‘Department’: chaotic and cliched

‘Department’: chaotic and cliched

CriticLeo Rating
  • Direction
  • Story
  • Actors
  • Technical
  • Entertainment

Gone were the days when I went to cinema expecting great stuff from Ram Gopal Varma. But considering some of his excellent takes on the underworld like Sarkar, Shiva, Company, Gaayam etc, I thought ‘Department‘ too would be a gripping drama. Hope is not a bad thing after all! Read on to find if I was right in being hopeful.


Sanjay Dutt plays Mahadev, a family man and a tricky cop, while Rana Daggubati plays Shiv Narayan, the tough encounter specialist and a job devotee. Along with few other cops, these two guys come together and form ‘Department’, an exclusive wing to deal with Mumbai mafia. The amity between Mahadev and Shiv is affected when Amitabh Bachchan arrives as Sarjerao, a typical neta.


RGV made the movie in his own experimental style. Trying to make a point that there’s nothing like good, bad or truth, Varma created chaos.

The first half is about the development of an emotional and professional bond between Sanjay and Rana. They both go on a shooting spree, be it in a crowded market, a night club and anywhere and everywhere. An obvious reaction – the gangs become cautious now. You can see that something is happening – these men are shooting, chasing, one reveals his not-so-good side and so. But the reasons for their actions stand blurred. Interval twist was so so expected. Second half is about even more gun shots and a few tear drops.

Quick take

What’s good:

  • Actors’ performances (Yeah, all of them)
  • Background score and Cinematography at places.

What’s bad:

  • Weak screenplay
  • Cliched story
  • Confused direction

Guns, underworld, gangs and wars, politics, chase runs, trust, foxiness – we’ve seen these elements in many movies earlier. Department too has all these elements, but unfortunately none was in sync with the other. The major motto of the story – a department to control mafia – well, this was entirely deviated. But there are moments of relief as Amitabh Bachchan manages to entertain us. After a while, abruptness becomes a norm in the movie. You can expect anything to happen any time, however illogical it may be.

‘Department’ is a cliched story told with utmost confusion. The screenplay only adds to the chaos. Dialogues have a mediocre impact. Cinematography strains your eyes at places and beauty is nowhere to be seen except for the intro scene where a man is shot dead in a beach, and a couple of close up shots. The movie is shot in numerous angles and I don’t know who is that super experimental cinematographer. Yes, no name was mentioned in the titles. Background score helped here and there. All the songs, except Cheeni, seemed irrelevant. Yeah, for the first time an item song didn’t seem entirely forcible.

Though not in a central character, Amitabh Bachchan proved his versatility once again. Sanjay Dutt was okay. He emoted well, but couldn’t do any good to action sequences, mainly because of his physique. After Leader in Telugu, this is one role where Rana shines. His swiftness in action parts and his athletic figure helped him.

Madhu Shalini was commendable in a full fledged negative role. Abhimanyu Singh was apt. Vijay Raaz wasn’t given a right role. Anjana Sukhani and Lakshmi Manchu were limited and skillful.

Final word:

Cliched and chaotic, ‘Department’ has nothing much to entertain. I’ll go with a 2 out of 5.



  1. what a let down, i was so looking forward to this one. one would have thought that so many great talents together in one place would have led to some nice work. i was expecting a repeat of the sanjay gupta remake of reservoir dogs, which i thought was really cool. thanks for the heads up, harsha. apologies for the lower case, keyboard troubles.

  2. A lovely template and great presentation. I liked the way you categorize everything. Coming to the review, you dissected every aspect of film and thanks, you saved a weekend.

  3. Good one bro. My review coming up tomm. I was completely let down by RGV. Had good expectation nevertheless all in vain now. Keep em coming btw. great review

  4. gREATt site… very well laid out… apt review!!
    Well done \m/

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