‘A Tiger Never Changes Its Stripes’ Abhishek Bachchan often uses this punchline as politician Ganga Ram Chaudhary in the 2022 film ‘Dasvi’. But ironically the makers try to prove their own protagonist wrong.
Directed by Tushar Jalota and written by Suresh Nair, Ritesh Shah; the plot is interesting – the Chief Minister of a fictional Indian state decides to study for class 10 exams in jail, to avoid laboring under a strict cop. Meanwhile, his wife takes over the reins of power and starts making plans of her own that don’t involve him anymore.
Abhishek Bachchan takes time to slip into the role of a proud-corrupt Chaudhary, but manages to find his rhythm soon enough, giving an entertaining performance as the uneducated egoistical politician. Yami Gautam as honest-upright cop Jyoti Deswal exudes the attitude required from a boss-woman. However, her character traits are inconsistent, from a toughie who ensures nobody is handed VIP prison perks, she changes into a softie who even sheds a few tears for a goon-like-neta. Basically, the writers ruin Yami’s character growth with weak plot details. It’s Nimrat Kaur who shines the brightest in her grey role as Mrs Bimla Chaudhary, a nervous shy woman who is pushed to power – the CM’s chair no less – when her husband is jailed. Nimrat’s transformation from a hamming home-maker to a confident drunk-on-power politician is an absolute treat to watch. Despite being a grey character, she’ll win over hearts. Guess that’s how politicians work!
Chaudhary’s political journey is almost like Lalu Prasad Yadav (yes, I know he studied law and even attained a masters degree, I am talking politics) turning into Kejriwal. Needless to say, the story is overtly optimistic on its take of how education could perhaps change a corrupt neta, but a little extra positivity never hurt anyone. The primary message of the film about knowledge wielding the power to transform lives for the better will resonate with the masses. Even though the impact of class 10 study material is grossly exaggerated.
While both the editing and writing could’ve been smarter, the makers manage to pull in enough laughs to keep things light-hearted and engrossing. Some of the comedy comes at the cost of the ill-treatment of an IAS officer, which might upset some viewers, but babus being maltreated like by their political bosses is probably a cruel reality many have to deal with. The pace is pretty consistent throughout the film, but the script meanders unnecessarily in the last half hour.
There’s a little twist in the climax which saves ‘Dasvi’ from becoming too predictable and cliched. With a strong supporting cast, this is a nice breezy film to watch with the family on the weekend.
It’s a 7/10 from me. You can stream the film on Netflix.
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