Dasvi movie review: Abhishek Bachchan, Yami Gautam, Nimrat Kaur starrer tries hard but fails to create magic
Dasvi follows the story of a corrupt politician Gangaram Choudhary, who is chief minister of Harit Pradesh. He was sentenced a jail-term in recruitment scam. The politician then decides to appear for 10th exam in jail and takes oath he won't become a CM again unless he passes the exam.
- Tushar Jalota
- Abhishek Bachchan,
- Nimrat Kaur,
- Yami Gautam
- Social comedy
- Netflix, JioCinema
Nelson Mandela famously said, "Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world." The Abhishek Bachchan starrer Netflix film Dasvi (Tenth) tries to precisely focus on the same belief, but with a comical nuance.
While Bollywood is home to quite a few Indian movies based on prison settings, I can only recollect Senior Bachchan’s ‘ Sholay ’ which tickled the audience’s funny bone with humorous episodes involving jail inmates. Dasvi is no laugh riot but vows to shatter the dark and somber image of Indian jails.
Dasvi narrates how a jail experience helps transform a corrupt politician into a propagator of education. The film appears to be loosely stimulated by the life of former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, who was sentenced by the court in a teacher recruitment scam. The Jat leader, tired of his ‘illiterate politician’ tag, resolves to use his prison stay to pass Class X exams. Then follow many twists and turns.
Once Ganga Ram Chaudhary, chief minister of fiction Harit Pradesh, reaches behind bars, his meek wife Bimla Devi( Nimrat Kaur ) takes over. However, the power causes the timid housewife, who was habitual of living in the shadow of his all-powerful husband, to change her behaviour. As it is said: “When the power goes to your head, it may shut out your heart’ -- and she finally starts to shut her heart for her husband amid a surge in liking for power and roaring political ambitions.
The popular phrase from George Orwell's Animal Farm: “Power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely” finds an accurate mention in the movie in one place.
Then kicks off the struggle of Ganga Ram to not only reclaim his lost political power but also succeed in his exams. But the spunky and honest jail superintendent Jyoti Deswal ( Yami Gautam Dhar) now emerges as a fresh challenge for him within the jail premises. She refuses to grant special treatment to the affluent politician. Nevertheless, soon follows a change of heart, and she begins to stir him up to pass his 10th board exam.
Director Tushar Jalota (actor in 2007 Showbiz) set out to lay down a riveting plot but somehow cuts out to captivate the audience continually through his over 2-hour long movie. The movie has some beaming, fun-filled moments, but forced humour in other parts uncovers the feeble script. With writers Ritesh Shah, Suresh Nair, and Sandeep Laeyzell onboard, we had actually expected some magic.
Dialogues such as “Mall banega toh maal aayega. School banenge toh berozgari badhegi” are good for ears. But at the same time, many comic punches fail to instill laughter. “Sarkaar rishwat se chalti hai” and a few others, are not robust enough to build real political background.
It’s arduous to fathom why everyone in Chaudhary’s family is so conniving and what exactly is their political agenda.
While the reunion of Chaudhary in history with Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose, and Chandrashekhar Azad at first appeared to be inch-perfect, later it concluded as loosely knit episodes, failing to match the comprehensiveness of Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Rang De Basanti.
Songs seem to be misplaced. Macha Macha is a good foot-tapping score.
Abhishek Bachchan looks convincing as a Haryanvi Jat politician. While he struggled to pick up the Haryanavi accent at the start, things settle smoothly as the movie progresses. Junior Bachchan has played his subtle best and managed to evoke laughter.
What impressed the most is Nimrat Kaur who with her right Haryanvi accent and mannerism stole the show. Unlike others, her character has layers, first of naive politician’s wife, then a flamboyant politician and she gradually turns evil when she stands against his own husband for power and fame.
Yami Gautam is good and doesn’t try to go too overboard in her role as jail superintendent. However, her character could have been better written. What prompted her to encourage Chaudhary to study further has no clear answers.
The camaraderie of Abhishek and the inmates deserve praise as the director took a fresh take at describing the whole jail energy. The characters like Ghanti(Arun Kushwaha), Prem Kaidi, Emandaar, among others, certainly for some time, keep engaged and when you start to enjoy, the movie falls flat with the introduction of certain unrequired scenes.
Overall, 'Dasvi' is a 'one time watch' film that can be comfortably installed on Netflix in a family atmosphere.