Aa Dinagalu – Good Effort
Based on Agni Sridhar’s book “Dadagiriya Dinagalu”, this movie depicts the events that took place during the last days of Bangalore underworld don Kotwal Ramachandra during 1985. Debutant director Chaitanya succeeds in telling an underworld related story without any bloodshed. May be other directors can take a cue from him for making movies without machchus, longs which endup in lots of bloodshed meaninglessly.
Chetan (Chetan) is the son of a wealthy businessman Girish Naik (Girish Karnad) is in love with a dance teacher Mallika (Archana Shastry), but Girish Naik doesn’t like this and hires the then don of Bangalore Kotwal Ramachandra(Sharath Lohitashwa) to separate lovers. Kotwal himself is leading a battle for supremacy in Bangalore against the old don Jairaj (Ashish Vidyarthi) who is released from jail after 10 years and is struggling to get back his lost empire. Chetan gets to know of his father’s intentions and in the pretext of getting his lady love, unknowingly falls into the trap of underworld and offers Jairaj to help kill Kotwal. The rest of the story is about how this is achieved with lots of twists, deception, switching loyalties, the police making use of their rivalry to elimante one of the dons, etc., finally ending up in Kotwal’s murder by Chetan and his aides. What is appreciated in all these is that there is hardly any bloodshed unlike other gory underworld and rowdy theme based movies.
Chetan impresses as the hero who can do anything to get his love, but he fails to emote rightly in many sequences. Archana is good and impresses with her innocence and portrayal of a traumatized lover. It is Sharat Lohitashwa who plays Kotwal Ramachandra who steals the show with the right expressions and body language as the don. Ashish Vidyarthi as Jairaj is good. Atul Kulkarni is brilliant as the learned rowdy and impresses with his great mannerisms. Girish Karnad is good as the desparate father who wants his son to forget his love and can do anything to stop him from marrying her.
Agni Sridhar and Girish Karnad’s screenplay is good with some great moments on screen. But the story pace is slow and drags during the second half. The film which has been edited well could have been trimmed by atleast half an hour. Cinematography by H C Venu is good. Ilayaraja’s music is pleasing. Background music is good in parts but it fails to catch up with the high-drama involved.
Chaitanya’s direction is good and he has put lots of efforts to get the best out of everyone in the movie. The authenticity in the looks of the dons and the right look and feel for year 1985 are the highlights. But some minor details like the straightened and colored hair for some characters look out of period. Also are some dress combinations which were not existent in the 80s. But these are minor and go unnoticed due to the way he has presented the story of “Dadagiriya Dinagalu”. He truly shows promise amongst the present young brigand of directors. What is appreciated in Chaitanya’s work is he has presented the movie in a pleasant form with no traces of blood even though it is a rowdy and underworld related movie. This would ensure that even family audience will be drawn towards the theatre.