Directed by Tushar Jalota, ‘Dasvi’ focuses on Ganga Ram Choudhary, the chief minister of an imaginary state called Harit Pradesh (beckoning towards Haryana, given the plethora of Jat accents and casual humour) who is put in judicial custody due to his alleged involvement in a teacher recruitment scam. Being a former CM, Ganga Ram demands and gets VIP treatment during his initial stay at the prison. Irritated by the special treatment, the Superintendent of the jail played by Yami Gautam puts Ganga Ram to tasks like carpentry.
To avoid making chairs during the day, Ganga Ram decides to study for the matriculation exam in jail. Meanwhile, his wife takes over the reins of power and starts making plans of her own that don’t involve him anymore. Loosely inspired by former Haryana CM O.P Chautala who passed his class 10th exam from the National Institute of Open School in 2017 while he was serving a jail sentence over his role in a teachers’ recruitment scam, ‘Dasvi’ is an interesting satire on the battle between literacy and illiteracy. News Hamster analyses Dasvi’ based on four categories that include: cinematography, production design, scriptwriting, and acting.
The film kick starts at a fast pace as the character development of major characters happens in the first fifteen minutes. Within the first fifteen minutes, we see Abhishek dancing with his prison inmates and his wife Bimla Devi played by Nimrat Kaur who initially used to sleep during the parliament sessions having a complete understanding of the political portfolio.
There were moments in the films when the dialogues sounded cringey and did not reflect the creativity of the troika writers – Ritesh Shah, Suresh Nair, and Sandeep Layzell. The film also lost its focus at multiple points and got deviated toward other narratives, ultimately ending up contradicting itself. “A Tiger Never Changes Its Stripes” is often used as a punchline by Ganga Ram Chaudhary in the film. But ironically the makers prove their own protagonist wrong. To add, the film also goes on to talk about caste issues and their impact on the elections while the impact of education to turn the life around of an individual takes a backseat. Despite its flaws, the script keeps one hooked to their laptop screens.
Coming to the performances, Abhishek Bachhan is definitely an underdog and comes out as the man of the film. His accent comes out as hammy at the start of the film but picks up well later on. He has worked on the lingo but hasn’t chewed it well enough to make the diction feel natural.
Yami Gautam performs the role of a strict police officer immaculately and yet again proves how brilliant of an actor she is. Never did anyone think that Nimrat Kaur would be the right choice to play the role of Bimla Devi – an uneducated wife craving for political hegemony because the character and her personality are like the opposite ends of a line. But, isn’t that what an actor is supposed to do – adapt himself according to the role.
One of the most underwhelming aspects of the film is the relationships between Ganga Ram and the prison inmates that progresses from intimidation and inequality to mutual respect for each other. What makes the relationships stand out is the background score by Sachin Jigar that hits you right in the heart.
The cinematography stands out as the beautiful low and high angle shots successfully demonstrate hope and misery on Ganga Ram’s face. The design of the prison and the colourful hues promote affirmative thinking and make the prison look a little less evil of a place.
Considering the case of corrupt and educated netas, the story is overtly optimistic in its attempt to show how education can perhaps change a corrupt neta. Even though the impact of class 10 study material to change the perspective of a politician is grossly exaggerated, a little positivity won’t hurt anyone in these times. The film takes you on an oscillating journey and is an appreciable satire that we recommend you to watch.