{ Page-Title / Story-Title }

Review Hindi

Dug Dug review: A hilarious satire that India needs right now

Release Date: 2022

Cinestaan Rating

  • Acting:
  • Direction:
  • Music:
  • Story:

Vidyasree Bindu

Ritwik Pareek’s debut film is a terrific and thought-provoking entertainer.

It is not so common to find films with humour amongst the selection of arthouse films at a festival. But here it is, Ritwik Pareek’s Dug Dug, a beautiful amalgamation of good filmmaking, humour, social satire and music. This film with its vivid color palette and music, which reminds us of a peppy number from commercial Hindi cinema, creates a strong discourse that critically appraises the way beliefs become a portal to a new religion and god-men in India.

With strong elements of magical realism, Dug Dug starts with a man, Thakur Lal (Altaf Khan), high on pot and alcohol riding a motorcycle and meeting with an accident. The motorcycle becomes an object of mystery as it reaches the spot of the accident every night. Soon, news of the 'divine' two-wheeler spreads like wildfire and people start worshipping it at the place where the accident took place. Things go out of hand when this chance is exploited by a private capitalist group to turn the place into an opportunity to make money by creating a trust in the name of the motorcycle shrine. The source of the motorcycle's mystery is revealed towards the end of the movie.

The film depicts the gullibility of people who fall prey to ridiculous traditions and examines the erroneous system of politics, policing and public welfare. When people are desperate to find hope in living a hard life in a society still haunted by caste, gender and religion, such debacles become a natural way of coping. The business aspect of a religion, especially that of god-men, is conveyed through the depiction of the systematic ways in which the 'motorcycle cult' is marketed. A place, a symbol, paintings showing the origin of the 'motorcycle god', prasad, pooja and political backing, all aid the new religion to make progress in the movie.

The cast of the movie includes countless people from the local population in Rajasthan where it was shot. Pyare Lal (Gaurav Soni) and Badri (Yogendra Singh), who essay the role of policemen in the movie, have done a commendable job.

The film's visual effects are praiseworthy. The colours, light, frames and scenes with semiotic significance make the narrative deep and spacious with room for interpretation. This reveals the excellent editing job by Bijith Bala and cinematography by Aditya Kumar.

As good as the visuals are the sounds employed in the movie, both musical and otherwise. The mood is set from the word go with lines that are poetic, philosophical and humorous. As the movie takes twists and turns, the music, too, changes accordingly. The title, as well as the song 'Dug Dug', is an onomatopoeic usage of the sound of the motorcycle shown in the movie.

Loosely based on a true story where a temple was devoted to a motorcycle, Dug Dug is a terrific entertainer that is also thought-provoking. Humour and satire are difficult things to work out, especially when it is about religion in the Indian context. However, Ritwik Pareek has done it successfully in his debut movie. The film can deliver a quality experience to those looking for a festival film with humour, satire and music.

Dug Dug was screened at the 26th International Film Festival of Kerala held from 18–26 March 2022 as well as at the 20th Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles held from 28 April–1 May 2022.


Related topics


You might also like