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Movie Reviews

Posted at: Jul 5, 2019, 8:21 PM; last updated: Jul 5, 2019, 8:21 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW - DSP DEV

Call this cop, at your own risk

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Film: DSP Dev

  • Director: Mandeep Benipal
  • Cast: Dev Kharoud, Manav Vij, Mehreen Kaur Pirzada
Call this cop, at your own risk
A still from DSP Dev

Manpriya Singh

The thing about cop dramas is that they are either an absolute hit (Simmba, Singham) or they can fall flat like a joke badly delivered. Surprisingly, DSP Dev oscillates between both, all through the movie. What do we begin with first? The positives. Or the negatives? Actually, inspired by the script, let’s keep alternating. When you have an item song by Sapna Chaudhary, you know it’s one of the shenanigans to increase the footfall rather than take the story further. The songs are something you don’t want to hear, let alone see. Thankfully, the background score is much better and not so jarring. But wait, you didn’t stand at the ticket counter for the music.

So, here’s the bit on action; it’s decent enough, only if the action sequence where the hero, who later becomes DSP Dev Singh Shergill, did not appear inspired by action we saw in Bollywood cop dramas of the eighties.

So, anyway, DSP Dev, the titular role played by Pollywood’s action ‘darling’ Dev Kharoud, is the son of an honest IPS officer. Having cleared the physicals for police services thrice, he is still not selected at the interview stage, courtesy his honest father and the rampant corruption in the selection for police officers. How it takes at least 8 to 10 lakhs to clear the interview to be an inspector. And that’s how the seeds for the vicious circle of corruption are sown into the society.

It’s a check on the issue, the message, the subject taken up in the film. Another thing that keeps you glued through bad item numbers is the storyline.

Thankfully, the narrative is also not linear as the story goes back and forth between how the protagonist became the narcissist, selfish, unethical police officer. From an inspector to SHO to a DSP.

The scene where he is equating the stars on his uniform in terms of the bribery he can now command. Three stars on each shoulder means 60 lakhs. And then the dialogue ‘I am too much and I like too much’. It’s a check. So true and just the kind of satire we need more and more on celluloid.

Before we forget, the girl, (Mehreen Kaur Pirzada) or let’s call her DSP Dev’s girlfriend-turned-wife, does what the girls are usually expected to do in most Punjabi films, (especially if they happen to be cop dramas in the action genre), look pretty, appear in a few scenes, provide a breather from the actual storyline rather than take the story further. On a similar note, the romance part is cheesy, actually cringy.

And now, for the almost real hero, the anti-hero, Manav Vij. He impresses, like always, and with a screen presence that only he can command.

While we applaud the makers for taking up an issue-based subject that talks about the ugly heads in society, the nexus between politicians and policemen, how bootlegging in the border states right under the policemen’s nose, how drugs are sometimes transported under the protection of police vehicles because an informer must have informed every check post. It’s a check on all of these. Just that when something so relevant and real is depicted on 70MM there is all the more responsibility to make it crisper and entertaining. Should you call this IPS officer? In case of an entertainment emergency.

manpriya@tribunemail.com

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