Art & Entertainment

‘Dayaa’ On Disney+ Hotstar Review: JD Chakravarthy’s Gripping Crime Thriller Is Marred By A Lacklustre Climax

Disney+ Hotstar’s latest web series, ‘Dayaa’, has been making a lot of noise ever since it was announced. Is the JD Chakravarthy starrer show worth your time? Or can you simply skip it? Read the full review to find out.

A Still From 'Dayaa'
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‘Dayaa’: Cast & Crew

Director: Pavan Sadineni

Cast: JD Chakravarthy, Babloo Prithiveeraj, Eesha Rebba, Remya Nambeesan, Kamal Kamaraju, Vishnupriyaa Bhimeneni, Josh Ravi, Keshav Deepak, Mayank Parekh, Nanda Gopal, Gayathri Gupta, Saibhanuteja Kadimisetyy, Dasari Haribabu, Manichandana Ayithi, Sanaka Naveen, Dasari Haribabu, Pandit Goutham, Srinivasa Naidu, Gunturu Shankar, Venkteswara Reddy

Available On: Disney+ Hotstar

Duration: 8 Episodes, 24-31 Minutes Each

‘Dayaa’: Story

The plot of the series revolves around a story of a freezer van driver named Dayaa (JD Chakravarthy) whose whole life turns upside down when he finds a dead body inside his van. A trail of chaotic events thereby follows which pushes Dayaa and his close ones into bigger difficulties. Will Dayaa be able to save his near and dear ones in this time of crisis? Or will he end up falling into bigger troubles? Well, for all that you’ll have to watch ‘Dayaa’.

‘Dayaa’: Performances

JD Chakravarthy nails it with a performance that leaves you shocked. The transformation of the character from being a simpleton to being a dreaded monster has been depicted so well by Chakravarthy, it makes you wonder why we don’t see him more often onscreen. The two contrasting emotions were showcased so brilliantly by Chakravarthy that you’re left wanting more and more of this character.

Ramya Nambeeshan is decent. As per the requirement of the character, she doesn’t have too much screen time. But in the minimal time that she is onscreen, she manages to do well. The strength which her character exudes is something that all journalists in today’s time should have but is somehow missing because of the geopolitical and economic conditions of the country. Nambeeshan brings out that personality really well.

Babloo Prithiveeraj is the surprise element of the show. He is the quintessential bad guy or rather, the villain, in the show and he has played the character to so utter perfection that just one look at him and you’re left hating the character, which is purely intentional. In today’s woke generation you don’t get to see such villainous characters, and it’s a pretty refreshing change to see an old-school villain.

There is an air that’s built up around the character of Eesha Rebba, which somehow doesn’t translate enough to the audience. The character is said to be dreaded by all and sundry, but there aren’t enough scenes showing that. As an audience, you feel cheated that the character isn’t as devilish as it’s said to be.

‘Dayaa’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

Vasant Kumar Jurru, Rakendu Mouli, and Pavan Sadineni’s writing is good. However, they manage to screw up the climax. They manage to keep the audience hooked till the very end, but right when the crescendo comes, they aren’t able to deliver a climax that’s worth the hype. The climax should have had a lot more clarity and a lot of the loose ends should have been given a closure. Sadly, that didn’t happen, and a lot was left out for a sequel to answer. It’s good to keep the audiences hooked for another season, but it’s bad to keep them hanging for a proper ending, as no one knows whether a sequel will get greenlit by the production house or not.

Pavan Sadineni’s direction is the best thing about ‘Dayaa’. He has developed the character of Dayaa so beautifully that you’re not expecting to see what it eventually becomes. The character professes to be a simpleton and suddenly you see a striking change in him and he ends up becoming the roaring factor which takes over the opponents. You’re not expecting that sudden change and the way Sadineni has shown it takes you by surprise and wins you over. Adapting it from the Bengali original and setting it up in a southern Indian setting was done well. Had he just put a bit more effort into making the climax a lot more wholesome, ‘Dayaa’ would have been one of the most thrilling experiences of this year.

Vivek Kalepu’s cinematography is another highlight. Considering it is set up in a southern Indian setting, the landscape shown is pretty good with some great locales, and Kalepu has been able to capture the beauty of the locales in its entirety. The subtleties that he has managed to showcase are brilliant. For example (Spoilers Ahead), there is a scene where Dayaa is after a group of henchmen to silence them. In order to show that, Kalepu showcases a shot of an Eagle out to catch a prey, which signifies the current scenario. There are many such scenes where the subtleties have been shown brilliantly.

Viplav Naishadam’s editing is also crisp. He hasn’t tried to push the narrative unnecessarily and therefore has been able to get short and taut episodes. Even though it’s 8 episodes, you’re not bored, and you’re hooked till the last bit.

‘Dayaa’: Can Kids Watch It?

Yes

Outlook’s Verdict

‘Dayaa’ is one of those shows where you’re rooting for a great climax as the entirety of the show is so gripping. However, when the climax comes, you’re not fully satisfied and you’re left with a feeling of the end being rushed and half-baked. JD Chakravarthy’s performance is brilliant. He carries the entire show’s weight on his shoulders. It’s sad that we don’t get to see a lot more of him in Hindi cinema. Overall, ‘Dayaa’ is definitely a Gripping One Time Watch. I am going with 3 stars.

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