Cast: Arjun Rampal, Aishwarya Rajesh, Nishikant Kamat, Usha Naik, Anand Ingale, Rajesh Shringarpure, Purnanand Wandekar, Anupriya Goenka, Shruti Bapna, Shrikant Yadav, Deepak Damle, Raj Arjun, Vijay Sanap, Abhimanue Arun
Director: Ashim Ahluwalia
Rating: * * *
Runtime: 134 mins
Ashim Ahluwalia’s ‘Miss Lovely’ was certainly hard to decipher but it’s tech details were impeccable, similarly ‘Daddy his sophomore effort is slightly more accessible but it still fails to present an entirely coherent and involving story.
This is an official (with blessings from Arun and Asha Gawli) biopic on the underworld kingpin who dared to stand-up to Dawood Ibrahim in his heyday. The film follows the ‘B.R.A. Gang’ acronym for – Babu Reshim (Anand Ingale), Rama Naik (Rajesh Shringarpore) and Arun Gawli (Arjun Rampal) as they set foot into the underworld and fight their way for a share of the mill land real estate pie.
Politics, internecine gang rivalry, turf wars, ricocheting murders, cops and criminals shadow play, one upmanship and shoot-outs are part of the dark and mouldy art deco assemblage trying to look back into the not too distant past(1976 to present day) in order to come up with something pleasant to say about the Dongri/Dagdi Chawl ka Raja, Don turned politician. Needless to say the character certificate presented to the presently incarcerated (Life term) Gawli is not a convincing one, neither is the reasoning behind the nickname he carries.
The script fails to make things interesting. Ashim Ahluwalia’s direction is far more concerned with period mechanics rather than enlivening the narration with elements about a life that can ensnare an audience. The tech specs are brilliant and you will certainly have to look far and wide for a more intimately connected and artistically realised narrative spiel. While most of the casting choices are bang on, Farhan Akhtar as a character resembling Dawood feels fake. Sajid-Wajid’s music and background score by Naren Chandavarkar and Benedict Taylor lends nostalgic authenticity to the narration.
You may admire the integrity of the lead performances, the impeccability of the Period detailing and the astonishing lighting and camera work but you will still feel hard-pressed to stay awake because the narration falls way too flat to make any discernable improvement in your enthusiasm.