Review: Abhishek Bachchan's 'Dasvi' Makes The Cardinal Mistake of Being Boring
Dasvi also stars Nimrat Kaur and Yami Gautam.
A film can be anything it wants to be, but Dasvi makes the cardinal mistake of being... boring! Innumerable yawn-inducing, unfunny moments together conspire to make it a tiresome watch.
It’s all very well to end with a Nelson Mandela quote about the “power of education”, but good intentions alone can’t make a great film.
The story (by Ram Bajpai) and the screenplay, credited to not one but three people, Ritesh Shah, Suresh Nair and Sandeep Leyzell, revolve around Ganga Ram Chaudhary (Abhishek Bachchan). A corrupt, dishonest politician, he is the Chief Minister of an imaginary state called Harit Pradesh. With scant regard for morals, ethics and education, Ganga Ram trudges on till his misdeeds land him in jail. We must then witness his evolution into a man who finally bows to the reformatory power of education.
The only problem is that it's tough to stay awake because the film presents the idea in the most uninspiring fashion. To fortify his political clout, Ganga Ram appoints his wife Bimla Devi (Nimrat Kaur) as the next CM. Ghunghat clad, leading a bovine existence, Bimla has no idea what has come her way as she falteringly takes her shapath. In jail, Ganga Ram is accorded with a five-star treatment, until a tough Jail superintendent Jyoti Deswal (Yami Gautam) comes in and puts everyone’s nose to the grindstone.
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Ganga Ram is assigned the task of making chairs. Unwilling to do any hard labour, he decides to study for his Class 10 board exams. Soon, this becomes his sole mission in life and, much to our horror, the narrative that anyway refused to take off comes to a grinding halt. Letters begin to fly on screen and Bachchan is shown having imaginary conversations with leaders from the freedom movement. As Ganga Ram contorts his face and body in various positions reading book after book, director Tushar Jalota inexplicably keeps showing us the same visuals. It’s almost like we are stuck in an academic year ourselves with no assurance of any speedy redressal.
For a film like this to work, the writing had to be sharper. Here, most of the jokes fall flat and Abhishek’s ‘sometimes there sometimes not’ accent makes matters worse. His performance seems laboured and feels more like he is mimicking a politician than actually getting into the skin of his character. Nimrat Kaur and Yami Gautam, on the other hand, get scantily- written characters, but hold our attention every time they are in the frame. How did a shy, hesitant Bimla become a power-hungry politician overnight? Why does a strict disciplinarian like Jyoti have a change of heart? These are answers we will never have. It would have been interesting to explore the power dynamics between the former and current CM as husband and wife, but the film throws away that chance too. Manu Rishi Chadha, Chittaranjan Tripathy, Arun Kushwaha try to make the most of what they have to offer, but Dasvi never recovers. It hurtles around aimlessly as if waiting for someone to whisper directions.
Our rating: 1 .5 Quints out of 5.
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