New Delhi, 05 Jul 2019 21:04 IST
Mandeep Benipal's latest action film is a damp squib with poor performances and an unimaginative plot.
Set in the notorious Daulatpur village of Ferozepur district of Punjab known for its rampant drug production and distribution, DSP Dev traces the journey of Dev (Dev Kharoud), a corrupt, money-grabbing police officer who aids and abets the drug and alcohol trade. But when he sees the impact his actions bring to the lives of the villagers, Dev vows to end the tyranny of the hooligans.
Directed by Mandeep Benipal, whose films include Sadda Haq (2013) and the recent Dakuan Da Munda (2018), DSP Dev is a weary action film that has been seen many times before. The drug-laced borders of Punjab, the nexus between politicians and cops, the blatant hooliganism, flagrant violation of the law, all line up to create an unimaginative film.
There are several inconsistencies in the plot, especially regarding Dev’s turnabout which forms the crux of the second half. We have seen the police officer scheming with robbers to win a promotion for himself. Then he suddenly has a change of heart and becomes a raging bull, spouting Singham-like dialogues about the meaning of the uniform, honour and duty and citing examples of warriors from history.
The tedious narrative and the poorly executed scenes amble along as one waits for the paper-thin story to become mildly engaging. Alas, that moment never comes. One also wonders about the enthusiastic use of overextended scenes in slow motion and their purpose in the film as they sprout at every opportunity.
The spectre of Salman Khan’s performance as Chulbul Pandey in Dabangg (2010) looms large over the film, but Kharoud remains unimpressive as he delivers a wooden performance that conveys precious little. The fight scenes are rigid and unconvincing as we seem to just be going through poorly choreographed motions, once again in slow motion.
The film also marks the debut of Mehreen Kaur Pirzada who doesn’t have much to do as the love interest who intermittently becomes the moral compass.
The only noteworthy performance is that of Manav Vij, who tries to make the most of his role as a menacing kingpin. Other than that, there is no silver lining to this muddled mess of a film.
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