India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Department: Mr Varma, please spare us the trauma


In my head, I always imagine Ram Gopal Varma, sitting in his office, legs up on the table, going through a checklist on the last day of a film shoot. Hyperactive camera angle – check. Lots of fake blood – check. Added some element of “Satya”, “Company” or “Sarkar” to the film – check. Leading ladies showing off cleavage – check.

How else do you explain a film like “Department”? That someone (Varma) thought they could make a film with such tacky production values, a convoluted and weak script, and some scenes that could be straight out of a soft-porn flick, and still convince a major studio to fund it and market it as a A-grade movie, is baffling.

The film is about two police officers (Sanjay Dutt and Rana Daggubati), who are asked to to set up a hit squad in order to “finish” the Mumbai underworld. Their target is the eccentric Savatiya (Vijay Raaz) and his gang.

Savatiya is also under attack from two of his own gang members — DK (Abhimanyu Singh) and his girlfriend (played by Madhu Shalini) — both of whom want Savatiya to retaliate against the police.