Dange Movie Review



Filmfare's rating 3.0/5
avg. users' rating 4.2/5
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Cast: Harshvardhan Rane, Ehan Bhat, T.J. Bhanu, Nikita Dutta, Zoa Morani, Shreema Upadhyaya, Taniya Kalrra, Nakul Sahdev, Siddharth Menon
Direction: Bejoy Nambiar
Genre: Drama, Action
Duration: 2 hours 34 minutes

critic's rating:  3.0/5
Bejoy Nambiar, who has a yen for different content, has given us a campus drama involving different aspects of student life. The alpha male has been much in demand ever since Sandeep Reddy Vanga idolised the species in films like Arjun Reddy (2017) and Animal (2023). Arjun Reddy was a straight-forward love story that started when the protagonist was studying medicine. Here too, the two protagonists, Xavier (Harshvardhan Rane) and Yuvraj (Ehan Bhat), known around the campus as Zee and Yuva respectively, are medical students. While Zee is the perpetual senior who has seemed to make up his mind on not passing ever, Yuva is the brash new fresher who doesn’t care much for anyone or anything. Then there’s Rishika (Nikita Dutta), the on-campus drug queen known for supplying the best drugs, Gayatri (T.J. Bhanu), who runs a social-welfare platform called Awaaz, Siddhi (Zoa Morani), the student representative with political clout, Ambika (Tanya Kalra), who wants to do good as a student leader, and Bhama (Shreema Upadhyaya), a talented Bharatnatyam dancer. Everyone has an agenda of his or her own, and how their different parts intersect forms the crux of the film.

Bejoy Nambiar has pushed too many things into this layered film. There’s a fight against casteism angle, a student politics angle, a drug angle, seniors vs. juniors angst, a revenge plot, women empowerment, campus romance, hostel life shenanigans, childhood trauma, and a life crisis—all thrown together in the mix. At times, it becomes a chore to separate the different strands in your head. You get the feeling that all this was written for a series and somehow compressed into a cinematic venture. A series would surely have helped him explore the different aspects at length and do better justice to the story. You feel some sections, especially Gayatri and Ambika’s face-off against Siddhi or even Zee and Yuva’s confrontation, should have had more breathing space. In their present state, the happenings seem both hurried and cramped. The film is set on a Goa multi-disciplined campus, but the students seem to be doing everything else but studying, which is a common complaint for all films set against a college backdrop.

What the director has gotten right is the friendship and camaraderie between Xavier and his group and Yuva and his comrades. The relationship between Xavier and Gayatri seems real, as does the hormone-fueled affair between Yuva and Rishika. The underlying tension between junior students and their seniors is well brought out. At one level, the film feels like a full-blown action film, and the fight choreography is raw and visceral. The final fight scene, which takes the form of a full-blown riot, has been crafted well. One feels like one’s watching the actual footage of a riot and not something filmed for cinema. The pulsating background score works in the film’s favour.

The two protagonists of the film, Harshvardhan Rane and Ehan Bhat, manage to give off the confrontational vibe needed for their roles. Harshvardhan is cast in the mould of the big-hearted college senior and does justice to his role. His body language and expressions suit his character’s persona. Ehan has a more complicated role and uses his eyes effectively to bring out the required anger and sorrow. Their confrontational scenes add to the film. The rest of the cast, be they T.J. Bhanu, Nikita Dutta, Zoa Morani, Shreema Upadhyaya, Taniya Kalrra, or Nakul Sahdev, too, fulfil their roles competently.

The film has also been made into Tamil as POR, with a different cast playing the characters. There’s a raw energy to Dange. It’s another film celebrating hyper-masculinity, which seems to be the flavour of the season. Watch it for a glimpse of what happens beneath the facade of respectability associated with institutes catering to higher education.

Trailer : Dange