A group of fed up naxalites wants to join the everyday life and surrender themselves. However they are in for a rude shock as the system (police) doesnâ€™t allow them to have a normal life. And while they are at it an encounter cop is after them threatening to end the lives of each and every one. Amidst all this, love blossoms between a naxalite and girl. How it all ends is what Dalam is all about.
There are a number of known faces in this ensemble cast film but none have memorable characters barring comedians Tagubotu Ramesh and Dhanraj. They breath life into this film which otherwise could have turned completely soulless docudrama.
The next in line after these two are the entire group of actors who played as naxalites. Itâ€™s not a single actor who shines or makes an impact but as a group they all work well like the poem singing guy or the muslim one. They all work well as a team.
And then come in the order the two main protagonists, Kishore and Naveen Chandra. Among the two Kishore is fine with his underplay. Naveen Chandra tries really hard to be a ruffian and it shows. He needs not do that, as him trying hard to act makes it look like he is overacting, even though he is trying to underplay it as well like the rest. Pia Bajpai has good character in the narrative but itâ€™s a predictable one too. And she does nothing out of the ordinary to remove that predictability out of the equation.
Abhimanyu Singh poses, walks and kills in different ways through out the film, not sure if thatâ€™s what he thought playing an encounter specialist cop. Saikumar comes, pokes fun at the wrong doings of media and goes soon. Nazer once again plays a character that ends with a bullet in his body.
Harsha Vardhan tries to overact for a change and Ajay gives over action a while new meaning with his act.
Dalam is about a group of naxalites who decide to leave naxalism and join the mainstream. Unfortunately their plans donâ€™t work out the way they want despite their true yearning of a having a normal life. In turn they are given a new â€˜jobâ€™ to do by the police. All this is very interestingly told and this part along with the group dynamics and inbuilt comedy makes for a very engaging first half sans a song.
In the second half though the film takes on a predictable route and appears pretty flat. The humor which worked so well blended into narrative is missing in this half. And its not just about the humor the tension as well is completely amiss in this half. Add to all this, the climax is a big downer as well. Nothing wrong with it but one can see that happening from a mile away.
Songs by James Vasanthan are below par but he makes up for it with the background score.
Dalam is once again a small film with very good cinematography. It lends the film a realistic tone and feel, without looking like amateurishly shot, kudos to cinematographer Sudhakar Yakkenti for that. Action (fights) by Ganesh is neatly done too and deserves praise despite the obvious inspiration for the action sequences (first and last).
Bottom-line: deserves a watch once