A bunch of actors, all long past their prime, on a seedy hoarding brandishing "Ram Dev", directed by an unknown director, won't exactly have you jumping up and down in anticipation. However, it's wrong to judge a book by its cover. You are hoping so, at least. But even lowered expectations cannot save you from Ram Dev.
And then there is smell.
One of the most striking things about the viewing arena at the Sri Mayuri theatre is its scent. How do we describe it? Without getting judgmental, let's just say it's the sort of smell that leaves you with a feeling in the belly. The film just amplifies that feeling manifold. No, perhaps the film was intended to make your stomach churn anyways. Rubbish, to put it plainly.
Ram Dev is a rather twisted love triangle. Possibly one of the most deranged love triangles ever conceived. Abbas and Akash are the male protagonists, and Gracy Singh is the bone of contention between them. She loves Akash with all her heart, but sacrifices her love and marries Abbas at the insistence of her rich father, Paruchuri Gopalakrishna.
Akash's mother passes away, visibly shocked at the betrayal. Akash is distraught. His being a child born out of the wedlock comes back to haunt him, and he sets off on a mission to win back his unrequited love. He comes back to haunt the now happily married couple. Mind you, Abbas has had to wait two years to win the love of his heartbroken spouse.
There is also Archana, a hotshot model. Aside of a few sleazy bikini episodes by the pool, she has little to do. Yes, she's madly in love with Akash. In the end Abbas gets to keep his wife and Archana gets her man. All's well that ends well.
Well, not quite. To say Ram Dev is a cinematic catastrophe would be an understatement. It seems to have been crafted with no skill whatsoever. Guess it's more of a labour of love... of a very demented variety.
The performances are pretty much in line with the rest of the film. In terms of screen presence, Gracy Singh has the meatiest role of all, followed by Akash and Abbas. It's hard to single out any performance in the entire film on any other basis. Mediocrity it seems was the objective of the movie, and everything about it stays true to that. The story, dialogues, screenplay and editing all follow suit.
The music by Srilekha is just unregister-able, and the visuals will remind you of one of those shady B-grade films you would have seen as a kid. It's all a little too "sidey".
You can watch Ram Dev if you belong to the type who like to see how bad a movie can really get. Others, just drop everything and run.