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Department

"Department" is a Hindi heavy-duty action film directed by Ram Gopal Varma. The film stars Amitabh Bacchan, Sanjay Dutt and Rana Daggubati in the lead roles and it was said to be Ram`s most stylish film yet, as it was shot using several Canon EOS 5D cameras. Amitabh Bachchan plays a gangster-turned politician while Sanjay Dutt and Rana Daggubati are Inspectors of an encounter squad that are after him.

Language: Hindi
Subtitle: NA
Classification: 18
Release Date: 18 May 2012
Genre: Action
Running Time: 2 Hours 17 Minutes
Distributor: SENDI MUTIARA
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Rana Daggubati
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Format: 35MM

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Review
Writer: Janak

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Watch this if you liked: “Sarkar”, “Vaastav” and “Ram Gopal Varma in Aag”

The thing about Ram Gopal Varma is that he is persistent on trying new things but insists on keeping to his old-style effects and fight choreographies. Fortunately for him, Amitabh Bachan and Sanjay Dutt appreciated this and readily accept to appear in his films. This reviewer would not be surprised if in the next film, the two leads might team up again.

Moving on to Ram's latest venture, "Department" is about Mahadev Bhosale (Sanjay Dutt), a high ranking and respected police officer who forms a team called "Department" to finish off all the underworld gangs that go beyond the boundaries of the law. Despite his doubts regarding Shiv (newcomer Rana Daggubati), he knows that Shiv is the best man to recruit even though the lad had been suspended for manslaughter previously.

Together, their first target is to take on Sawatya's (Vijay Raaz) gang. Sawatya, in spite of the many extortions and attacks on his team, does not hit back at the police. Department's next target is another rival gang, led by Mohammad Gauri, who also backs off quietly. In the midst of all this, gangster-turned-minister, Sarjerao Gaikwad (Amitabh Bachchan), takes Shiv under his wing after Shiv saves his life. Mahadev warns Shiv that Sarjerao is just using him and eventually, Shiv learns that Mahadev is actually working for Mohammad Gauri and is, at the gang lord's behest, finishing off Sawatya's gang previously. When Shiv declines to join Mahadev's corrupt world, things start falling apart for him. What role does Sarjerao play in the final outcome of all this?

Although the film promises the viewers with raw action, at times it goes overboard and looks pointless. The director's obsession with the camera is evident in the film. The tight close-ups and overly lingering shots in the violent scenes are distractions. Despite the promising storyline, the film lacks in execution, the many sub-plots just add confusion to it and the dialogues pointless.

To make things worse, the film's music and songs turn out to be a disaster as they play no part in the film whatsoever, and they are only featured as requirement. The remix of yesteryear's Amitabh's starrer "Namak Halal" song "Thodi Si Jo Pee Li Hai" is another big failure as well. Oh yes, not forgetting Nathalia Kaur's numbers, which looked more hideous than hot.

The film's only saviour comes in the form of Amitabh Bachan, who provides a larger-than-life persona and an underlying menace that has you questioning his true motives. Sanjay Dutt does provide some good acting here but falls short of his previous attempts in action movies and crime thrillers.

Overall, "Department" is a severe disappointment in all aspects. Please give this film a miss if you do not want an eye sore or suffer Ram Gopal Varma's obsession with close-ups and bizarre action. Let us hope that he redeems himself with another film in the future. Perhaps re-casting Paresh Rawal in his future films is not a bad idea as well.

Cinema Online, 06 June 2012
   
Showtimes
 
Classification
U - General viewing for all ages
P13 - Parental guidance is advisable for children below 13 years old
18 - For 18+ with elements for mature audiences
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