Starring: Amitabh Bachchan,Sanjay Dutt,Rana Daggubati,Kangana Ranaut
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Producer: Siddhant Oberoi,Amit Sharma
Banner: Viacom 18 Motion Pictures,RGV Films
Music: Dharam-Sandeep, Vikram Nagi, Bappa Lahiri
Take at sight. Point blank. In different ways that's precisely what Ram Gopal Varma (RGV) and their characters do in "Department".
While his cop characters Sanjay Dutt, Rana Daggubati and their hazily sketched compatriots (among whom looks like Deepak Tijori) go on the cleansing rampage against socio-paths, RGV goes on their own trip, shooting characters at angles you've never observed them being shot. They don't always look fetching using their stained teeth and dirty nails showing up within embarrassing close-ups. So, who said life in cinema is all about postcard pictures?
Welcome to RGV's world of ruin and mayhem.
The one definite thing that should be said about RGV is that his exploration from the nexus between the law and the underworld is actually ceaselessly seeking new modes of storytelling.
"Department" is actually one breathless surge of aggression and violence. Shot with cameras that capture the actors at their quirkiest and many candid, the film is not for those who think cinema is about style. RGV left his stylish days behind within "Rangeela" and "Company".
Repeatedly and mercilessly RGV dismantles all conventions of pretty storytelling and aims for that jugular. The camera angles are often much too casual to become considered 'cinematic'. But breaking rules is a provided in RGV's cinema. He breaks them in "Department" in a noisy rush of agitated images that match the edgy fidgety characters.
Not all the figures work. Vijay Raaz as a whiny dhoti-clad gangster and debutant Madhu Malini like a tartish sharp-shooter are a scream. The talented Abhimanyu Singh has trouble trying to maintain an equilibrium between the 2 unintentionally comical evil doers. The dialogues these gangsters exchange try so hard to be real they become howlers. It's like eavesdropping on a conversation in between two pathologists.
The camera, manned by no official Director Of Photography (also it shows), goes through the character's legs, to their nostrils, over their armpits…in this film about cops who do their very own thing.
"Department" is a brutal film. There's absolutely no room here for emotions. Even when Sanjay Dutt actively playing a senior cop goes home his wife, performed by Laxmi Manchu, speaking in a strangely noisy tone, he talks to her in unsentimental shades. There's more feeling in the two cops, Sanjay as well as Rana's buddy-buddy talk, in the line of responsibility.
There's a long history in cinema of cops striking a rapport about the beat. Sanjay and Rana are no Danny Glover as well as Mel Gibson. But then this is no "Lethal Weapon".
The action this is a strange mix of street aggression and stylized tricks. While scenes of Rana chasing goons through claustrophobic crowded regions of Mumbai are vintage Varma, the climactic fist-to-fist in between Rana and Sanjay proves a battle of bumpy titans. One of the two actors being just too agile for that other.
What grabs your attention in this oft-told tale from the cops resorting to extra-constitutional means to 'cleanse' the town is the frenetic pacing. The characters are constantly on the go.
Even Amitabh Bachchan, while taking sardonic jibes in a 'system' that is corroded, is seen restlessly circling Sanjay or even Rana, depending on which of the two the actual wily wizened politicians is provoked into action.
And in addition Amitabh's netagiri provides the liveliest interludes in the actual proceedings. He seems to behaving the most fun even if saddled with dialogues that must have sounded far funnier in writing than they do in their delivery. Among all of those other cast, Rana with his restrained ruggedness stands high.
What "Department" delivers is yet another RGV product that takes Hindi cinema's crime genre from conventional storytelling. There are no punctuations except exclamation represents, no speed-breakers except songs, which are terribly screechy as well as grating with Nathalia Kaur's item number hitting rock-bottom, with no way out for these restless law-enforcers than to consider the law in their own hands.
The globe of "Department" is anarchic, destructive and apocalyptic. The narrative format imposed about the world of gangsterism is freewheeling almost chaotic. Violence and death are written to the DNA of the characters.
"Department" tells a virile story without any patience for sappy humbug. It's not meant for individuals who think lovers laughing their way into death, because they did in "Ishaqzaade", are the last words within ruinous relationships. In "Department", the characters share an even more intimate bonding with their guns than with their own friends.
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