Title: Durgamati The Myth
Reviewed By: Sai Nikhil
Cast: Bhumi Pednekar, Arshad Warsi, Jisshu Sengupta, Mahie Gill
Streaming on: Amazon Prime
Story: Minister Ishwar Prasad (Arshad Warsi) is believed by the public to be a very honest politician but the government and chief minister suspect him to be a part of a scam which involves stealing idols from ancient temples. An enquiry is put up and Chanchal Chauhan (Bhumi Pednekar), who worked as Ishwar Prasad’s personal secretary is taken to Durgamati Palace for interrogation. The palace is believed to be haunted. What mysterious incidents happened at the palace and how was the case of the missing idols solved forms the rest of the story.
Performances: It is very hard to match Anushka Shetty’s screen presence, royalty and power packed performance but Bhumi Pednekar has tried her level best and leaves no room for complaints. Arshad Warsi is excellent in the role of a minister. Jisshu Sengupta and Mahie Gill are good in their respective roles. Remaining supporting actors just come and go and don’t register much in our minds.
Technicalities: Camerawork is good especially in the portions inside the Durgamati palace. Jakes Bejoy’s background score is also good but when compared to the original, it is a bit underwhelming. Editing could have been better. Atleast 10 minutes could have been chopped off to make the film more engaging.
Analysis: This film is the official remake of 2018 Telugu film Bhaagamathie starring Anushka Shetty with the same director handling the remake. No changes have been made script-wise and this film is an exact remake. The reason why this film does not match up to the original is because of three main reasons: runtime, very average first half and weak comedy and horror portions. It is due to Anushka’s terrific screen presence and her experience in doing these type of roles that she could carry the entire film on her shoulders. Same cannot be said for Bhumi Pednekar. Though she has done well, she is mostly used to doing bubbly or bold new-age roles and she struggles to carry this entire film. If the runtime was shorter, it might have helped but the movie is a bit too long. The limited comedy and horror portions worked well in the original. Here, comedy falls flat completely and horror portions don’t deliver proper impact mainly because they were designed for theatrical viewing and it’s hard to feel scared watching in a small screen at home. Despite all this, this is not a bad film at all. For first-time viewers, it is definitely watchable. For those who watched original, it offers nothing new or better. Last 40 minutes are the soul of the film and has been executed well. Director Ashok needed to take care of certain things like runtime and tempo in the first half to come close to meeting the output of the original.
On a whole: Durgamati is a thriller which is definitely watchable for first time viewers but has nothing new or impressive for those who watched the original.