Dorasani Movie Review: A compelling setup bereft of novelty
Dorasani despite the effective setup, doesn’t deliver an engaging love story as payback.
In a world where Sairat didn’t exist this film would have may have started some new conversations and received a little more appreciation. Nonetheless an honest team effort in every department involved to create the world of Dorasani as it stirs the right emotions.
Cast: Anand Devarakonda, Shivatmika Rajashekar, Vinay Verma
Director: KVR Mahendra
Raju (Anand Devarakonda) a lower caste but educated boy finds his interest in Devaki or Dorasani (Shivatmika Rajashekar), the feudal lord’s daughter. They share their thoughts and feelings through poetry while finding means to keep themselves alive without anyone finding out. Set in a small village of Telangana in 1980s, the courtship of these two youngsters is forbidden due to both the caste and class divide. What follows is what anyone can expect. In Dorasani, the story is as old as time, the conflict is pre-written, and the ending, underwhelming.
Dorasani’s strength is the rural Telangana backdrop that it heavily relies upon, which it uses effectively. The locations, sets, the dialect (which not even one character missteps), the class divide (which isn’t uncommon even today), the innocence of young forbidden love, the social commentary subtly flowing in the narrative — they all are the foundations on which the film stands. The downfall is the predicability of the film. And unfortunately that’s all it takes to leave the audience bored. With the setup, research and backdrop so intact and loaded with potential, the story could have probed more into the possibilities. Not just with the love story but also the social commentary which the film barely introduces and forgets about. That too could have been excused if the love story itself was tight and engaging.
There is a naxalite angle in the film which only feels like a plot device to make sure the audience don’t forget the class atrocities. It really doesn’t have a payoff. The film itself for the two and a half hour length of it, doesn’t pay off satisfactorily as the audience leave the theatre. Technicalities are what need to be acknowledged in the film. The art design, writing and the camera work are a hero for Dorasani. Not once will any person, backdrop or line feel artificial or orchestrated. And the dialogues flowing in easygoing Telangana dialect by all the characters is an added asset to the naturality of it all. The montages written between Raju and Devaki are adorable in all their innocence. Unfortunately that’s all that you can look forward to.
Coming to performances, Shivatmika steals the spotlight. She has barely anything to say or do in the first half besides coy longing. With possibly just two pages of lines given to her on the whole, she delivers a performance that needed no lines. Acting with her eyes, she has the innocence of an adolescent and the stance of a princess. Of course, still the novice, there are points where consciousness shows but her potential is evident. The award juries need to watch out for this debut!
Anand Devarakonda one must admit gave the most earnest and hardworking performance as a debutant in recent times. He isn’t a natural but he doesn’t let that come in the way. His fluent Telangana dialect makes it easier for us to be convinced with Raju. But for a first-timer with no acting background whatsoever, he put up a fair show - long way to go though. Vinay Verma as the Dora has a one-toned role and it kind of gets monotonous after a while. Even the character artists - like Raju’s mother and father - despite their insignificant roles put their heart and souls into the film and it shows.
On the whole, Dorasani despite the effective setup, doesn’t deliver an engaging love story as payback.