Dagdi Chawl 2
Onto the next release of the weekend and I have finished watching the new Marathi film Dagdi Chawl 2 streaming on Amazon Prime which is the sequel to the 2015 film Dagdi Chawl. I must confess that I had watched the first film on TV and not in a theatre. And although the film was a typical gangster drama, I found myself thoroughly enjoying it. And so when its sequel was announced, I was really looking forward to it although a part of me was slightly skeptical too. The reason for that was that since its last release in 2015, my acumen for cinema has drastically increased. And so if the typical 90s approach is retained then I may not really enjoy the film. Again, I do enjoy my share of commercial entertainers provided they are entertaining. And with a hope of another commercial potboiler with a little bit of skepticism, I decided to watch Daagadi Chawl 2 which is streaming on Amazon Prime. Is it worth your time, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Dagdi Chawl 2 follows the story of Daddy as members of his team begin to get bumped off until he seeks the help of Surya who doesn’t comply. What happens next? The story is a typical commercial potboiler meant to entertain. However, I was more interested in the screenplay that stands at 130 minutes. And the screenplay for me was half baked unfortunately.
The first thing that I did notice about the drama was the world building of it. While I am a supporter of that, as often seen, the challenge in the sequel lies in rebooting and rebuilding the entire world. And this is where the film over stays its welcome right away. The world building should not really have lasted for almost 30 odd minutes, instead it could have been drastically trimmed down. The dynamics between characters could have followed the approach of being established while the main plot was underway(or perhaps even in a non linear fashion).
But things change when the conflict is introduced and it instantly brought back my attention. A mysterious entity killing off members of the “Daddy” gang did make for a compelling viewing. And just when I thought that this is the center plot point, the focus of the narrative shifts making it a game of obe upmanship between Surya and Daddy after a personal tragedy for Surya.
The problem is that the screenplay tries to be smarter than it actually is. It tries to be layered but the beats of the screenplay are immensely predictable. The drama does have its fairly engaging moments but it never really rises up to the occasion. The events leading up to the final act are just about average. There are multiple twists in the final act but none of them really shock you(due to the lack of characters, it was easy to zero in on the culprit). And this is precisely because the focus of the narrative was not on the whodunnit which it should have been. The final act too is underwhelming, making the screenplay just an above average one, something that I did fear stepping into the film. It reminded me of the 90s honestly which cannot work in 2022.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are massy and they do create some sort of impact. The music is good but the songs do partially stall the flow of the drama. The BGM is emaculate and pulsating and it keeps you on your toes throughout. The cinematography and editing are pretty good as well. Director Chandrakant Kanse does a fair job although he is unable to elevate the drama at any point.
The performances are pretty good but there are exceptions too. Augustine Francis as Sattar, Yatin Karyekar as Kala Coat, Ashok Samarth as Shakeel and Vijay Nikam as Vilas have their moments to shine. Pooja Sawant as Sonal looks pretty and does a good job here as is Nachiket Purnapatre as Rashid. Makrand Deshpande as Arun Gawli is phenomenal to watch right from his mannerisms to antics and he is the pick of the actors for me. Ambarish Deshpande as Raghu is first rate as well. Ankush Chaudhari as Surya is a bit of a mixed bag. I was expecting his fiery presence from the first part where I was blown by his performance. But here he is sedate which was good to begin with but I really wished to see his character transform into a beast following a personal tragedy. But that is where he was lacking.
Dagdi Chawl 2 is a half baked follow-up to the original blockbuster. Available on Amazon Prime.