A LIGHT HEARTED COMEDY, ‘DOORDARSHAN’ COULD BE BETTER

Rating: 2.5/5
Director Gagan Puri creates nostalgia of 80s and 90s with elements prevalent back then but misses to cater to the people of today

If you were born in 80s or 90s, you’ll connect with a lot of things. Those antennas on the terrace, the box TV, those tacky dresses and mostly flat hairdos and so much more. But for Doordarshan to actually work in 2020, that’s not enough. The connect is only nostalgia; sadly, not enough to make this film score points in today’s times. Plus the comedy isn’t fulfilling.

doordarshan, film, review, hindi, 2020
Director Gagan Puri (left) and a scene from the film (right) (image source: cinemaexpress.com)
PLOT

When a comatose aged member (Dolly Ahluwalia) of a family wakes up after 30years, the other ones decide to recreate the era bygone so as to not give her mental stress. The family is headed by Sunil (Manu Rishi) who is on verge on getting divorced with his loud Punjabi wife Priya (Mahie Gill).

STORY/SCREENPLAY/GENERAL

Written by Puri himself, the story isn’t connected to reality. It is only for entertainment and that’s how it should be watched. A family with its share of problems- two kids with their whacky mannerisms, a father who’s agitated at a lot of things, neighbours who happen to be childhood friends but lock horns at petty issues, and some characters that add to the madness. The film gives you all of this in the first 15mins to set the plot up. The actual film begins after this.

The makers have attempted comedy- which they do succeed in to some extent. But the overall appeal remains a little far from being convincing. The scenes at times get too long and the feel is lost. The direction is half hearted and not pin pointed. A lot gets swayed while conveying emotions that matter.

doordarshan, hindi, review, film, 2020
A scene from the film (image source: ourbitcoinnews.com)

Both the writing and direction are to be blamed here. The entire plot is set to bring it to a point where the makers can give a social commentary. Doesn’t work though. The second half in particular gets too stretched and you want the film to end at the earliest.

The TV of the era bygone is very much integral to the narrative. A cinematic buff would have wished to see more of TV and how it was a raging phenomenon, compared to how it is criticised today. Apart from TV, other elements too could be used in a better manner to convey the essence.

There are moments that make you emotional and also sone genuinely funny ones as well. But clearly the direction isn’t gripping enough and you keep losing interest. The plot isn’t plausible, so the question of realism shouldn’t arise. The stakes aren’t that high for the characters, also a reason why you as an audience remain aloof.

PERFORMANCE

The film rests on its decent and polished performances. Manu Rishi Chaddha as the lead makes a remarkable presence. His dialogue delivery is supremely well and he gives you a great time. Similar is the performance by Mahie Gill. She too puts her best foot forward. It’s a refreshing change to see her in such kind of a role.

Dolly Ahluwalia mostly performs seated or lying on the bed. So what she has arr dialogues and face. She gives a superlative act.

Watch the trailer here:

Rajesh Sharma and Supriya Shukla have relatively smaller roles but whenever they appear on screen, they bring joy. You instantly smile.

Shardul Rana, Archita Sharma, Aditya Kumar along with few other supporting actors too leave their mark. They give the film an edge and layers to the overall drama. It is also because of them that the film gets enjoyable.

Give it to all the actors for blowing life into a writing that’s otherwise weak. They lift the premise only through their acting.

OTHER TECHNICALITIES

Songs by Meet Bros play in background and they don’t add much value. The score is also bland and pale.

Cinematography by Soni Singh is just okay, nothing great. The visual appeal is flat. Gautam Naresh’s production design could be so much better. Intelligent use of elements within the frames could have made the visual connect fare better.

Editing by Shubham Srivastava is decent given the structure of the film. The scope was limited.

The film although not bad, doesn’t serve the very purpose of comedy too well. With such great actors, it is at least watchable.

Rochak Saxena

Rochak Saxena a Mass Media Teacher, former journalist at DNA and an ardent lover of Hindi films - literally. The blog derives its name from the popular term ‘Willing Suspension of Disbelief’, most commonly used in the world of literature and cinema. Meaning to immerse yourself in an unreal world (where you know what you see on screen is fake) with a self-proclaimed/declared belief/wish to consider it real, the willing world becomes magical. It’s the same magic every Friday that drives Rochak to share things in the perspective that it needs to be observed with. Every film is different. And the difference needs to be cherished.

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