Star Cast: Arjun Rampal, Aishwarya Rajesh, Rajesh Shringarpore, Nishikant Kamat, Farhan Akhtar
Director: Ashim Ahluwalia
What’s Good: Portrayal of Arjun Rampal as the dreaded don in addition to the excellent production value of the film.
What’s Bad: It’s screenplay, which makes the film look like a never ending saga with shootouts galore.
Loo Break: Lots of them, at regular intervals!
Watch or Not?: Strictly a one time watch. Purely to see Arjun Rampal’s radical transformation as Arun ‘Daddy’ Gawli
The film starts off with a broad in-house murder of a certain MLA Mhatre. This is followed by the viewers being treated to the inroads of Dagdi Chawl of the year 1976, which has been a witness to the rise of the staunch Lord Shiva devotee Arun Gulab Gawli from being a mere mill worker’s son to a dreaded don to a politician. The film, then, mirrors all the flashback of events which speaks about the formation of BRA (Babu, Rama, Arun) members who were the key people behind many nefarious activities. One day, at the behest of his wife Zubeida (Aishwarya Rajesh), Arun Gawli decides to leave his entire criminal past behind and start a new life. Just as when he goes to meet his friend Rama to announce his decision of leaving the world of crime, he witnesses a board daylight ‘encounter’ of Rama at the hands of Inspector Vijaykar Nitin (Nishikant Kamat) and his fellow policemen.
Seeing this, Arun reverses his decision to leave the crime world. The film, then, starts oscillating between the past and the present. Inspector Vijaykar leaves nothing to chance in his attempts to put Arun behind bars. Despite all the odds being against him, Arun still manages to contest the elections and eventually wins it by a huge margin. What happens to Inspector Vijaykar and his never-say-die attempts to jail Arun, what happens to Arun and his tryst with politics, does Arun become successful to leave his past behind and start a new life is what forms the rest of the film.
Daddy Movie Review: Script Analysis
The very thought behind the script of Daddy is one of the most hard hitting and powerful ones which one has come across in the recent times. Thanks to the thought, the film looks like a series of events which is happening in front of our eyes. One has to give it to Ashim Ahluwalia and Arjun Rampal for the kind of research behind the film.
The spoilsport, however, is in the form of the film’s screenplay which seems to be a never-ending saga of bloodshed galore at every second step. Even though it’s a given that films of such genre does demand the need to show bloodshed and like premises, but, the way in which these sequences have been scripted and shot, really starts testing your patience at regular intervals.
Daddy Movie Review: Star Performance
No prizes for guessing that, it is Arjun Rampal who wins hands down in the acting department. The real life towering personality of his, doubled with an intense ‘eye-language’ and body language to match, Daddy is definitely an author backed role for him. Had the screenplay been a bit tauter and clear, Daddy could have just become a career defining film for Arjun Rampal. Arjun Rampal is seen giving the film his everything in order to make this role a memorable one. Arjun Rampal is followed a close second by the multi-talented Nishikant Kamat, who spells ‘class’ in the role of Inspector Vijaykar Nitin. One really wonders as to from how does Nishikant manage to look different in all his films in which he has acted.
His performance in Daddy vis a vis to his earlier films appears as diverse as chalk and cheese. Daddy sees the debut of Aishwarya Rajesh, who happens to be a well-known name in the south film industry. Even though she does not have a powerful role in the film, she does manage to shine (with sincerity) in whatever screen space that she gets. A set of good films to her credit and she could definitely be a name and face to watch out for in the future days of Bollywood. One really wonders as to what Farhan Akhtar was doing in this film. Even though he plays the role of a don, he comes across like a total misfit, except for his costumes. On the other hand, after having established himself in the Marathi film industry, Rajesh Shringarpure does a decent job in Daddy. Ditto for Anand Ingale, who also impresses with his character having gray shades. Rest of the characters are good enough to see us through the film.
Daddy Movie Review: Direction, Music
Besides the fact that the film has been based on the dreaded Arun Gawli, the film also had a tagline that stated ‘Daddy- The gangster who never ran from the police’. These two factors, as well as the film’s trailer, increased the curiosity amongst the viewers about the film. The film’s director Ashim Ahluwalia, who has earlier made films like John & Jane and Miss Lovely, takes a huge leap of sorts with Daddy. Even though one can appreciate the sincerity and his intentions with which he made the film, the fact is that these factors are not good enough for the film to sail through into the hearts of the cine goer as a film that is really hard hitting or memorable for a long time. The film’s first half is all about the establishment of the film’s characters and setting up the premise. While one expected a really well defined second half, the sad part is that the second part comes across way too stretched and roaming around in circles. An experienced hand in editing could have helped the second half, but sadly, that is not the case here. One has to give it to the director for having reasonably good production, esp. when it comes to a recreation of the era gone by.
As far as the film’s music is concerned, even though the film’s music does not act as a deterrent in the film’s progress, there are hardly any memorable songs in the film, except for the melodious ‘Eid Mubarak’.
Daddy Movie Review: The Last Word
If you are a die-hard fan of Arjun Rampal or such genre of films, then, the film Daddy is a must watch for you. And for the rest of you, except for Arjun Rampal and the production values in the form of the recreation of the era gone by, there is hardly anything to boast about in the film
Daddy releases on 08 September 2017.
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