of cinema.

The Malayalam films Udayananu Tharam (2005) and Driving Licence (2019) also revolved around cinema and were hits.

However, while narrating the story of a budding director and events that happen around him in A Ranjith Cinema, Nishanth Sattu takes cinematic liberty to express his ideas.

A Ranjith Cinema mixes reality into fiction and picks up momentum only in the second half. The movie makes a decent effort to raise the issues faced by an upcoming director.


Namitha Pramod, Hanna Mary Koshy and Jewel Mary in A Ranjith Cinema

Namitha Pramod, Hanna Mary Koshy, and Jewel Mary in ‘A Ranjith Cinema’. (Supplied)

Ranjith (Asif Ali) is a young filmmaker who aspires to become an independent director. He works as a part-time TV anchor of a prank show on a satellite channel.

He falls in love with Pournami (Namitha Pramod), the daughter of a public prosecutor played by Renji Panicker.

The way they fall in love is all filmy, and the songs add colour to their romantic relationship.

Ranjith has a bad encounter with a young businessman played by Saiju Kurup when he pranks the latter in his show. Pournami’s father too dislikes Ranjith and doesn’t approve of their love.

Meanwhile, Ranjith accidentally shoots the killing of a highly influential lawyer on his camera, which brings a twist to the story. Following this, he faces many issues.

Being a filmmaker, he decides to make a movie based on these real-life events and even briefs the incidents to the producer played by Harishree Ashokan.

At a particular point, he narrates fictional incidents since he doesn’t finish the script. Impressed with the subject, the producer asks to complete the climax.

However, the fictional incidents he narrated to the producer begin to happen in his real life. A worried Ranjith visits a mental health practitioner.

This area of the story makes it a psychological thriller and draws reference to the 1990 Malayalam movie Iyer The Great where the protagonist (Mammootty) foresees the incidents.

In A Ranjith Cinema, Ranjith unknowingly makes up a story similar to his real life. How these issues affect him is worth watching.

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A Ranjith Cinema has an impressive plot but the presentation in the first half is not engrossing as the story involves many incidents. However, the movie picks up momentum in the second half as the plot thickens with the murder mystery.

Interestingly, all the central characters are connected with this murder and the director adopts a smart way to interlink the real-life incidents with the reel story.

Some scenes have loud music which could have been avoided, especially when Ranjith experiences déjà vu.

The chemistry between Namitha Pramod and Asif Ali is a huge plus for the movie.


A Ranjith Cinema is meant to be a thriller

‘A Ranjith Cinema’ is a psychological thriller. (Supplied)

Asif Ali as Ranjith fares well in the flick. The actor, as a young director with serious problems, wins our hearts.

Asif delivered some good performances in his recent films Kasaragold (2023) and Otta (2023), though they didn’t do well at the box office.

Namitha Pramod, as Pournami, is good. Her scenes with Asif Ali are impressive.

Her appearance as a handicapped person in the climax does not come out as expected. But her willingness to change her looks needs to be appreciated.

Saiju Kurup, as a young businessman, plays a loud character. But he delivers it without exaggeration.

Jewel Mary, as Saiju’s wife, is decent enough.

Renji Panicker’s public prosecutor is a strong character and the actor pulls it off.

The film has some good melodies composed by Mithun Mukunda.

The cinematography by Sunoj Velayudhan and Kunjunny S Kumar is impressive.

Also Read: ‘Archies’ is a hollow teenage drama led by three disappointing star kids

Final take

A Ranjith Cinema is a watchable psychological thriller with an intriguing plot and layered storytelling.

(Views expressed here are personal.)