Movie Review: DEPARTMENT by FENIL SETA
In the last two weeks, two seasoned and veteran filmmakers – Vikram Bhatt and Ram Gopal Varma – failed miserably in their endeavor. While Vikram Bhatt’s Dangerous Ishhq was still at least bearable, RGV-directed Department startles! This is because the film is an utter bad case of filmmaking in every manner. Talented actors like Amitabh Bachchan fail to make their mark while Ramu’s obsession with zany camera angles utterly misfires. In fact, it was disgusting after a point!
The story of the movie: Alarmed at the manner in which the underworld mafia has become ruthless and organized in its operations, a senior politician in a closed-door meeting puts together a body of police officers called the ‘Department’ that would eliminate gangsters. ‘No FIR…No Arrest…Faisla On The Spot’ will be its motto. Mahadev Bhosale (Sanjay Dutt) is put in charge of the ‘Department’. He, amongst others, recruits a young officer, Shivnarayan (Rana Daggubati) who loves his work and is loyal to the police force. Mahadev and Shiv form a bond as they go around eliminating gangsters. Sawatya (Vijay Raaz) who runs a gang is alarmed in the manner in which his gang members get killed by the ‘Department’ but shockingly, takes no step against the cops, even though his junior DK (Abhimanyu Singh) and his love (Madhu Shalini) provoke him several times. The quest for eliminating gangsters brings Shivnarayan face to face with Sarjerao Gaekwad (Amitabh Bachchan), a gangster-turned-politician. And it changes Shiv’s life and his perception towards his much-loved ‘Department’.
The plot wasn’t much appealing but the treatment would have made it an entertaining fare, given the various twists in the tale in the second half. But Ram Gopal Varma just spoils it all. I wonder what he was attempting. If his idea was to come up with a realistic film like his previous classics Satya and Company, then it just didn’t work. If he wanted to make a mass-oriented film ala Dabangg or Singham, then that too failed! The film is almost 140 minutes long and becomes unbearable in the first half itself. The songs like Dan Dan, Thodi Si Jo Peeli Hai and Kammo irritate and thwart the narrative. The film gets somewhat interesting with Amitabh’s entry and when Rana gets double crossed in the second half. But sadly, it stoops low immediately. Even the climax failed to impress.
Talking of performances, Rana Daggubati is the only one who has a well-sketched character to perform. He proved his worth with Dum Maaro Dum and does it again in Department as well. Here’s a talented actor who deserves well-written scripts. Or else, he would sadly fade into oblivion soon. Sanjay Dutt does fine but it’s disappointing to see such a brilliant actor doing so many unsuccessful films. He rocked in Agneepath but his other recent films like No Problem, Chatur Singh, Rascals etc were disappointing. Hope Zila Ghaziabad and Son Of Sardaar put him back on track! Amitabh Bachchan has a supporting role was good but not great.
Nathalia Kaur’s item song was laughable and it was sad the manner in which she was groped in one of the scenes (and RGV and team present the scene in slow motion). Vijay Raaz was decent. Abhimanyu Singh who rocked in Gulaal and Rakht Charitra over-acted. Same with Madhu Shalini, though she’s very attractive! Deepak Tijori’s ‘comeback’ was a sham! Laxmi Manchu (as Sanju’s wife) was far from convincing.
Music doesn’t work and acts as stumbling block in the film. Dharam-Sandeep’s background score was too loud at times but was fine otherwise. The camera team was one of the main culprits! The cinematography could have been creative but instead was kiddish and amateurish at times.
Nilesh Girkar wrote the story and script and neither of them was worth appreciating. As for Ram Gopal Varma, it’s bewildering how he manages to give some of the best films as well as the worst. Rakht Charitra-1 was deftly handled while Rakht Charitra-2 failed to impress although the narrative structure was more or less the same! Similarly, RGV effectively made use of the 5D Cameras in Not A Love Story. This Mahie Gill-Deepak Dobriyal starrer too had some crazy and zany camerawork. But it was done well. But in Department, he goes one step forward and tries to get some more quirky shots. But the end result is laughable, although those shots seemed appealing in the making videos! RGV’s strategy of defining the norms is worth applauding. But if that means coming with a film like Department, then sorry boss! We are happy with status quo!
On the whole, Department is the most disappointing film of 2012 so far! The bad camerawork, insipid storyline and Ramu’s execution are big culprits. Watch the film entirely at your own risk!
My rating- * ½ out of 5!]