Film: Dandupalya (Kannada)
Director: Srinivasa Raju
Cast: Pooja Gandhi, Makarand Deshpande, Ravi Kale, Ravishankar, JD
There was a time when a mere mention of Dandupalya sent a chill down the spines of Bangaloreans and director Srinivasa Raju’s just released Kannada film, Dandupalya tells you why.
The gang that had Krishna (Makarand Deshpande) and Hanuma (Ravi Kale) as the masterminds, murdered people for gains by slitting their throats. What made their crimes even more heinous was the fact that they raped their women victims before killing them. And all this was done in the presence of their female gang members, who were equally insensitive. Essaying the role of one such heartless criminal in the film is Pooja Gandhi. The actor, who plays Lakshmi, needs to take a bow for her performance. Lakshmi was a crucial part of the gang and it was she who most often identified victims and facilitated the entry of her gang members into their homes.
The actor is very convincing as an unapologetic and coldblooded murderer. You won’t find her faltering with her body language or expressions anywhere in the film. Her act simply goes on to show that there is so much more to her than just being a ‘malé hudugi’. And as for the much debated scene in which she appears backless, we’ll just say too much fuss was made over too little a thing!
Makarand Deshpande’s performance also gives you the goosebumps. The members of Dandulpalya were referred to as animals rather than humans and you’ll know why when you see Makarand on screen.
JD also can pat his back for his performance. Much attention has been paid to the diction and dialect of these characters and this draws them and the film closer to reality.
The director manages to put you through quite a few tense moments. But what would have taken the film a notch higher is a tighter narration. Lesser screen time could have been dedicated to a track that revolves around the life of one of the victims. Songs could have most definitely been done away with. And the same screen time could have been utilised to deconstruct the gang further. Repetition of scenes depicting their modus operandi could have also been avoided.
But don’t make these glitches your reason to miss out on Pooja’s performance or to find out how this notorious gang was caught by the daring police inspector, Chalapathi. And if you already have watched it, well you now have the sequel to look forward to…
Verdict: Watch it for Pooja Gandhi’s performance