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‘Dharala Prabhu’ Movie Review: A Faithful Retelling That Could’ve Moved Quicker

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Cast: Harish Kalyan, Tanya Hope, Vivek, RS Shivaji, Anupama Kumar, Sachu and others

Director: Krishna Marimuthu

“It’s a complete retelling of my favourite director – Shoojit Sarcar‘s story,” Krishna Marimuthu said in an interview to me for Silverscreen recently. (You’ll also know this if you notice the thanks card before the film begins). Dharala Prabhu is truly a retelling and not an exact remake of the 2012 Hindi hit Vicky Donor which starred Ayushmann Khuranna and Yami Gautam in lead roles. A lot of effort has gone into tweaking the screenplay to make sure there are no comparisons to the original.

Prabhu (Harish Kalyan) is an avid football player yearning to place at a reputed company through the sports quota. Doctor Kannadasan (Vivek), the owner of Murugappa Fertility Clinic, who is in search of a healthy sperm donor, gets hold of Harish and convinces him to donate his sperm given his great fertility report. Things move smoothly until he falls in love and decides to get married to Nidhhi (Tanya Hope), a regular customer for his grandmother’s (Sachu) herbal products. Prabhu refuses to continue the job after his wedding only to realise that his wife cannot conceive.

Harish Kalyan, Tanya Hope At The 'Dharala Prabhu' Press Meet
Harish Kalyan, Tanya Hope At The ‘Dharala Prabhu’ Press Meet

While the story remains intact, the presentation does not remind you of the original at any point. It appears to be a different film altogether except for a few dialogues and one or two scenes.

Right from Prabhu’s passion for football, to the relationship with his coach and family, everything was connected with the plot instead of merely serving as points to kill time.

In the film when Prabhu is ‘working’ or when he’s intimate with Nidhhi, the visuals show him trying to score a goal — he either scores or fails. There is also music everywhere in the plot. (The director was a drummer before he entered films). Prabhu’s friend is a singer at a club, Prabhu has a guitar and to top it all, eight music directors have composed for the film. But honestly, apart from Kaadhal Theevay, none of the songs impact the film to a great extent.

While the editor has managed to adopt the J cut (audio before video) and L cut (video before audio) at several points in the film, he seems to have missed out on the overall cut. It feels like the film is running forever with scenes and sequences that impress at the beginning but lose their rhythm as time proceeds. The stretched-out narrative also fails to retain strong emotions, defeating the main purpose of the film.

Tanya Hope At The 'Dharala Prabhu' Press Meet
Tanya Hope At The ‘Dharala Prabhu’ Press Meet

When teasers and trailers of the film dropped, I believed that there was no better replacement for Annu Kapoor than Vivek. And fortunately, he did not disappoint me. More than Harish, it’s Vivek who uplifts the script with his humorous one-liners and reactions. I must say I was taken back to the time of his now-classic comedies. Sachu and RS Shivaji perform to their best but there’s not much more than that.

Harish and Tanya are true to their characters, but lack chemistry. Buying Tanya as a wife was easy but Harish as a husband just refused to sink in.

To put it in simple terms, Dharala Prabhu is a toffee wrapped up in layers of new packaging that takes too long to unwrap. And by the time your done unwrapping, the interest to consume the toffee fades away.

Also Read: Tamil Movie Review: ‘Walter’ Would Have Sounded Thrilling On Paper But Arrives Stillborn

The Dharala Prabhu review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.

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