Dasara - Harmless One-Time Watch
Dasara is a rustic action drama starring Nani and Keerthy Suresh in the lead roles. It is directed by debutant Srikanth Odhela. Santhosh Narayanan has composed the music, first time for a Telugu film.
Nani as Dharani is a drunkard but an outcast who will not be allowed inside the bar as it is the pride place of the village. The politics in the village kills the hero's best friend and how he seeks revenge forms the second half.
The dusty village setup is unique and it goes well with the hero’s character who steals coal from trains. The happenings surrounding the Silk (Silk Smitha) bar is interesting, especially when it is initially introduced as the powerful place in the village where a big part of politics takes place. The director’s voice is fresh in certain aspects… keeping the protagonist low-key for the most part, attempting a realistic approach in many situations that has the commercial potential, the ‘Poove Unakkaga’ style love track that is tweaked after a point due to the villain’s purpose. The establishments are engaging despite no high points, then we get a dramatic cricket match sequence that intends to move the story forward, it’s an highly entertaining scene with enough style and substance. The issue begins after this, what could have been a tense conflict is twisted to be something else. The screenplay begins to fumble after interval block and it even tests the patience in the second half as the content fails to excite. The cat and mouse game is extremely weak, both the hero and villain have gotten decent standalone characters, but boring when they combine without being solid threats to each other. Payoffs are not fulfilling as both the friend and love emotions never strike the right chord. There are traces of many Indian movies, the heavy impact of Rangasthalam, Pushpa, etc are evident in the flow.
Nani is in a completely different makeover from all his previous films, fascinating to see him carry it with so much focus, grace and style. He boosts heroism only at the required places, otherwise underplays. Next to him, Shine Tom Chacko’s performance is the highlight of the film, a psychotic exhibition of a creepy villain role. Keerthy Suresh’s character is involved in the story but makes no big impact, also her acting doesn’t add any extra flavour to her role. Dheekshith Shetty as the hero’s friend takes the action-front position in the first half but all for nothing as his character is weakly written. Samuthirakani in a joker-like role makes zero impact to the film.
Santhosh Narayanan’s songs are a letdown, three template masala movie tracks but nothing likable. There is an effort in picturizing and choreographing them differently but the finesse is missing. Songs have placement issues as well. Background score is decent. Sathyan Sooryan’s cinematography stands tall, he has captured the village setup so well. Dark colour palette and his trademark night shots look the best. Raw and gritty stunt choreography, interval block and climax fight sequences are splendid. However the fact that some of the action is missing, when sequences skip the present stunt and cut to the next piece is such a miss. Editor could have insisted on reducing the runtime, at least in the second half. Tacky VFX work, that too in Nani’s introduction scene where it should make-believe the audience of what he is doing.
Set in a different backdrop, the establishments and the politics in the film seemed unique and interesting but things turn upside down after a point when the badly written twisted conflict is revealed. The second half suffers as it lacks novelty and becomes a usual revenge saga.
Rating - 2.75/ 5