Daddy Film Review: Daddy Not So Cool

| September 9, 2017 | 0 Comments

David Ogilvy the ad-guru once remarked that when it comes to tell-all situations by people: ‘First they get going,then they get honours, then they get honest.’ This applies across the board from people on pinnacle of fame to peaks of notoriety.

Based on true incidents and life story of Arun Gulab Gaali( Arjun Rampal), Daddy tells how Arun was more of an accidental Don, more a victim of poverty,unemployment rather than having a natural inclination towards crime.

He is looked up to by the people of his locality. On being dubbed as Robinhood by a TV newsreader, he asks his daughter Gita, what does it mean? She explains that it is used for a good hearted person who robs rich to help the poor. We see Arun aka Daddy having a sense of satisfaction.

This is the recurring motif of the film where Daddy’s actions are justified by many witnesses and well- wishers as the story moves back and forth in non-linear fashion delineating his life from Bombay of 1976 to Mumbai of 2012. It’s a journey that starts with hafta,matka,chori,smuggling and graduating to murders for territory and revenge.

Yes he becomes a dreaded Don who lives in his fortress like home called Dagdi Chawl with private army of children soldiers trained to handle home made kattas and arms. He is the nemesis of Police Inspector Vijay Saraskar (Nishikanth Kamat) whose single point agenda seems to be putting Arun Gawli behind bars.

A screenplay co-written by Arjun Rampal and director Ashim Ahluwalia, has all the ingredients of a gangster movie, what with floozies,item numbers,shootouts at regular intervals between rival gangs or cops,betrayal,double crossing,revenge and lots of smoke filled rooms with one man’s struggle to survive against heavy odds.

Mood is created fine.Low key lighting,sepia toned and at times, red suffused frames create an atmosphere.The dresses are garish with long collared shirts,bell bottoms,long hairy whiskers,though with wigs that give a clownish feel.

Then there is the Don of all Seasons, this time with a name Maqsood       (obviously Dawood) enacted by Farhan Akhtar.Its one of weakest link in the screenplay.Neither his deeds nor his mannerisms hold any appeal.

Film essentially belongs to Arjun Rampal who has given a measured performance.His prosthetic make up adds to the realism.

In the role of his wife Zahida, Aishwarya Rajesh lends a solid support.

Nishikanth Kamat’s bespectacled,oily haired Inspector Vijay does not invoke fear of authority.His is a subdued affair.

Barring few flashes of freshness, movie crafted by Ashim Ahluwalia (earlier film Miss Lovely) is too staccato and meandering in its pace to hold attention for long, solely on its own merits.

Its said that Politics is the last refuge of scoundrels,criminals and gangsters. Daddy’s journey to join politics, on face, is to turn a new leaf in life, yet essentially, it’s kind of getting legitimacy for his past.

A victim of circumstances who never wanted to be a criminal becomes one, but can he wash his hands off all the crimes done by him,including ruthless murders?
Well, if you deal in coals you are bound to stain your clothes.

But the movie by the time it ends tries to justify the Don’s deeds and wrap him in spotless white (of a Neta’s preferred attire) as he still considers himself not guilty.

Rather in his eyes, all the big guys,land owners who used his services to get their mill lands vacated from encroaches, and who are now sitting in those glass and steel glitzy buildings erected on those lands,are bigger Don’s than a family caring,loving Daddy.

This very viewpoint takes away from the the movie’s meat and makes the whole exercise seem meaningless.


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Category: Reviews

About the Author ()

Dhieraj Mohan is Hindi cinema's keen observer. With earnest interest in its dynamics and constantly changing milieu he revels in dwelling on the discrepancies, idiosyncrasies,contradictions,masala and the formula that defines Bollywood.He is a poet and a screenwriter too,who simply adores Hindi cinema's chameleon like traits.

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