Verdict: This slice-of-life story is the perfect laughter break from your current life crises. 

2017 has proved that Bollywood is changing. This year, movies starring A-listers have failed at the box office while small town slice-of-life stories like Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan performed exceptionally. Looks like the audience is getting smarter day by day and preferring quality over packaging. Ranchi Diaries, an Anupam Kher venture, directed and written by debutant Sattwik Mohanty, belongs to the latter category. A comedy thriller drama set in Jharkhand’s capital, Ranchi, it beautifully juxtaposes the aspirations of a young girl against the local milieu with lots and lots of 'LOL' moments.  

What's Ranchi Diaries About:

The story revolves around an aspiring singer Gudiya (Soundarya Sharma), whose dreams to be a pop sensation like Shakira becomes a sty in the eye of a local mafia kingpin called Thakur Bhaiya (Anupam Kher). Slowly, you get to discover how her talent makes her elope with her childhood love played by Himansh Kohli. A crisp narration takes you through the situations and characters using light humor. In order to get out of the mess they create, Gudiya, along with her boyfriend Manish, and three other friends, Pinku (Taaha Shah), Babloo and Bunty, plans a kidnapping, which goes horribly wrong. This is because they abduct the local mafia king’s brother Kishan played by Deepak Kalra, who is definitely the hero in all the scenes filmed on him. This event lands the group at the police station where S. I. Choubey (Satish Kaushik) agrees to free them, provided they give him 5 lakh rupees. To arrange for such a large sum, the five come up with the idea of a bank robbery. But there awaits a twist in the story. With Jimmy Shergill as Inspector Lallan Singh calling an entire police force outside the bank with the protagonists stuck inside, will they be able to successfully carry out the robbery? Or will they lose their only chance of turning their dreams into reality using the shortcut method?

What Works:

While veteran actors Anupam Kher and Satish Kaushik, along with the power performer Jimmy Shergill, steal all the attention with their onscreen presence, what also stands out in the film is Taaha Shah. With his quintessential good looks and hilarious antics, he manages to surpass our expectations and at certain moments, overshadows even the lead cast. Besides him, all the other actors are decent enough to make you laugh without any inhibitions. The dialogues and cinematography perfectly depict the small town characteristics, while the parody of several societal aspects leaves you in splits. The comic timing of the characters hits the bull’s eye, thus making the film an instant laughter riot.

What Could Have Been Better:

The accent seems forced and is nowhere similar to the accent used by the actual inhabitants of Jharkhand. And even though Himansh Kohli melts your heart with his innocence and cuteness, the actor goes overboard in certain scenes. A more eventful script with tighter editing could have helped the film considerably, given the excellence of the actors and chaotic storyline of the movie.

Why You Should Watch:

Watch the film to enjoy an amazing laughter session of one-and-a-half hours, amidst wonderful actors like Anupam Kher and Jimmy Shergill. Also, the last scene will definitely make you nostalgic about a recent event that literally shook the country to the core. To know what we talking about, go catch the film in your nearest theatres. If you love comedy, there is no reason why you should not watch Ranchi Diaries. The movie also teaches a lesson that there are no shortcuts to success.