Fresh from the success of Khaidi, versatile hero Karthi has joined hands with director Jeethu Joseph who’s an expert in thriller genre, especially Drishyam. Jyothika, Sathyaraj and Nikhila Vimal played vital roles. Let’s see whether Jeethu Joseph made the film as an engaging one or not?
Gnanamoorthy (Sathyaraj) is a landlord and three-term MLA in his constituency. His son Sharwa had gone missing in teenage. His daughter (Jyothika) leads an unpleasant life missing her brother. But, after fifteen years, a cop in Goa manages to find Sharwa who is now a small time crook and con man Vicky (Karthi). Moorthy brings back Sharwa home. Meanwhile, someone who doesn’t want Sharwa coming back home hatches plans to kill him? Who’s that? Why this anonymous person wants to kill Sharwa? Are Sharwa and Vicky the same or different? Will Sharwa be able to survive? What's the actual story in Moorthy house?
Jeethu Joseph is an expey in blending engaging thrillers with family values. A typical interesting facet in some of his films is the way he captivatingly mixes nerve-racking sequences with family moments. In the same line, Donga too has enough suspense with smooth family moments yet definitely not as engaging as Drishyam (Malayalam). Drishyam has its moments to keep us presuming till the end. But the sluggish narration played spoilsport. Yet, one could enjoy Jeethu Joseph mark unpredictable twists in interval block and the climax.
RD Rajasekar captured the natural locations in TN, Kerala with great élan and also sets the right mood. Govind Vasantha's songs are just okay, background score is truly top-class. Production values of Viacom 18 are good.
Onto performances, Karthi steals the show and impresses with varied range of expressions, moods. His innocence and contrasting con man looks show how versatile he is. Sathyaraj owns the character with splendid screen presence and settled performance. Jyothika pulls off the elder sister’s role with ease while Sowcar Janaki scores high with her expressions. Nikhila Vimal didn’t get much scope and so is Seetha. Other artists played their parts efficiently.
Lead Actors Performance
Lack Of Emotional Connect
The film has some smart writing and plays out brilliantly most of the time as a thriller. Drishyam scored high both on logic and emotions, and this is where Donga fails. Though story revolves around sister-brother bonding, there are not too many emotional sequences between Karthi, Jyothika. These portions deviate the film from thriller format.
Without wasting much time, the film begins with childhood episodes showing how Sathyaraj’s son goes missing. Then, things move at lethargic pace until Karthi makes his entry in Goa as a con man. His energy makes narrative interesting. Ever since Karthi is brought back home, different characters are introduced to keep us guessing on the ‘mysterious’ person. Love track is boring and could have been avoided Interval is bang on with a surprise twist which shifts the genre from family entertainer to a taut thriller.
Latter half surprises with back to back twists and turns making us restless. However, out of all these only very few work. When you almost conclude on the ‘mysterious’ person, Jeethu Joseph with his mark of writing and treatment take us edgy with unpredictabiliry in the pre climax which is double layered. The movie ends on happy note with Karthi and Jyothika sharing an emotional connect.
All in all, Donga is not an edge of the seat thriller yet had its own share of engaging moments here and there. All the lead actors have put in best efforts and so are most of the technicians. A tighter screenplay with swift narrative would have done wonders. CJ goes with 2.5 stars and we need to wait and see whether the film can give any competition to straight Telugu films released this week.