Art & Entertainment

'Dry Day' On Amazon Prime Video Movie Review: Jitendra Kumar's Talents Have Been Wasted In This Overstretched Social Drama

Starring Jitendra Kumar, Shriya Pilgaonkar, and Annu Kapoor, 'Dry Day' is streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Is this social drama worth watching or is it too preachy? Read the full review to find out.

'Dry Day' on Amazon Prime Video

After a hiatus of more than 10 years, Saurabh Shukla is back in the game as a writer and director. ‘Dry Day’ is his newest OTT venture. He has gotten powerhouses of talent like Jitendra Kumar, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Annu Kapoor on board to deliver this social drama with a message. Before its release, the movie had got the audience ecstatic. There was considerable buzz and chatter regarding the film online. The film started streaming on Amazon Prime Video from December 22 onwards. Here’s all that you need to know about this movie.

‘Dry Day’: Story

In the fictional town of Jagodar, alcohol flows like a river. The local politician has made alcohol so cheap that men line up outside the thekas as soon as the first rays of the sun hit the ground. The women, on the other hand, are tired of their alcoholic husbands who spend every hard-earned penny on liquor. The local politician has a goonda who works for him on the ground level. This man is also an alcoholic, and his wife is also sick of it. When his wife gets pregnant, she asks him to quit alcohol or else she will abort the fetus. The story follows the trials and tribulations that take place when he tries to quit alcohol and accidentally becomes a messiah for the women of the town.

‘Dry Day’: Performances

Jitendra Kumar has a certain quality in him through which he can bring these characters who hail from small towns alive. He tried to bring that quality to life in this film as well. You can see that the man tries and tries and tries but the script fails him. He fits in the role of a local goon who is only enabled by his group of friends. But if only the script gave him more, he would have shone. The parts where he deals with withdrawal symptoms are nice and that’s all I have to say about it.

Shriya Pilgaonkar plays the role of a no-nonsense wife who does not shy away from giving back to her in-laws and relatives. Her chemistry with Jitendra is bearable and maybe that will help you look past the fact that she sticks out like a sore thumb in the entire setting.

Annu Kapoor plays the role of the conniving politician with ease. He embodies the shrewdness of a politician meticulously. At one point, he is calculated. But when he feels that his successor has done him wrong, he gets into the skin of a politician who will use all the powers within his arsenal to make sure that he wins.

Kiran Khoje plays the role of a woman who is absolutely done with her husband’s alcoholism. She fuels the movement and is great at portraying her helplessness with aggression. Apart from them, no other performance is worth mentioning. Although a lot keeps happening throughout, no one in particular stands out. Not even the supposed villain.

‘Dry Day’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

Back in 1998, Saurabh Shukla wrote the screenplay of ‘Satya’. To see someone who wrote ‘Satya’ deliver something as insipid as ‘Dry Day’ is disheartening. In a bid to make a good PSA film, the script bit off more than it could chew. Quite like the name, the story became chaotic and dry. The script is fairly long and could have easily been chopped in certain places without messing up the major plot. But sadly that wasn’t done. A lot keeps happening in the film. There’s a Godbharai song, a Holi song, and sometimes even the sloganeering breaks into a song. While I skipped these songs whenever they popped up, I also ended up fast-forwarding many other sections in the film. It needed a crisp editing and that could have helped drive the point home.

The film has taken up a good issue but it wants to portray that prohibition is the perfect solution to every problem. It is not even subtle in its approach. The film tries to check all the boxes to make a perfect protest/social message film that breaks its back. For example, the lead’s mother is also pregnant. They touched upon this in the beginning and only at the end. The mother was conveniently forgotten. Somehow the antagonist decides to side with the protagonist for his own gains. But you just don’t know why he took this step and what would he get out of it.

‘Dry Day’ is touted to be a comedy-drama. But the jokes are just not funny. If I am being lenient, maybe the 30-45 minutes had some elements of humour, but apart from that the jokes never made their way. They were just used and overused tropes. The only good thing was that they did not show that the lead and his minions changed their ways in a day. That was the only element of reality in this film.

Apart from this, the cinematography helped establish the setting. The aerial shots and the wide shots made you believe that you were in Jagodhar. Special mention needs to be given to the music by Protijyoti Ghosh and Javed–Mohsin. They used folk songs in the film to make the setting feel more real.

‘Dry Day’: Cast & Crew

Created By: Saurabh Shukla

Director: Saurabh Shukla

Cast: Jitendra Kumar, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Annu Kapoor, Kiran Khoje, Sunil Palwal, Shrikant Varma, Jagdish Rajpurohit, Abhishek Srivastava, Padmesh Krishna Tiwari, Aditya Sinha, Akash Mahamana, Priyanka Meena

Available On: Amazon Prime Video

Duration: 2 hours 8 minutes

‘Dry Day’: Can Kids Watch It?


Outlook’s Verdict

There is a scene in the film where the main lead and his men travel to Delhi from Jagodhar. When they reach there, they randomly start yelling at the security, they get into a fight, the hero loses the speech his friend wrote for him, another man from the gang ends up on the stage, and finally all of them land in jail. I’m sure picturizing this would be chaotic and difficult. This exact scene sums up what I felt about the film – a lack of cohesion, depth, and a general feeling that so much could have been done if only the script was good. I am going with 2 stars.