Santhanam’s next film as a hero titled Dagaalty, directed by Vijay Anand also stars Yogi Babu and Rittika Sen in lead roles. Touted to be an out and out commercial entertainer from the teaser and trailer, Dagaalty is partially a road-based chase film and on the other hand, an attempt at a black comedy genre that is supposed to have a terrorising villain. How does this combination work for film fans?
Dagaalty starts off with Vijay Samrat, a menacing villain who is in search of a girl who he has created a caricature of. His wife is a drug addict whom he murders in the first minute of the film and his only goal is to find this girl whom he has drawn. Now, we have to remove logic from this equation at the very beginning because it is that sort of a ride from the word go. Enter the hero, Santhanam (Guru), a carefree guy in Mumbai who lives along with Yogi Babu. He is sent to Thoothukudi by Radha Ravi and his men to find the girl (Rittika Sen), for which he is promised a sum of money. Does he find this girl? What happens when he does and how he gets out of the problems forms the rest of the story.
On one hand, Dagaalty seems a lot like Thalapathy Vijay’s Ghilli and the makers have even mentioned this reference in one of the escape scenes in the first half. On the other, it has a striking resemblance to Karthi’s Paiyaa where we see the hero rescuing the heroine by road from Thoothukudi to Mumbai. And in the end, there is also a Kalakalappu style commotion portion that the director has tried to blend into this film and it is safe to say that the consistency is lacking and the genre shift seems abrupt at points. Casting as such has nothing solid except for Santhanam and Yogi Babu as they try hard to work out their one liners. The villain’s purpose is not mentioned and the other roles do not leave much of an impact. Rittika Sen as the heroine (Malli), is just about average and she has a lot of work to do as the entire storyline is supposed to be shouldered by this character. If for a more convincing conflict and some better characterization for the actors, we may have had a better casting equation overall.
Some of the scenes may seem tedious to watch as you know exactly what may happen next. In fact, the intellect of many characters seem to be on an all time low and they ask us to take them for granted. A particular portion of the chase sequences that happens within Andhra Pradesh starring Stunt Silva seemed to interest audiences but that too was short lived. It was the last 15 minutes that had all the main characters trying to work out the black humour that seemed like the only entertaining part of Dagaalty.
Technically, there is not much to expect from an outright commercial flick that has multiple genres mixed in to provide a wholesome ride. The cinematography and edit were not too bad but the songs by Vijay Narain, except the first item song leave no impact of any sort. Even the BGM could have been better one might think but the overall film required a better premise and execution and it is not right to blame any particular technician alone.
On the whole, Santhanam’s Dagaalty is director Vijay Anand’s attempt to entertain audiences with a partially serious picture with a splash of humour in multiple scenes. The effort is definitely evident as the film does have some sort of storyline that tries to move things forward but the packaging and execution are not upto the mark. The makers have tried too hard to accomplish and touch upon alot of genres, but fail to impress in most of them. In the end, we are left with a few laughs here and there and nothing more.
Dagaalty lacks depth and a strong conflict! An ordinary attempt at a multi-genre commercial film from the team