Film Review: Dongri Ka Raja

dongri-ka-raja_rDirector Abrar and first-time producer PS Chhatwal’s ‘Dongri Ka Raja’ has no pretensions as to which genre it belongs. Anyone familiar with the topography of Dongri would know its relevance, with its birthplace of gangsters and hoodlums, and its proximity to the docks.

Beginning with a deafening background score, the film shows snapshots of the unicultural bylanes of Dongri before ending up with local don Mansoor Ali (a wooden-faced Ronit Roy) and his son Raja, (Gashmeer Mahajani) who we learn later, was picked off the streets at the age of four. Raja’s loyalty to his adoptive father leads him to impersonate police inspector Siddhant (Ashmit Patel) and gun down rivals with impunity. As in all gangster-genre films, love interest Shruti (Reecha Sinha) plays the pivotal role in the father-son relationship.

Director Abrar, apparently drawing inspiration from Ram Gopal Varma’s 1998 iconic ‘Satya’, draws parallels while intercutting from ‘Dongri Ka Raja’  to Lalbaug cha Raja. DKR is one more gangster film — replete with treachery and betrayal, trigger-happy  cops, an item song (with blink-and-you-miss scenes of Sunny Leone) with matching lyrics ‘choli blockbuster legacy’, some corny dialogues such as Mansoor Ali telling his rival underworld don Daya (Sacheen Suvarna), ‘Daya, ab tujhpe daya nahi karoonga’.

It’s a film with encounters and sub-plots that stretch the limits of credulity.  Ronit Roy manages to look menacing but seems to suffer from his TV serials’ hangover. Reecha Sharma looks good and does her best in her debut, while Police Inspector Sadashiv Damle and Ashwini Kalsekar as the don Mansoor Ali’s wife impress.

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