Bhumi Pednekar’s Durgamati, directed by G Ashok, is the official remake of his Telugu film Bhagmathie starring Anushka Shetty in the lead. Produced by Akshay Kumar, the movie is about an IAS officer, a politician and a spirit in a haunted palace. Durgamati is streaming now on Amazon Prime.
Durgamati is a scene by scene copy of Bhagmathie. Bhumi plays Chanchal Chauhan, an IAS officer who is convicted for murder of her fiance Shakti (Karan Kapadia).
Chanchal is an ex aide of politician Ishwar Prasad (excellent Arshad Warsi) who is under the radar of CBI for corruption and idol smuggling from temples. As Ishwar Prasad has a clean image, CBI plans to interrogate Chanchal to get the links.
Chanchal is shifted to a haunted palace of Durgamati for interrogation, under ACP Abhay Singh (Jushu Sen Gupta) who is also the elder brother of deceased Shakti and has his issues with Chanchal. CBI officer Satakshi Ganguly (Mahie Gill) leads the interrogation along with Abhay.
Once Chanchal is shifted to the palace weird incidents start happening and the proceedings show the presence of spirit of Durgamati, and Chanchal is hurt and beaten by spirit and finally she gets possessed with the spirit of Durgamati.
CBI and Police do not find this believable and they also do not get any evidence from Chanchal against Ishwar Prasad as well.
The rest of the film deals with the questions – if CBI gets evidence of any wrongdoings by Ishwar, or is he innocent ?, is chanchal really possessed by a spirit and who is Durgamati ? and why did Chanchal kill her fiance ?
Durgamati – The Myth is a well shot film with a good storyline on paper. The movie has a good mix of suspense and horror along with political drama.
Casting of the movie is good with competent actors like Bhumi, Arshad, Mahie Gill and Jishu Sengupta. some of the performances, especially Arshad Warsi and Bhumi are good.
This movie had a well made movie to refer to, but still it lacks on the execution part. It is a scene by scene copy of Bhagmathie so for the audiences who have already seen Bhagmathie, it loses the surprise element.
The horror scenes in Durgamati do not create the desired impact, and let the proceedings down. In the background story of Chanchal killing her fiance, the performance of Karan Kapadia is a big let down, so is the performance of the supporting cast of the movie.
Even in between a few horror scenes, there are some comic moments which are neither funny, but just add to diluting the impact.
Also, the movie runtime is more than 2 hr 30 minutes, and is a drag for a long time, it could have easily been cut down to 2 hours making this a tighter affair.
The best performance of Durgamati has come from Arshad Warsi as Ishwar Prasad and he shows his potential how much he is underutilised in movies.
Bhumi Pednekar is very good in the parts, but as Durgamati her dialogue delivery left much to be desired and lacked the aura. Also, when you are reprising a role earlier done by actor of stature of Anushka Shetty, they are certainly huge shoes to fill.
Jishu Sen Gupta is decent as ACP Abhay and so is Mahie Gill as CBI officer. Rest all the cast is ok, some of the supporting cast has given below average performances and left a lot to be desired. So is the case with extras who have acted too badly.
Durgamati – The Myth is an idea which is good on paper, makes for a compelling script and already has a good movie made on it. But Durgamati lacks on a lot of fronts and comes across as a tedious watch with below par direction and screenplay.
Overall, if you have not watched Bhagmathie, movie can be a one time watch, but for the ones who have already watched Bhagmathie, this one is better avoided.