Release Date : March 31, 2023
123telugu.com Rating : 2.5/5
Starring: Aditya Om, Sony Reddy, FM Babai, Santhi Chandra, Rajiv Naik
Director: Adari Murty Sai
Producers: Dr. Satish Kumar Pethakamsetty
Music Director: Satish Kumar
Cinematography: S Rama Krishna
Related Links : Trailer
A small film named Dahanam which won multiple awards at the international level, has hit the big screens today. Starring Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo fame Aditya Om in the lead role, Dahanam is directed by Adari Murty Sai.
Set in the 1980s, Dahanam is the story of a temple priest Bharadwaj Sastry (Aditya Om). The temple is situated in Vaadarevupalli in the Visakhapatnam region and belongs to Bhupathi (Santhi Chandra). Bharadwaj Sastry believes in Lord Shiva and devotes his whole life to the service of God. On one side, the temple’s income keeps decreasing, and on the other hand, he has to win a legal battle against Bhupathi to safeguard the temple. Bharadwaj Sastry believes in Dharma completely and is not a man who is after money. Hence he faces several hardships even to feed his family. The rest of the film is about how Bharadwaj Sastry tackled his life issues.
Dahanam deals with not one but many social concepts. But the main focus was on untouchability and social inequalities. There is genuineness in storytelling, and the makers need to be appreciated for their attempt. The caste issue and the practice of not allowing a fewer section of people into the temples are well depicted over the end.
Dahanam also talks about the adamant beliefs which are engraved in the minds of many from generations. Aditya Om, as a priest, gave a very settled performance. His subtle act did justice to the movie’s theme. After Aditya Om, it is FM Babai who gets the lion’s share of screen time. The senior actor is superb and natural as a person who performs final rites. The way he emoted in key scenes is brilliant.
Sony Reddy, Rajiv Naik, Santhi Chandra, and others are good in their respective roles. The dialogues are very well written, and they do make one think. The way Bharadwaj Sastry’s role realizes his mistake is nicely executed, and the movie ends on a satisfactory note.
While the concept of the movie is relevant, the narration is snail-paced from start to end. Films like Dahanam are not everyone’s cup of tea, and one needs extreme patience to enjoy the proceedings. There are absolutely no commercial elements, and a few groups of the audience might find the movie boring.
There are many repetitive scenes in the film which could have been trimmed. Movies like these shouldn’t be long as the impact gets diluted. Dahanam has shades of the old Telugu flick “1947 Lo Oka Gramam”. What makes the latter powerful is the way social inequalities are portrayed in a nerve-wracking manner without any inhibitions. This is where Dahanam lacks the punch. There was scope for more drama, but the plain narration hindered the overall feel.
Satish Kumar’s music is okay. The production values are adequate. S Rama Krishna’s cinematography takes us nicely into the 1980s era. The editing could have been much better, and the film should have been cut short by 10-15 minutes.
Coming to director Adari Murty Sai, his idea to present various social issues is good. But his screenplay isn’t completely engaging and lacks enough drama. While few scenes are well handled, most of the scenes seem prolonged. He extracted solid performances from the actors, though.
On the whole, Dahanam is a slow-paced period drama that focuses on adamant beliefs and social inequalities in society. The performances of Aditya Om and FM Babai make a mark, but the slow narration plays the spoilsport. Also, the movie caters only to a niche audience for the subject it deals with. Hence it becomes just an okay watch this weekend.
123telugu.com Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewed by 123telugu Team
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