‘Durgamati’ Couldn’t Recreate the Magic of ‘Bhaagamathie’
Movie Review

‘Durgamati’ Couldn’t Recreate the Magic of ‘Bhaagamathie’

Streaming now on Amazon Prime Video
By Delnaz Divecha11 December, 2020 3 min read
20% Over all score
‘Durgamati’ Couldn’t Recreate the Magic of ‘Bhaagamathie’

Ever since its announcement, Durgamati has been a hot topic of debate in film circles. From the shift to OTT release to the change in title, and the high expectations from the movie, fans have been buzzing about this Bhaagamathie remake for a while now. Even though this film is directed by the filmmaker of the original G. Ashok, Hindi remakes of South films tend to disappoint audiences even if they have been well-received in the South. Durgamati, unfortunately, fails to live up to its hype as this long, over-drawn, and cliched horror thriller does not match up to its original film. The story is pretty much the same, but Durgamati neither scares nor surprises you. Even for people who have not watched the original film, there’s isn’t much to hope for.

To the uninitiated, this story is centred on the Durgamati haveli that is haunted. While locals avoid this site, it becomes the perfect place for a covert operation by CBI officer Satakshi Ganguly (Mahie Gill), who has been ordered to find dirt on the much-loved politician Ishwar Prasad (Arshad Warsi). She receives information that ties him to a string of robberies related to temple idols. But to get more evidence, Satakshi must interrogate former IAS Chanchal Chauhan (Bhumi Pednekar), who used to be Ishwar Prasad’s personal secretary, but is now in jail for the murder of her husband, Shakti (Karan Kapadia). Meanwhile, Shakti’s brother Abhay (Jisshu Sengupta) is an ACP who is charged with the task of transferring Chanchal from prison to Durgamati haveli where strange incidences occur. While it may seem that Chanchal is slowly being possessed by Durgamati’s spirit, there’s a lot more dirty politics at play here, which makes you question whether the monster is within us.

Don’t compare it with the original

Parallels are likely to be drawn between G. Ashok’s latest film and his original film that was a blockbuster hit in Tollywood and Kollywood. But Durgamati cannot live up to the hype of the Anushka Shetty-starrer as it is filled with clichés that make the plot all too predictable. The storyline is non-linear, with flashbacks that explain Chanchal’s situation and Durgamati’s story. While it is easy to follow, the scenes are far too long and stretched out to hold your attention. The fear factor is minimal so as fans of horror with high expectations,  we could’ve used some more horror element.

We expected more from the talented cast

Bhumi Pednekar has many good films to her name and has given decent performances in the past. This was one of her first solo ventures, which is not outright impressive for many reasons where she isn’t to blame. The scene where she could have made her mark was several minutes too long. Even Mahie Gill, Jisshu Sengupta, and Arshad Warsi seem to be underutilized in their roles, becoming caricatures of their characters that cannot be taken too seriously. The melodramatic and traditional style of cliched filmmaking doesn’t allow the film to realize its full potential.

The dubbing seemed off, damping the experience

We all know that Durgamati’s titled was changed quite recently from the previously titled ‘Durgavati’. While the change was incorporated in the dubbing, the sound does not match the visuals clearly in many places. The actors are still clearly mouthing the previous title and little attempts were made in the edits to improve that.

If you have watched Bhaagamathie and loved it, we are afraid you may not enjoy Durgamati as much. You can watch this thriller as a stand-alone film and you may just like the visuals and other effects. Apart from that, Durgamati does not offer much and you can skip it.

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Delnaz Divecha
Written by

Delnaz Divecha

Writer. Editor. Critic.

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