Depart To Exit

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By Dhruvi Shah

Department

SOMETIMES IT is hard to believe Ram Gopal Varma is the same director who gave us films like Shiva, Satyaand Company. It is even harder to believe that Amitabh Bachchan and Varma together can’t make a watchable movie. What went wrong with Department? Everything.

The most disturbing element of Department is the cinematography. Varma believes he doesn’t need professional technicians, employs amateurs and calls it “rogue methodology”. Call it what you may, no one is interested in watching 100 minutes of distorted camera angles in a film that runs for 132 minutes. There is a three-minute sequence shot of a carrom striker moving and blurred visions of torsos sitting across a board.

In employing this methodology, the story is compromised — if one was written at all. The film loosely operates on a plot about an alternative team of police members coming together to take down the underworld. It inserts gratuitous meta-questions to establish its intellectual high ground. What is “illegally legal and legally illegal?” First, Bachchan poses the teaser to Dagubatti. Daggubati then asks Dutt. And the chain continues. If a point is repeated thrice, maybe it’s not sharp enough to drive home.

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