Nani has never spoken so confidently about any film or toured India to promote it before ‘Dasara’. The film has received a lot of attention in recent weeks. Nani’s promotion of the film hinted that it would be a major milestone. Is it really that good?
Let’s take a look at it.
Set in the 1990s in a village called Veerlapally in the Singareni coal mine area, the film begins with the story of three childhood friends, Dharani (Nani), Soori (Deekshith Shetty) and Vennely (Keerthy Suresh).
The villagers drink constantly and spend most of their time at the Silk Bar. Local politics between Rajanna (Saikumar), Shivanna (Samuthirakani) and her son Chinna Nambi (Shine Tom Chacko) threaten to disrupt their lives.
What effect does the political leader’s game plan have on the lives of the three friends?
Performances by artists:
For this film, Nani made a comeback. For the first time, he played a rustic character unlike any of his previous roles. He immerses himself in the role and delivers an amazing result. The effort he put into the role is evident throughout and he is the mainstay of the film.
Award-winning actress Keerthy Suresh delivers yet another believable performance in an author-backed role. He is the central character around whom the plot revolves.
Deekshith Shetty, who plays the hero’s friend, gives an effective performance. Malayalam actor Shine Tom Chacko also gave a good performance. There are many actors, but none of them get adequate recognition.
The cinematography of the film is the first thing that stands out as the film takes place entirely in a coal mine. The dark color palette of the color scheme works so well with Sooryan’s imaginative camera work.
Santosh Narayanan’s music has mixed results. The production design is flawless and the production values are excellent. Dialogues are clean.
The most important:
The villain reveal scene
It loses steam in many places
“Dasara” makes its intentions clear from the beginning when the hero enters the scene in the coal mine area and his friend helps him. The scene brings up the theme of friendship in the story and gradually zooms in on the lives of both friends and the villagers addicted to alcohol in the coal mine area. It is also quickly discovered that both the friends are in love with the same girl, Keerthy Suresh. So the first sections are predictable and progress at a slow pace.
However, the film is more about creating atmosphere and focusing on the characters than the plot. The hero character design is impressive. He is timid and only gains courage when he drinks alcohol. And when he drinks, he loses control and can do whatever he wants. This characteristic feature of the protagonist is thus effectively used in the later parts of the film, including the interval twist.
In addition, there are cultural and social references that are duly established, such as women in Telangana performing Bhatukamma during the Dasara festival and burning Ravana’s effigy on the day of the festival. The director uses these cultural aspects effectively in his narration.
If we take these elements out of the film, it becomes more or less a typical revenge drama. Srikanth Odela, the new director, prioritized the mood and visual palette over the story.
The biggest surprise of the film is the interval bang. The pre-interval and intermission chase sequences are handled expertly and reveal the villain’s true intentions at the start of the second half. As a result, the rest becomes more predictable and many sequences are bland. Also, the footage is too long and the film definitely needs sharp editing.
Apart from that, the film, intentionally or unintentionally, tries to follow the “Rangasthalam” template, but lacks the engaging script that Sukumar’s film had. Caste politics is also mentioned in the film, but it is not properly implemented.
Additionally, the period (probably set in the 1990s) is depicted as if it happened in the 1960s or 1970s, even though most villages had more modern facilities in the 1990s, even in remote coal mine areas.
Overall, “Dasara” is a regular revenge drama that relies more on visual style and grandeur than plot. It’s watchable because of his ambition and Nani’s performance.