Deportment

Five film school students await their turn outside Factory, the office of director Ram Gopal Varma. After umpteen numbers of cutting chaais, the peon finally beckons. A skimpily clad lass walks out of the office humming some alien words like dan dan dan. A stout guy follows her humming thodi si jo pii li hai. A guy looking like Sanjay Dutt walks out along with a tall guy in the get-up of Subhash Nagre of Sarkar, wearing white instead of black and a little bell tied to his wrist.

Guy 1: Mate, were they original?
Guy 2: I don’t think so…

RGV is checking a fake gun, points it at them and commands: Shoot!
Guy 1: Shoot what?
RGV: Anything that you see here.

The guys take out their Cannon 5 D cameras and start clicking. Guy 1 burrows himself under the table, Guy 2 climbs atop a cupboard, Guy 3 seems to inebriated to care and simply presses the click button while jumping, Guy 4 lies on the floor and clicks RGV’s moustache and nostrils, Guy 5 goes a tad lower and targets his crotch.

A single glance at their pictures makes RGV jump in excitement and proclaim: You’re hired!

Guy 2: Sir, what’s the film about? Story….Script…?
RGV: Do exactly what you did now…don’t bother yourself with such stupid things.
Guy 4: One more question sir…
RGV: Shoot
He immediately goes under a table.
RGV: Not that shoot, idiot! I mean…ask!
Guy 4: Sorry sir…I wonder those guys who walked out were original Sanjay Dutt and Amitabh Bachchan?
RGV: Let the audience figure it out.

The shoot is on. RGV wields megaphone and announces: Whoever uses the craziest angle gets to work in the film’s sequel!

The five guys scatter in different directions and start shooting frantically. The shoot is over and so is the competition. They all win hands down (or rather pants down). The editing guy spends sleepless nights watching all the footage.

On the day of editing, he musters up courage to ask RGV: Ramu which footage should I line up and in what sequence?
RGV: Let the audience figure it out.

The writer walks in, hands over a file and says: After watching Shiva, Satya, Company, Sarkar, Sarkar Raj back to back, here’s what the best I could come up with.
RGV goes through the loosely filed pages and says: Add this line to Sarjerao Gaikwad’s dialogue – mein legal kaam illegally karta hoon aur illegal kaam legally.
Writer: But what does that mean?
RGV: Let the audience figure it out.

The film is released. RGV fans and RGV haters flock theatres to watch ‘Department’. The others wait for the reviews. The audience finds Department’s premise intriguing, where there’s a department within police department (come on, when you can have a dream in a dream in a dream in the film, Inception then what’s wrong with a department in a department?).

This department is run under the aegis of Mahadev Bhosale (Sanjay Dutt) and Shivnarayan (Rana Daggubatti) who annihilate (feeble) henchmen of gangs led by (more feeble, almost skeletal) Sawatya (Vijay Raaz) and Mohammad Ghori (played by a voiceover who will probably make an appearance in Department-2). Sarjerao Gaikwad, a politician controls them all (rings a bell? It’s supposed to be a ‘nasty version’ of Subhash Nagre from Sarkar).

Well, something happens between these characters but unlike what the director anticipated, the audience could just not figure it out. Blame it on the dizzying camera angles that leave one completely zoned out of the entire scheme of things. You are literally deported from your senses to a world of Cannon 5D-gone-crazy.

An item number by Nathalia Kaur perks things up (don’t ask what), but is followed by a torturous male item number by an oversized choreographer who tries teaching Sanjay Dutt to dance on a version of ‘thodi si jo pii li hain’. Despite having immense potential of being a comeback of an auteur, Department loses its steam amid a haze of self-indulgence.  One of the audiences asked his friend: Who will spend 150 bucks to watch this film? I couldn’t resist saying: Let RGV figure it out.

 

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