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Dasvi Review: Pass Ho Gaya

Dasvi is a comedy-drama film starring Abhishek Bachchan, Yami Gautam and Nimrat Kaur. It is directed by Tushar Jalota and produced by Jio Studios, Maddock Films and Bake My Cake Films. Dasvi starts streaming on Netflix on April 7.

Review Overview

General Rating

Summary

Pass Ho Gaya

Producer Dinesh Vijan seems to nurse a soft corner for scripts that revolve around education. After the well-made Angrezi Medium and the underwhelming Hindi Medium, a team of writers (Ritesh Shah, Suresh Menon), story writer (Ram Bajpai), consultant (Kumar Vishwas) and director Tushar Jalota set out to sprinkle education over a Jat-strewn state they christen Harit Pradesh.  

With a motto of ‘Mall before school,’ and ‘making maal’ a clear objective, popular Chief Minister Ganga Ram Chaudhary embodies all that politicians are known for. Especially in the brazenness with their scams, peremptory transfer orders and general put-down of IAS toppers who serve near-illiterate political masters. 

When Ganga Ram is jailed for corruption and he does a Lalu Prasad by placing bovine wife Bimmo (Nimrit Kaur as Bimla Devi) on his chair, there’s a strong resemblance to Subhash Kapoor’s Maharani, the web series in which Huma Qureshi acquired a taste for the power that came with the CM’s seat. Tushar and his team could’ve made the effort not to replicate the initial scenes of Maharani to such an extent that the ingenue’s swearing-in-ceremony and her first days in the Assembly follow the same pattern. 

While Bimmo who earlier had to be urged to ‘speak up’ moves from tending cows and buffaloes to taking charge of the state much like Maharani did, and even reduces the IAS officer to a gobar-gathering sidey, husband Ganga Ram’s arc provides the more interesting landscape. The haughty privilege of entitlement that he arrives with, the injured pride when his ‘lines and a dot’ signature are mocked and his vow to become a ‘dasvi pass’ are in a general sort of way watchable. But it is his metamorphosis from caste-and-corruption-ridden leadership to valuing the contribution of gurus, teachers, knowledge and education that’s the heart of the film and is an applaudable chunk. 

Likeable is his relationship with the gurus inside jail, like Ghanti (Arun Kushwaha) and Librarian alias Rae Bareilly (Danish Hussain), who prep him for the exams, using his canny political calculations to teach him maths, science, the social sciences and English. But the Forrest Gump scenes of juxtaposing him with an array of historical heroes – Lala Lajpat Rai, Gandhi, Azad and Bose – have the makers slumping again to borrow from what’s been seen before.  

His 10th Std results culminate in a warm little scene between him and Superintendent Jyoti Deswal (Yami Gautam) with the chair as a metaphor. But the climactic sequences with his exams and his election results coming out simultaneously look hurried. While it works that his relationship with Jyoti Deswal moves from resentment to respect, even affection for each other and does not descend into a marital triangle, his post-election scene with wife Bimmo who has openly opposed him at the hustings is sweetly unconvincing. But ‘Power blinds you’ and ‘Education empowers you’ are happy takeaways.

There are inconsistencies galore. Long after Superintendent Deswal has forbidden special treatment for him, Ganga Ram sometimes tucks into home meals, and sometimes reports to the mess. Right at the beginning of a ‘Fit India’ scene he mutters, ‘Once more’ like Abhishek Bachchan would in real life but says, ‘Womens’ in another. That too after he’s been spouting ‘A tiger never changes its stripes’ and changes active into passive voice with relative ease.    

Macha macha re’ is catchy though it has an all-too-familiar beat and energy, like a mash of ‘Zingat’ (Sairat) and ‘Jaago Jaago’ (Pushpa). 

It takes a while to accept Abhishek Bachchan in a role that his father would have once aced, his performance almost seeming like a caricature. But since Junior has his own charm, you take to him gradually like Jyoti Deswal does. Nimrit Kaur and Yami Gautam scrape through in roles that don’t have standout scenes written for them.    And so Dasvi is like an average exam paper – some are expected, some catch you by surprise, you get some right and you get some wrong. But it’s altogether endearing, like a sigh of relief when the results announce that you’ve passed after all.

Also Read: Review Of Rishi Kapoor’s Last Film Sharmaji Namkeen

Watch Dasvi Trailer:

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