The ApunKaChoice movie review of Department. Caution: Keep a headache tablet handy if you are planning to watch Department! With the movie boasting of some renowned names from Bollywood like Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt, this is without a doubt one of the biggest disappointments of this year. I still remember Ram Gopal Varma saying in an interview that he has tried to make a mass entertainer in the form of Department! Knock, knock! He needs to be told that roping in a talented cast, getting a foreign import for an item number, and going nuts with camerawork does not mean entertainment!!
Department is the same old story about the connections between the underworld, politics and police! However, a few new twists do appear in this old story as the film progresses! Sadly though, in a 150-minutes long film, if you have to scrounge for thrills and excitement (despite the song featuring the lava-hot Nathalia Kaur, mind you), you know it’s a damn downer!
Yes, it’s true that right from the start of the shoot, Department was being touted as an action film attempting to push the envelope on the technical front! Sadly though, Ram Gopal Varma completely disregards the saying ‘excess of everything is bad’! Say, in about every five minutes, you’ll see some action; and that too repetitive one! No sooner you brave one such shootout or fist-fight, than you are foisted with another one, then another and another until the end credits roll and you thank God for tender mercies.
What hurt the most, though, is that Ram Gopal Varma is not able to do justice to the incredible cast (Rana Daggubati is not on the top of the list though) of Department! The characters of the awesomely talented actors Vijay Raaz and Abhimanyu Singh are not properly sketched and they come to the screen in weird bits!
While Sanjay Dutt’s acting is fine enough, Amitabh Bachchan is splendid as the gangster-turned politician Sarjerao Gaikwad! He’s the only person who seems to be having all the fun in this film. His inimitable baritone, his strut, swagger and his little gestures like the lower-lip seeti or the wiggle of the ghanti on his wrist: all come together to create a loveable character of a powerful vigilante, a disposer of justice as he deems fit. Here, we must admit that no matter how much we disliked Department, there is no one who captures Amitabh Bachchan better than Ram Gopal Varma! Ignoring the monstrosity called Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, the jodi of Amitabh Bachchan and RGV has given us some memorable moments! Even in Department, when Big B says: “Main illegally legal kaam karta hu, legally illegal kaam nahi” you do feel that certain dialogues of the film were power packed!
The music of the film, too, was good! Dan Dan Cheeni, Thodi Si Jo Pi Li Hai and Kammo, all of them are numbers you can groove to! A special mention for Nathalia Kaur here! If you do not take into account her lip-sync in Dan Dan Cheeni, you’ll definitely admit that Nathalia is one of the hottest foreign imports ever! Hot in every department from lip to toe.
Now, coming to the part we were dreading to mention: the direction! I personally am a fan of Ram Gopal Varma and his certain works! Sadly though, I would love to forget Department as a bad dream in a nightmare! It is common knowledge that RGV loves playing with his camera; and with Department, he has made an attempt to take his cinematography to a whole new level! Yes, he has indeed taken it to a whole new level, sadly though, it’s a new low! If the meandering plot didn’t irritate you enough, the vertiginous camera angles make up for it, piling on more misery on you! On this form, RGV can top the Olympics of bad filmmaking.
On the whole, Department is a forgettable experience! Just in case, you haven’t seen the film and are planning to watch it, here’s Sanjay Dutt’ dialogue from the film that will help you decide: “Duniya mein log ache yaan bure nahi, samjhdaar yaan ch**iye hotein hain”. On a lighter note, doesn’t this dialogue contradict what Shahrukh Khan said in My Name Is Khan? Wink!
We give Department half a star extra for Amitabh Bachchan’s performance! Save for Big B, this film is RGV ka Lava.