Cast: Nani, Keerthy Suresh, Dheekshith Shetty
Director: Srikanth Odhela
Rating: 2.5 Moons
Alcohol consumption is injurious to health- this is a disclaimer that appears while watching a film occasionally. When it does, it doesn't really catch attention. But when the disclaimer flashes throughout, it becomes a highlight. Dasara does that. Alcohol forms a major part of the narrative and action acts like soda to dilute it. Directed by Srikanth Odhela, Dasara trips on Nani's masculinity and Keerthy Suresh's raw beauty and feistiness.
The story of Dasara is as simple and plain as a regular potato crisp. A rowdy boy Dharni (Nani) falls in love with the village's common sweetheart Vennela (Keerthy Suresh) who is also the crush of his best friend Suri (Dheekshith Shetty). The former becomes the quintessential tyag ki murat, once a novelty across various film industries but it seems like a drag now, and allows his friend to marry his dream girl. The tale of revenge begins soon after when one corner of the love triangle is murdered brutally.
After watching a never-ending tale of revenge all over again, it is clear that the title of the film could easily be Daru instead of Dasara. The narrative begins with a bunch of villagers waiting for a bar called Silk Bar (ode to the late Silk Smitha). Songs have lyrics romanticising liquor and we have men either tripping on beedi or bottles of pauva. This follows at least for the first half of Dasara. The director's love for alcohol is prominent throughout but that doesn't really make the film exciting or different.
Dasara is yet another high-on action Telugu film that does the right amount of fan service to people waiting to twist their tongues to whistle at the larger-than-life fight sequences, drool over the masculinity of the male protagonist and cuddle up during romantic scenes. That's all. The concept is done and dusted. The twists are predictable. The dialogues are cliché. When you speak of action dramas, the first thing that comes to your mind is the hero beating up thousands of men at once. This is what we are conditioned to imagine and there's nothing wrong with it. But Dasara takes it to the next level. Men are beheaded brutally, anonymous goons are swung in the air and axes are pierced into bodies just to highlight the intensity of the hero's revenge intention.
The problem with Dasara is it feels never-ending. The story takes its own sweet time to progress but due to its gory and dark treatment and visualisation, it doesn't resonate as expected. The emotional core of the film is the strongest. The emotion of losing a dear one suddenly is enacted beautifully by Nani and Keerthy. The fight sequences, though brutally good and rich, are stretched.
There were comparisons between Dasara, KGF and Pushpa, which was unnecessary. While various long shots will remind you of KGF's coal mines and Nani's look that of Allu Arjun's in Pushpa, the impact that Dasara creates is nowhere close to the blockbusters. The core area of any action thriller is the music but the film fails to capture the most in that department as well. Thankfully, the women who are definitely objectified to an extent, know how to hit back and are feisty too.
Dasara is a classic example of cut, copy and paste. There's a lack of novelty, uniqueness and bravery in attempting something out of the box that Kantara did. While the recent Tollywood films weren't up to the mark, Dasara fails to even match that standard. The only respite in the entire 154 minutes film is Nani, Keerthy and Dheekshith's performances.
Known as Natural Star, Nani doesn't disappoint his fans. There are many moments in Dasara that will make you hoot, whistle and cheer for him. His Dharni is raw, rugged yet emotionally weak. All it needs to trigger the beast out of him is his close ones and of course, alcohol. Keerthy is feisty and super strong as Vennela. She is truly a scene stealer. Dheekshith is a surprise package. As Suri, he will win over your heart with his impactful performance.
Dasara is a pale, unexciting action thriller that evokes nothing but sheer boredom. The film seems never-ending and you will certainly need a bottle of liquor (if not a teetotaler) to survive it with sanity intact. Watch it if you're a fan of the actors otherwise skip it without feeling guilty about missing out on something important.
PeepingMoon gives Dasara 2.5 Moons