Abhishek Bachchan, Yami Gautam, Nimrat Kaur, Arun Kushwah, Danish Husain, Mubashir Bashir Beigh
What’s It About
Ganga Ram Chaudhary, the Chief Minister of a fictitious Harit Pradesh, gets arrested for a teacher recruitment fraud. He gets his wife to be CM of the state for the time that he is in jail. Now, to avoid working as a carpenter in the jail, he plans to take the 10th grade examinations with the student undertrials. As he starts studying he starts realising that he is getting to learn so many new things. He starts getting hooked onto studies and despite all the hurdles, he decides that he would give the tenth board exam, and he takes an oath that if he doesn’t pass the exam, he wouldn’t get back to the CM’s post ever again. His wife, the now CM, starts getting a hang of the powers she has now. The power goes onto her head, and she starts going against the wishes of her husband, who was the original CM. So much so that she even tries to create obstacles for her husband to not be able to clear his tenth exam. Will Ganga Ram Chaudhary be able to sit for all the exams of his tenth boards? Will he be able to clear it? Or will his wife play some shrewd political moves and get him disbarred? Well, you’ll have to watch the movie for that.
Yami Gautam brings on a very measured performance. Making her the perfect choice for the role. She has been playing girl-next-door characters for quite a long time, and it feels good to see her steer her career in a different direction. From being the strict jailor to being the understanding teacher, she embodies the character pretty well.
Another highlight of the movie is Sachin-Jigar’s background score. While the songs are not too memorable, but it’s the background score during the intense scenes and the emotional scenes that make you feel invested in the movie.
Abhishek Bachchan’s Haryanvi accent seemed oh-so-forced. While he managed to get the look perfect, and his performance was also decent, but it was his accent that didn’t make him suit the role at all.
It might be the case that an actress as brilliant as Nimrat Kaur isn’t getting too much work, and that’s why she is picking up such roles. She is hamming in almost the entire first half. Her character has a very similar graph to that of Huma Qureshi in the web show, ‘Maharani’, but the subtlety with which Qureshi performed is nowhere close to what Kaur has come up with. Kaur is trying to be funny, and the characterization comes out very caricaturish, to say the least.
Writers Suresh Nair and Ritesh Shah wanted to position this as a satirical comedy, but the commercial treatment of the subject just took away all the juice from it. A good example to look at here would be the way films like ‘Phas Gaye Re Obama’ or even, ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’ had been presented. ‘Dasvi’ tries to showcase poignant topics like caste-based politics, inter-caste marriage and political horse trading with a tinge of humour, but it doesn’t end up spending that much time so as to make the audience understand the gravity of the situation. Also, another striking point to be noted here is that on one side the writing touches upon these socio-political topics, but it doesn’t touch up anywhere about the incessant fights that happen between the inmates, or even the huge number of rape cases that happen inside jails. I can understand that you don’t want to show that, but in a film which is set inside the jail for almost 85 percent of its screen time, at least once or twice you could have given a reference to this topic of rapes or fights inside the jail. Another missed opportunity was the showcasing of fighters like Subhash Chandra Bose, Lala Lajpat Rai, Mahatma Gandhi, Chandrashekhar Azad and others. The flashback scenes show these characters helping the lead character get a grip of India’s history, but they don’t end up having enough meat in those characters like you had in ‘Rang De Basanti’ or ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’.
Tushar Jalota’s direction isn’t something to wowed about. It’s just about average. In an attempt to make the movie’s runtime just about 2 hours, Jalota has missed out on an opportunity on exploring some great characters. Like the character played by Arun Kushwah and Danish Husain could have been give more screen time so as to bring out the satirical element even more.
‘Dasvi’ is a squandered opportunity for a great political satire. The acting is below average for most parts, and the writing is the biggest soft spot. So, Avoid. I am going with 1.5 stars.