MUMBAI — Every regional film does not necessarily lend itself to a remake in Hindi, especially something that has become dated in 2019 Hindi cinema. South Indian films have a different lexicon and audience, and dark cinema also rules there, thanks to corruption still being rampant and at a different level. The dividing line between action and violence is also transcended there as we have seen in many such films and their Hindi remakes.
It is thus up to our producers (in this case, a star) to vet and reject such fare in the name of post-2017 entertainment. A chain of big and small, mainstream and offbeat and multi-genre films have shown where Hindi cinema has already reached. And this film was launched in 2018, so Sanjay S. Dutt had the choice to choose, if we can put it that way!
Unlike Jackie Shroff, Chunky Panday and Anil Kapoor (largely thanks to their self-made kids), the remaining top names of the ‘80s, unfortunately, are caught in a time-warp in their film and script selection. Shroff and Panday are very much there in this film, too, as actors, and acquit themselves very well, but they have signed this film only out of their regard for Sanjay Dutt.
As actor, Dutt goes through the motions like a programmed automaton, the only plus point being is that he is restrained and not over-the-top. Among the other actors, Ali Fazal is excellent as his elder stepson, and enjoys maximum footage. He is completely in sync as the dogged and determined yet decent Aayush. Though awkward in some expressions, Satyajeet Dubey as his younger brother is quite good for a debut. Manisha Koirala has nothing much to do as Dutt’s wife except look sad, distraught or broken. Zakir Hussein is his usual self, but Amyra Dastur as Ali’s love interest seems a tad awkward. The rest of the artistes are alright.
The story is a permutation and combination of so many political dramas that have betrayals and counter-betrayals galore, and we soon lose count of the killings and slicing of so many human beings. After a point, the family angle where one depraved and power-hungry man can destroy his own kin becomes too violent and sick, and many a time, the reactions of Dutt as the politician and family head are weirdly tame and tepid.
Yes, there is a small, and in the final analysis, quite a senseless and pointless twist, but after that, the aftermath and climax are remarkably dull, rather than the whopper that should have been worked out as a befitting end. The film thus emerges as a watered-down version of the inferior products of Prakash Jha, Mahesh Manjrekar and Ram Gopal Varma, all filmmakers who are past their sell-by dates!
Deva Katta’s direction and script are run-of-the-mill, and co-writer Farhad Samji is a shocking find here after his wholesome action and comic dramas for better filmmakers. The music and background score are ho-hum, as are 95 out of 100 scores nowadays, and the technical side average.
This is a film for someone who does not like cinema moving ahead. Mainstream cinema today means entertainment of a superior kind, so unless you, too, are interested in putting the clock back, stay away from this endless and mindless saga of mayhem and melodrama.
Sanjay S. Dutt Productions’ present ‘Prassthanam’
Produced by: Sanjay S. Dutt
Directed by: Deva Katta
Written by: Deva Katta and Farhad Sanji
Music: Ankit Tiwari, Vikram Montrose and Farhad Samji
Starring: Sanjay S. Dutt, Jackie Shroff, Manisha Koirala, Chunky Panday, Ali Fazal, Amyra Dastur, Zakir Hussein, Satyajeet Dubey, Anuup Soni, Divinaa Thackur, Chahatt Khanna, Sp. App.:Ishita Raj Sharma and others