1.Let’s play a game. Tell me how many film names you can think of with this storyline.
There is a naïve hero who is from a humble family, and a goon who controls the locality where they reside. Our hero crosses paths with the villain, who hurts him, and then it's time for revenge. Meanwhile, sprinkle in some mother/father or sibling-related melodrama as per your requirement. And also add a whirlwind romance with our run-of-the-mill heroine.
Vijay Sethupathi’s DSP joins the long list of template commercial films that include Thalapthy Vijay’s Thirupaachi and Vishal’s Thimiru.
2.My friend and I spoke about DSP after watching it. We both felt it was a stereotypical revenge drama from the 90s. It was so stereotypical that my friend said it reminded her of the typical response—'Hmm'—that she gets from her crush every time she texts him. And I was like, "Wait what, you get a reply when you text your crush? I never get a response."
3.Vijay Sethupathi’s character is called 'Vasco da Gama' in the film. I know that’s not how our heroes are usually named. It sounds quirky, which increases your curiosity to know the significance behind it. How is his character connected to the Portuguese explorer that he is named after? If you thought you’d get the answer to it, you won't. Director Ponram behaves like our dad when we ask him for permission to go on a Goa trip with friends. You don’t know the reason till the end, but you get 'no' as an answer.
4.However, the villain in the film has a fair reason behind why he is called Muttai Ravi (which translates to 'Egg' Ravi). But it doesn't matter because the name is more hilarious than powerful or terrifying.
5.Vasco da Gama is an unemployed, happy-go-lucky guy who likes to play cricket and gets drunk with his friends. His dad has been struggling to help him land a government job for a while. At some point, after facing a crisis, Vasco is forced to leave his hometown. When he returns from exile, he appears as a Deputy Superintendent of Police. How? We never know.
Given that it is a ‘cop job’, I was struck by the fact that he is not shown to put himself through physical or emotional strain, nor is he required to study for any exams. I wish my life could change overnight like this without any hard work.
6.In an apparently power-packed action sequence, the villain and the hero take a break to sip hot tea and resume the fight. I was squeezing my eyes shut, unsure if it was real.
That unintentionally funny sequence reminded me of how my brother and I used to fight, take a break to have samosas, and start fighting again (okay, I admit, we do that even now). Anger and hunger are two emotions that switch more rapidly than you can imagine.
7.Do you remember how debate competitions in our schools made us speak both for and against a topic? But what if you have a skewed perspective on one side?
The film looked conflicted in how it presented police brutality. In one scene, it speaks about an important topic, 'encounter killings,' and how police officers are at times victims of politicians who use them as unofficial henchmen. However, it quickly frizzes out when custodial torture is presented as a humorous sequence.
8.Remember I spoke about how the film feels like it is from the 1990s? Because just for laughs, the characters call each other Loosu, Mental and Paithiyam, which are ableist terms. In addition, body shaming is packaged as comedy specifically when a potential groom meets our hero’s sister.
9.In a particular scene, a bunch of police officers are shown chilling in the police station during work, ogling at Samantha and grooving to 'Oo Antava' from Allu Arjun's Pushpa. The song's entire purpose was to criticize men's perversities and send a message that... Okay, never mind.
10.Let’s talk about the music in DSP. It was mediocre, like my dating life. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that the film's music is composed by national award winner D Imman. However, the silver lining is that the background score wasn't too bad. It was at least refreshing to see a song 'Nalla Iruma' about wishing an ex-partner well rather than cursing them.