Dasvi Hindi Movie

Feature Film | 2022 | Drama
Tushar Jalota's Dasvi does not quite work as a satire but is always entertaining. It bats for a good cause and is enjoyable thanks mainly to the performance of Abhishek Bachchan.
Apr 9, 2022 By Sreejith Mullappilly

Right from the start, Tushar Jalota's Dasvi makes it clear that it operates in a fantastical world. Abhishek Bachchan's Ganga Ram Chaudhary gets imprisoned for corruption, and his wife replaces him as the chief minister of Harit Pradesh. Is there any rule in India that allows the wife of the chief minister to take over as the CM?

At first, Chaudhary gets VIP treatment in the jail as it looks more like a resort room. It is perhaps an act of mocking the system for treating bigwigs differently from the commoner. But things change for Chaudhary when a hard-nosed officer comes to the prison as its supervisor. The superintendent of the prison, Yami Goutam's Jyoti Deswal, humiliates Chaudhary in front of the other prisoners for his lack of literacy. Chaudhary then vows that he will look to come back to power after passing out of the 10th standard.

It is a simple and sometimes silly premise that holds some comedic promise. What Jalota does with the Nimrat Kaur character, for instance, is more of a role reversal. The woman becomes more powerful than the man. Kaur gets the most savage lines in the story, including one that reminds Chaudhary that he is only the husband of the CM. Kaur does not have the best of roles here but has a lot of fun playing the over-the-top character. A lot of the film plays out as an exchange between Kaur's Vimladevi and Bachchan's Ganga Ram Chaudhary as well as between Chaudhary and Deswal.

Dasvi does not seem to be convincing as a satire and has elements that appear gimmicky. Take, for instance, the scenes where Bachchan's Chaudhary gets transported to the pre-independence world and talks to India's freedom fighters as he reads history books. Or, the portions where Hindi letters dance in front of him as Chaudhary has a difficult time learning the language. Those are nods to Lage Raho Munna Bhai and Taare Zameen Par and lack originality. The movie does little with those ideas, which means they appear gimmicky.

There is also an element of predictability for the character arcs of Chaudhary and Deswal. You can tell how the relationship between both characters will pan out at the end. The speeches of Chaudhary highlighting the importance of education and his transformation from being corrupt to enlightened, are all a tad too simplistic. This means that Dasvi does not work as a satire or more of a coming-of-age film. But it works as a piece of light entertainment. There are hardly any boring moments in the film.

I enjoyed a lot of the movie thanks mainly to the performances. Bachchan does little serious acting here but delivers a performance. Bachchan's strength lies in the fact that he does not take himself too seriously. He never fails to amuse us, and there is a level of sincerity to what he does here. Bachchan is a trier, and so is his character here. Even as the satire goes south and the film gets a bit preachy, Bachchan's performance ensures that it stays light and enjoyable. I kept thinking, well, at least, Dasvi is batting for a good cause even as it delivers straightforward lessons.

Goutam has a thin part but plays it quite well. I like the way her Deswal looks at Chaudhary in many moments of the film that conveys her feelings for him with no dialogue.

Sreejith Mullappilly