If you’d thought ‘Phoonk’ and ‘Aag’ were the worst of films to have come out of the Ram Gopal Varma camp, it’s time you rethought about it. ‘Department’ takes the ridiculous story-telling skills of the filmmaker a notch above his previous ones. Or below, for that matter.
‘Department’ as a movie overflows with good actors – only to see them waste their acting skills on a B-grade script. Ram Gopal Varma’s tight close-ups and too-detailed scenes of violence are all an assault on the eyes. The fact that at least a dozen cameras have been used to film each and every scene leaves the viewer nauseous by the end of the film (if you manage to survive inside the theatre till then, that is). Rana Daggubati as the gun-wielding, remorseless renegade policeman, who seems to have a knack for shooting unarmed people, is an unadulterated waste of talent. That’s it, nothing more for the actor who so charmed us with his act in ‘Dum Maaro Dum’.
Cut to Sanjay Dutt. For his viewers his Kancha Cheena glory might be behind him, but for the actor it seems a tad too hard to shed the scary wrinkled eyebags. Thank heavens that he’s finally decided to let go of the eyebrow ring. The maverick paunchy Sanjay Dutt is given the gift of a licence to kill as far as the underworld is concerned, and is ordered to round up the toughest and fiercest of all cops for the task – and hence The Department comes into being. With a half-dozen cameras zooming on the actual act of shaking hands, the official birth of The Department is an affair that can hardly be missed. And once it has been engendered, the film walks, jogs, runs and flies into territories which are – simply put – absurd.
Amitabh Bachchan is known to have single-handedly shouldered the responsibility of acting in films. Several of his movies in the recent past bear strong testimony to that fact. In ‘Aarakshan’, for example, Bachchan alone was the person who steered the film towards its incomplete completion. Past glories aside, Big B’s talent too, is brutally wasted in the film. Ram Gopal Varma’s numerous cameras rob him of his acting skills and focus on his cup of tea or semi-sucked kulfi – to a level that is nothing short of ridiculous.
Abhimanyu Singh and Deepak Tijori are actors put into the film only to add to its pool of wasted skills. Abhimanyu Singh’s awful clothes might have set a trend in fashion elsewhere, but he just isn’t a fashionoclast. And as far as RGV’s cameras are concerned, they don’t waste a moment not focussing on least important things.
Now to Ram Gopal Varma’s Muse. The girl, whose ‘talent’ had been blown grossly out of proportion by the creator of ‘Phoonk’, proves her mettle as far as gyrating to ‘Dan Dan Cheeni’ is concerned. Apart from that, she is instrumental in titillating the fantasies of many men within the theatre and without. But we sincerely think RGV needs a better muse. If this is what Nathalia Kaur has inspired him to do, he might as well spare the audience the horror of watching his movies – at least till the time he churns out something better than his latest offering.
Watch ‘Department’ if you have been missing your headaches for a long time. Watch ‘Department’ to see the way in which brilliant actors can be wrung dry and left skill-less. And above all, watch ‘Department’ if you are an ardent Ram Gopal Varma fan. And then leave the theatre cursing yourself for watching this brilliantly crafted piece of – well, by now – you know what.
Ratings: One poor cheer for this wastage of time!