Daddy - Review

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)
quick review:

A relatively engaging last half hour. Only if you can sit through gun fight after gun fight after gun fight that is typical of a film based in the underworld.

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Wogma Review

There is nothing remarkable about Daddy for about an hour and a half of the film. The film looks and feels like any other mafia gang war film and the story is exactly that too. The last half hour or so has some actual meat to it, showing us a peek into what Arun Gawli (Arjun Rampal) thought and did.

While relentless gun fights, gory violence included, is a given in a film of this genre, the narrative tool used was the most off-putting. You follow Inspector Vijay (Nishikant Kamat) as he interviews people close to Gawli – his mother, his associates, his friend's girlfriend and so on. Which would have been fine, if he was learning about Gawli along with the audience. Here, the inspector clearly ought to have known whatever he was interrogating about in the first place and in fact even says so at one point. This “tell, don't show” structure kept me at an arm's distance through most of the film.

It doesn't help that the subject of the film – the glorification of a renown mafia leader – isn't enticing in the first place. Even if he took from the rich to give to the poor, even if he wished to reform himself, even if his heart was never into violence to begin with – his misdeeds aren't easily forgivable. Also, there is always a nagging feeling that under the garb of an impartial take, there still lies a bias in the story-telling. I strongly sensed that we weren't being given the whole story made a little more obvious by the gaping holes in the story.

There were other elements in the story that seemed more gratuitious than the need of the situation. These mostly related to the scenes with sexual intimacy. Given the context, none of them made them were a necessary part of the story.

Fortunately, you have believable performances across the board. The action-heavy nature of the film doesn't necessarily need a huge variety of emoting, but Arjun Rampal, Nishikant Kamat, Aishwarya Rajesh, Rajesh Shringarpore keep things real.

In terms of the milieu too, the grungy, sepia tone works. I must say though, the men's hairstyles were quite distracting. Many of them felt like they were uncomfortable in their wigs instead of the hairdo blending with the characters.

Daddy, comes across as an earnest defense for one of the most feared men of his times. I lived in Mumbai during those times. I don't remember hearing of any of his Robinhood deeds. Maybe they were deliberately kept under wraps. If this film was made to invoke sympathy for a man who might wrongfully be in prison today, it didn't really do much in that direction. Lacking balance, it just might have pushed the audience, that can be bothered to care, even further in the other direction.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Loads, relentless through most of the film
  • Language: A few abusive words in Hindi
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A couple of making out scenes including lip-to-lips
  • Concept: Based on the true life of underworld don, Arun Gawli
  • General Look and Feel: Dark to presumably make give it an intense feel. It is in fact, too dark at times. This one I mean literally and figuratively too.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2
  • Story: 1.5
  • Lead Actors: 3
  • Character Artists: 3
  • Dialogues: 2
  • Screenplay: 0.5
  • Music Director: 1.5
  • Lyrics: 1

Daddy - Trailer

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