These criminals cut a sorry figure

These criminals cut a sorry figure

These criminals cut a sorry figure

Dandupalya

Kannada (A)

Cast: Makarand Deshpande, Ravi Kale, Ravishankar, Pooja Gandhi and others

Director: Srinivas Raju

The director was not off the mark when he declared Dandupalya an entertainer, before “correcting” himself thanks to a persistent and outraged media. But it was an indicator of how things have come to be.

Blood, gore, violence and cruelty — every dark fantasy is getting a free run, the lines between humans and beasts getting blurred. And it’s not easy to make a “realistic” film these days as almost every filmmaker is showing us.

Is it lack of discipline and inorganisation or plain disdain towards anything methodically creative?

More assured after Kote, Raju has collected a mouth-watering ensemble — Makarand, Ravi, Muni, Srinivasamurthy, Doddanna, Ravishankar and Pooja Gandhi... Aside from glimpses of their brilliance, they are mere caricatures of criminals currently serving their term with little more than curious stoicism behind bars.

Barring Srinivasamurthy, none of the actors register as characters, as a confused director and V Anand Priya’s dialogues sanitise their performance — a costly mistake given the subject.

Raju could have dispensed with filmy stuff; the other woman in the gang emotes more easily and naturally. Pooja Gandhi sure enjoys her “bold” role, tantalising her audience into a disappointment trap. Without her dubbing artiste, her star presence would have masked the actress in her.

Arjun’s music is lifting, Venkat Prasad’s camerawork is deft and it also seems as if the exhibitor was in a hurry to stow some scenes away!

Ravishankar’s dialogue delivery ruins an otherwise intense performance, but the culprit is the director. Namma Metro works were yet to begin when the gang was rounded up and Anna Hazare was certainly NOT who brought about the RTI Act in 2003!

Repeats of the gang’s forays, still portraying the police as mean weaklings and the incoherent courtroom dialogue culminating in an ominous climax — take your pick, but Dandupalya doesn’t rise above ribald jokes on wary neighbours and scheming strangers.
With a sequel in the offing, more misery is promised.

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