Critics’ Verdict: ‘Daddy’ Is Zara Hatke From Usual Gangster Films

Arjun Rampal is impressive as ‘Daddy’. 

Movie Reviews
2 min read
Hindi Female

Film: Daddy
Director: Ashim Alhuwalia
Cast: Arjun Rampal, Nishikant Kamat, Anand Ingale, Rajesh Shringarpure, Deepak Damle, Aishwarya Rajesh

Excerpts from reviews of Daddy:

Rampal intensely conveys the younger Gawli’s trepidation and hesitation as he finds himself at the threshold of crime. You feel his discomfort and frustration as he copes with jail time and you have to commend Rampal’s physical transformation into the gaunt gangster turned politician. There are some softer moments with Zubeida (Aishwarya Rajesh) aka Asha, a neighbour Arun woos and marries, and his daughter. Tamil actress Aishwarya Rajesh does well with the Hindi and Marathi accents and as Daddy’s constant support. Daddy demands patient viewing as it sets out to explore a new story delivery style while tackling the ever-popular gangster genre. As it walks the fine line between judgement and glorification, Daddy often feels like a bunch of headlines stitched together with fine handwriting managing to suck you back into a time that has shaped modern Mumbai.
Udita Jhunjhunwala (
Director Ashim Ahluwalia manages to showcase the biopic without using Bollywood’s formulaic pattern and keeps it as real as possible. Most parts of the film have been shot in real locations, which add authenticity to the story. Unlike most gangster movies, this one doesn’t make Gawli the hero. Having said that, more than once, the film tries to imply that Gawli wouldn’t have become a gangster if the cops hadn’t played spoilsport. It’s a risk to not follow Bollywood’s tried-and-tested formula. While it does win Rampal brownie points, this will not be enough to turn the film into a success at the box office. It can’t exactly be termed as Gawli’s biopic, because so much of his life is missing from the film. Nor can one say that it is entertaining as it offers nothing new. Watch it to see Rampal in one of his best performances till date, for a story without frills and only if you have a penchant for crime dramas.
Letty Marian Abraham (
Acting-wise, needless to grrrrroan, this is a one-man show for Arjun Rampal who amittedly invests his blood, sweat and intense stares to catch the essence of the real-life Arun Gawli. No big deal, that. Like the rest of the film, Mr Rampal’s acting chops, aren’t in the wow-kya-baat-hai category. Far from it. Frankly, I’d rather re-re-watch the fictional sparks of Bhiku Mhatre in Satya than bother about this culled-from-life apologia for despicable crimes, justified by those deja phew reasons of dire poverty and unavoidable circumstances. Unsolicited suggestion: A…voidable.
Khalid Mohamed (

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Topics:  Arjun Rampal   Arun Gawli   daddy 

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