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Durgamati – movie review

A roundabout tale of corruption via pretension of horror


Durgamati hindi movie review

Durgamati is a remake of Bhaagamathie the Telugu flick of 2018, directed by G Ashok who has also helmed the baton for this hindi version. The original was a big success in South and therefore to cash in on that success this movie was remade in Hindi by Akshay Kumar’s company Cape of Good Films and produced by Bhushan Kumar of T-Series.

Every once in a while we like to see a story which is different from the run-of-the-mill corruption scandal stories as seen on the silver screen. As the saying goes in Bollywood you make something a bit ‘hatke’ from other movies. Here is an example of ‘hatke’ as corruption is shown in the garb of horror.

Initially when the movie starts it looks like all the characters are play acting, nothing seemed to be right and in its place it all looks very superficial and unconvincing. Taking a convicted murderer who is also an IAS officer to a secluded Haunted Haveli for interrogation doesn’t make sense, is this the way interrogations are done by the CBI?

Then again in this age of communication and networking nobody has a inkling about the minister and his activities who is shown as squeaky clean guy (funnily enough that is what it said in in the English subtitles). Till the climax you do not understand the purpose of why the hell are we being subjected to a vague tale and why is it all happening on the screen. In fact, it seems a CBI interrogation has degenerated to a Ghostbusters myth.

Then in the last reel layer-by-layer the truth is revealed thus one understood what was happening in the initial reels, it was play acting after all. The story writer got too clever and chaged it on its head leaving you perplexed as to why we had to endure the unnecessary ghost bit but in the very end he again adds a twist.

Your perception changes in the last reel otherwise the movie doesn’t seem to make any sense. So the advice is if you have a stomach to digest something different however foolish it appears in the beginning and it’s a week off you can run through this offering now streaming on Amazon Prime platform.

There is not much to talk about the acting as everyone seemed to be going through the motions, in fact one found an actor of Jisshu Sengupta’s caliber a bit out of place and forced to act, same goes for Mahie Gill mouthing some Bengali dialogues. Karan Kapadia with an extended special appearance had nothing special to offer. Arshad Warsi as a Minister seemed out of place. Bhoomi can be said to be the saving grace with her innocent damsel in disterss looks at times, along with special effects that were good in parts and in some cases one did feel the chill run down the spine. They could have done away with the usual bumbling police personnel types which seems to be have become a hallmark of all Bollywood movies, if anything it hurts the narrative and the tension of the scene is pettered away.

A movie should have fusion in the story, it was more like a confusion here in the beginning only in the end was it explained away as to why it was so. The background music is quite loud and tries to run up the horror tempo it succeeds in parts but then it was too loud. It seems there was some communication gap between the cast and the director due to language issues that’s what the grapevine says, though it appears that some of it was mitigated. If the movie was released in a theatre, one would have come out with mixed feelings. However on web platform in the confines of your home it is a time-pass with a run time of 155 minutes.

Food for thought for you to ruminate – have you ever heard a politician despite being labelled the most corrupt and in some cases proven too has ever left India for good unlike some businessmen like Mallya and co? Just think it over and the whole premise of the movie stands shattered.

Reviewed by PAWAN GUPTA

Cast of Durgamati:
Bhumi Pednekar as Chanchal Chauhan IAS / Durgamati
Arshad Warsi as Ishwar Prasad
Jisshu Sengupta as ACP Abhay Singh
Mahie Gill as Satakshi Ganguly
Karan Kapadia as Shakti Singh
Prabhat Raghunandan as Ajay Yadav
Ashok Sharma as Ajay’s father
Dhanraj as Nand singh
Brij Bhushan Shukla as Gopi
Ada Singh as Satakshi’s daughter

Credits of Durgamati:
Based on the Telugu film Bhaagamathie
Production companies – Abundantia Entertainment, T-Series, Cape of Good Films
Produced by Vikram Malhotra, Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Akshay Kumar
Directed by G Ashok
Written by G Ashok and Ravinder Randhawa
Screenplay by Shweta. J. More
Music by Jakes Bejoy
Cinematography – Kuldeep Mamania
Edited by Unnikrishnan P.P
Distributed by Amazon Prime Video

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