Samstag, 4. August 2012

Department (2012) – Review in English

About the story: In order to put an end to the continuous gang wars in Mumbai, a special department within the police force is established. This "Department", as it's called, is granted all the means the "normal" police legally cannot use. Mahadev Bhosale (Sanjay Dutt) is to head this Department and recruits the members himself, including Shiv Narayan (Rana Daggubati) who after an encounter was suspended from duty. Mahadev's first target is the gang of Savatya (Vijay Raaz), later he intends to deal with the don and terrorist Muhammad Gauri. When Shiv gets to know gangster-turned-minister Sarjerao Gaikwad (Amitabh Bachchan), his way of considering things changes; after several tensions between him and Mahadev, Shiv dissociates himself from his mentor. But during a series of denunciations and more gang wars, Mahadev's and Shiv's paths cross again...

Jesus. What on earth did Ram Gopal Varma and the camera and edition people ingest when they made this movie? Prior to the film's release, the shooting with loads of customary Canon EOS 5D photo cameras at the same time, capturing the actions from many different angles, was praised by RGV as a revolution, almost as the reinvention of film making – but it were exactly these mostly unnerving hokums and the irksomely quick cuts which probably were the main reasons for Department becoming a big flop at the box office. For the story with the tagline "Power Corrupts – Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely" per se was not too bad, well constructed and with many, in part surprising twists. Plus, RGV had a partially high class cast at his disposal. With a normal cinematography, Department might have become quite a good, thrilling film where you generously could have overlooked several dramaturgical weaknesses. For example Sanjay's different hair lengths which make you define exactly the succession in which he shot his Department scenes after he had gone bald for his Kancha role in Agneepath. Or: No one on streets seem to even bother that people run around with guns and shoot all the time in broad daylight. Really? Tell me about it.

So, you have to be happy with the little things. For example with the actors (though you can't have everything even here). Sanjay Dutt has his Mahadev Bhosale with all his extensive action scenes continuously and respectably under control. As an actor, Rana Daggubati is not a patch on Sanjay, but their dialogue scenes belong to the film's most lasting moments – especially their long dispute about deciding about right or wrong when Mahadev spreads out his pragmatic philosophy of life in front of Shiv: There is no right or wrong, there is only intelligent or fool; no one is honest, you have to take advantage of your position; and anyway: You cannot judge anyone right or wrong if you never have walked his paths.

Even Mahadev's scenes with his wife Satya are very likeable; Laxmi Manchu acts in a relaxed and self-confident manner which makes her and Sanjay, in spite of an age difference of eighteen years, a credible couple. Anjana Sukhani as Shiv's fiancée Bharathi has less to do (but is okay) while Madhu Shalini as Naseer, member of Savatya's gang, can show criminal energy and makes a convincing gangster couple with Abhimanyu Singh as Savatya's right hand DK. Savatya himself is in best hands with Vijay Raaz; one of Mahadev's men is Deepak Tijori (Danajee) whom I haven't seen on screen for a long time; and above all of them sits enthroned Amitabh Bachchan in his short but tailor-made role as gangster-turned-politician which he obviously enjoyed very much. (So let's forget his hamming, he wasn't the only one.)

Finally, a short word about the dance scenes. Yes, even Department does not without them and especially not without the nowadays obviously unavoidable item number with a half-naked object of men's lust which in this case is named Nathalia Kaur who, in spite of RGV's tireless praise hymns, doesn't leave very much impression ("Dan Dan"). Much more enjoyable is Shiv's and Bharathi's wedding when Sanjay and Amitabh dance together ("Kammo"), or "Thodi Si Jo Li Pi Hai", a remix version of a song from Amitabh's classic Namak Halal which inspires Sanjay and choreographer Ganesh Acharya to a cheerful party scene.

So, some ingredients of the film are quite okay but, too bad, not the overall result. "Who says that innocents don't get punished," Mahadev asks in one scene. It might just have been RGV's opinion regarding the innocent audience.

Produced by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures/Dharam Uberoi; Directed by Ram Gopal Varma
137 Min.; DVD: T-Series, English Subtitles (including songs)
© Diwali

Keine Kommentare: