Banner: Filmy Keeda Productions
Producer: P S Chhatwal
Director: Hadi Ali Abrar
Cast: Ronit Roy, Gashmeer Mahajani, Reecha Sinha, Ashmit Patel, Ashwini Kalsekar, Sachin Suvarna
Writer: M Salim
Music: Asad Khan
There are two types of people in the underworld – those who support you and those who will stab you in the back. And supporters and saboteurs exist in all camps. That’s the basic theme of Dongri Ka Raja. The underworld and gangsters are a tried and tested formula but when presenting a love story in this mix, one needs to keep the writing especially tight and Dongri Ka Raja fails on this and many other counts, when compared to other gangster films.
The film starts amid the Ganpati festivities in Dongri, Mumbai, where a man is murdered in broad daylight by Raja (Gashmeer Mahajani), a sharpshooter for Mansoor Ali (Ronit Roy), who is the uncrowned ruler of Dongri. Raja is also Mansoor’s adopted son as he was picked off the streets at a young age and raised by Mansoor’s wife (Ashwini Kalsekar).
Meanwhile, Police Sub-Inspector Sidhanth (Ashmit Patel) tries to nab Mansoor and Raja for their crimes but he has no witnesses to bolster his efforts. Raja meets Shruti (Reecha Sinha) and falls in love with her. Shruti, who is unaware of Raja’s criminal background, reciprocates his feelings. How their love story progresses against all odds takes the story forward.
Hadi Ali Abrar lacks conviction in his story-telling, and making it worse is the screenplay by M Salim. No character is well-defined. Interlacing romance and emotion into a gangster flick is not the easiest thing to do and Salim is lackadaisical in his effort. In addition, this is a technically weak film. Dialogue is uninspiring and there’s nothing new about the storyline. Also, the film lacks novelty in its narration. The drama isn’t convincing and the emotions portrayed fail to engage.
Cinematography by Pushpank Gawade is average. Editing by Bunty Nagi is good. Locations and costumes are apt. Another major drawback is the inconsistency in pace. The first half of the film is much too slow and it is only post-interval that the story picks up. Music and background score are average.
Performance-wise, Ronit Roy stays true to his character throughout the film but fails to save this sinking ship. Marathi actor Gashmeer Mahajani, who marks his Hindi film debut with this film, plays his part with magnificence. Ashmit Patel is good. Debutant Reecha Sinha plays her part with assurance and the right balance. Ashwini Kalsekar is top-notch. Sachin Suvarna impresses. The rest of the cast fits the bill.