Dharmaprabhu Review: Yogi Babu’s film is more like a fancy dress competition than a comedy
According to Hinduism, Yama or Yaman is the lord of death. In the film Dharmaprabhu, popular comedian Yogi Babu plays this role with ease and humour. However, the film not only allows Yaman to take lives of characters in the film, but it unintentionally takes the lives of audiences as well. It’s cruel, time-testing and restless dying time to watch a film that’s more of a fancy dress competition than a comedy.
Directed by Muthukumaran, the film tells the tale of Yaman (played by Radha Ravi) who retires and his son (Yogi Babu) succeeds him. The new Yaman finds himself in a situation when lord Siva (Mottai Rajendran) accuses him to unintentionally saving a criminal’s (Azhagam Perumal) life. Yaman then faces a challenge of taking the criminal’s life in a limited time. How he decides to do so forms the rest of the story.
A tale set in mythological time zone requires either good animation or good set design to give it a level of authenticity. However, this film only displays shoddy animation which could have easily been done without. May be a simple voice over would’ve helped? As the film proceeds it seemed like a fancy dress competition. Of course, where else could we see Gandhi, Ambedkar, Periyar and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose appear within a flash, deliver their respective lines and leave. The film also brings elephants and snakes who talk about their life on earth. What makes the film seem cringe-worthy is how it treats it women. Meghana Naidu’s screen time is limited to falling on Yogi Babu and she disappears in less than two minutes without any dialogue. Yogi Babu who is usually subjected to insults from heroes in other films shifts his role and delivers insulting lines to women. The dialogues he delivers shakes women who drink, who have consensual relationships and their screen time is accompanied by moans.
The positive aspect of the film is a little bit of humour and the fact that the film keeps going without a pause. Yogi Babu’s comic timing works well for the film. Although it highlights relevant issues such as caste-based killing, murder for affair and farmer issue it doesn’t treat them with sensitivity.
Towards the end, it is announced that there is a second part to the film. I have to thank the makers for informing that danger awaits – well ahead!