Thriller That Works In Parts
‘U/A’ Certified, 2 hrs 29 mins
What Is the Film About?
Vicky (Karthi) is trying his best to manage and convince the family of his legitimacy as Sharwa, after returning to the house 15 years later. In the process, some strange things are happening surrounding him. Or are they happening because of Sharwa? What is the actual truth related to Sharwa is what the movie is all about?
How Is Karthi’s Performance?
Karthi is superb in Donga, which offers him scope to enact various gamut of expressions and emotions. The brother-sister angle, for starters, is a fresh angle that not many heroes get to do these days. Even if they do, it is mostly a cliché with a below-par performer at the other end. Here, Karthi has Jyothika, which makes the difference.
There is also a chilled-out persona of Karthi as an alter ego. It is an old trope that has been used effectively. Then there is the standard Karthi with aggression and action. The whole package makes Donga a good outing for him.
Direction by Jeethu Joseph?
The name Jeethu Joseph might not click immediately with many, but when we say Drishyam – everyone will instantly recognize. Jeethu is the one who brought Drishyam to life. He gained widespread acclaim with the movie. Incidentally, in the same year, he had another success in Memories. The common link here is the thriller aspect. It is what we get in Donga, as well.
Donga is a thriller on the lines of Athadu. A fake or rogue person enters a household impersonating a guy. How he basically solves the problem of the family and understands the “love of family” missing in his life is a routine storyline we see under these premises.
Donga initially follows the same trajectory that we have seen in the past, but it changes course as it progresses. Any resemblance with the past movies vanishes, and it charters a different journey. It is also one that turns the expectations and clichés upside down on what we have preconceived in our minds.
While twisting the predictable is what makes Donga worth, it is its weak link at the same time. To get to the point, there are multiple red-herrings put in place, which makes the key moments look illogical. Also, after a point, one can easily guess the ending as well. So, it fails on the two key aspects which should ideally take the narrative to the next level.
The first half of Donga has a shaky narrative. The film takes time to get going with the introduction of multiple characters and drives. The muddled story starts to the bore and is saved by the actors who try their best to engage.
It all comes together in the second half, and things start to make sense. The family drama and suspense are blended perfectly here. The climax as said before is predictable if one carefully follows the build-up.
Overall, for the thriller and suspense movie lovers, Donga has a refreshing point even if it is set up illogically. The subversion of a familiar trope is an excellent idea. The boring narrative and predictability bring the impact down. Still, if you love thrillers give Donga a try.
Nikhila Vimal, Jyothika and Others?
Jyothika is picking active author-backed roles on her comeback. Donga is another addition to the list. She always evokes a dominating presence, even when it is Karthi. It goes with the character. Some vital dramatic moments are done really well. Ammu Abhiramy playing the young Jyothiks is excellent in the one crucial scene.
Sathyaraj is fine as usual. He underplays the role, unlike the other movie of his which released alongside Donga. It shows the variations and versatility he has to offer. Nikhila Vimal seems wasted when seen in the broader context. Sowcar Janaki is a valuable addition to the narrative via her characterization. Anson Paul and Ilavarasu have their moments. The rest are adequate in their parts, even with less duration.
Music and Other Departments?
Govind Vasantha, who shot to fame with 96, provides the music. The standalone song lacks impact. The background score is better. The cinematography is decent. The editing by VS Vinayak could have been better. The writing is alright. It lacks the depth to elevate the proceedings.
Second Half Drama and Twists
The Idea Of Core Plot
Muddled Narrative At The Start
The End (If foreguessed)
Some Illogical Moments
A better logical exploration of the duality of the lead protagonist (real and imposter) would make the same ending more satisfying. The air of predictability will remain owing to the very nature of subverting the predictable premise.
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, in parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, but with reservations
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