Daddy | Full Movie | Arjun Rampal, Aishwarya Rajesh, Rajesh Shringarpure | Link 2
Directed by Ashim Ahluwalia
Produced by Arjun Rampal
Written by Ashim Ahluwalia
Music by Sajid–Wajid
Cinematography Jessica Lee Gagné
Edited by Deepa Bhatia
Navnita Sen Datta
Distributed by Raksha Entertainment
8 September 2017
Budget ₹21 crores
Box office est. ₹15.5 crores
Daddy is a 2017 Indian political crime drama film co-written and directed by Ashim Ahluwalia. The film stars Arjun Rampal, who also co-wrote and produced the film, portraying gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli. It also stars South Indian actress Aishwarya Rajesh in the lead role. The official teaser of the film was released on 1 December 2016. Arjun Rampal promoted the film on "The Kapil Sharma Show" on 20 August 2017. Daddy is presented by Kundalini Entertainment and Karta Entertainment. The movie released worldwide on 8 September 2017, to a positive response from the critics and audiences alike, even if, grossing some worldwide 15 odd crores for a budget of 21 crores, it was declared a box-office flop.
In the 1960s and late 1970s, when Mumbai's textile mills were shutting down one after the other, many unemployed youth including Arun Gawli (Arjun Rampal) resort to matka-gambling on the insistence of his friends, Rama Naik (Rajesh Shringarpure) and Babu Reshim (Anand Ingale), to earn some quick buck and form their own gang. However soon, Gawli finds himself getting trapped in a vortex of crime when he is taken under the wings of Maqsood bhai (Farhan Akhtar loosely modelled on Dawood Ibrahim) after committing a murder. Further, their clashes of ideologies and power game turn them against each other. Meanwhile, Gawli marries his sweetheart Zubeidaa (Aishwarya Rajesh) who coaxes him to leave behind his murky profession. He almost makes up his mind to turn clean. But, when Rama gets killed in a brutal police encounter, Gawli takes in charge of their gang based in Dagdi. He suspects that Rama's killing was engineered by Maqsood and thus begins a gruesome gang war between them. Hot on the heels is a cop, Vijaykar Nitin who wants to nab Gawli at any cost and take him to task. The rest of the plot revolves around how one of India's most feared gangsters landed up in politics and his transition to becoming 'Daddy'.
Mumbaikars are well-versed with the rise of Gawli, an out-of-work mill worker’s son who resorted to extortion, gambling and murder to ultimately become the face of the underworld. For those who've tuned in late, this film serves as a refresher course on the life and times of the infamous gangs of Bombay. Arun, along with his two friends—Babu(Anand) and Rama(Rajesh), formed the BRA gang and reigned terror in Central Mumbai in the 70s-80s. Gawli's meteoric rise to the top also meant that he would eventually confront his contemporary, Dawood Ibrahim, referred to as Maqsood (Farhan) here.
Since most of this is documented, the screenplay of this biopic offers no surprises. At times, it even feels like you’re being lead from one point to another, almost blindfolded. Ahluwalia deliberately adopts a flat narrative and takes the viewer through the dark, gritty world with minimum dramatization. As a result, there are fewer earpiercing emotional outbursts, but also fewer moments of dread. Once your eyes get adjusted to the drab chawls and dimly-lit gullies, where the gangs operate like ghosts, chased by just one greedy, over-ambitious cop, Vijaykar Nitin(Nishikant), you become complacent watching the crime patrol episode. The sepia-tone/minimum-colour frames stay muted and never leap at you. As a result, you don’t feel the tension, even when some brutal killings play out. However, it is infuriating that most of the actors mumble their dialogue and you have to strain hard to hear their intention.
The first half touches on Gawli’s growth as a don and the second half attempts to stay with his life as a family man and politician. Married to a Muslim girl, Zubeida (Aishwarya), his secular streak is subtely touched. Though he converts his wife to Asha, he is large-hearted enough to play a benefactor to both communities during the Mumbai riots. In fact, the maximum drama here is depicted through the protagonist Arjun's own performance graph. Besides obviously altering his features to match Gawli’s prominent forehead and nose, the actor cleverly imbibes his grunt and soft-spoken singsong manner, lending complete credibility to what is a first-rate act from the actor. If you like crime drama, Daddy is bound to fuel your imagination. Gawli is a part of India’s crime-history. And this is the closest you will come to 'encountering’ him.