CRITIQUED: DEPARTMENT

Ram Gopal Varma definitely has his way of making films. Be it Satya, Company, Sarkar and Sarkar Raaj to name a few, almost every single one of his films deals with the gangster element in every day life. They are usually dark but have a spellbinding story line and cast. But the thing with his films are that they are hit or miss. You can have an absolutely fantastic film or you could be blessed with one that will make you wonder why you were there in the first place. We had high hopes for this one but sadly Department fell into the latter category of Ram Gopal Varma films despite having a star studded cast in Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Rana Daggubati in the lead roles.

We’d like to think of RGV as an Indian Tarantino or Rodriguez… someone who loves their movies and makes them not necessarily for the pleasure of the audience, but for their own. They add their own flair, be it the way the film is shot (which in this case is using a handycam), or the almost over the top special effects. Of course since it is a Bollywood film, you have to include the customary item song, in this case, two very very upbeat and revealing numbers! As you watch the film you get the feeling that before the film went in front of the Censor Board, RGV just told them, don’t bother watching it, just give it an Adult rating. It is definitely a guy movie with the gratuitous use of curse words and display of skin especially at the most inopportune times. Don’t bother going with the family for this one! And beware, because of the crazy camera angles, shots and constant movement, you may end up feeling a little dizzy by the end of the film. We overheard quite a few theater goers complain about this by the way. We also felt there was an excessive use of slow motion shots which made the film drag a little bit.

The good points of the film would be an entertaining and convoluted story line with good performances from all the characters in the film. We especially liked the roles played by Vijay Raaz, Abimanyu Singh and Madhu Shalini. They added quite a few comical moments to an otherwise serious story line. Amitabh Bachchan looked like he might have walked off the set of Sarkar straight onto this one with his wardrobe and passed by the set of Bbuddah… Hoga Terra Baap for his character in this film. Rana Daggubati definitely held his own against big on screen presences in Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt. If you do plan on watching this film in the theaters (which we wouldn’t recommend doing), go with your guy friends. You’ll thank us for it.

Our Rating: 

Department is currently playing in Chennai at SatyamInox and Fame theaters.

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