Release Date: September 8, 2017
Cast: Arjun Rampal, Rajesh Shringarpure, Nishikant Kamat, Aishwarya Rajesh, Anand Ingale, Farhan Akhtar
Director: Ashim Ahluwalia
Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama
Duration: 2 hours 14 minutes
Daddy takes you to the era of the 70s in India’s megapolis Mumbai when the once booming textile industry had started to dwindle. As textile mills continued to shut operations, one after another, unemployment shot through the roof and there was anxiety and anger among the mill workers, who were left to fend for themselves. One of the areas where mill workers lived was Dagdi Chawl, which was essentially a slum settlement. Left with no source of income, some mill workers started getting attracted to Mumbai’s underworld. One of the prominent gangs that emerged from Dagdi Chawl was the B.R.A gang, the initials for the founders of the gang – Babu (Anand), Rama (Rajesh) and Arun Gulab Gawli (Arjun). Of the three, it was Arun Gawli who emerged as the gang’s leader and a force to reckon with in the Mumbai underworld. Arun Gawli’s meteoric rise in the Mumbai underworld would eventually bring him in direct conflict with Mumbai’s biggest don, Dawood Ibrahim, who is referred in the movie as Maqsood (Farhan).
While most other dons such as Dawood, Chotta Rajan, Abu Salem and others are often highlighted in news reports, Arun Gawli had remained relatively less publicized in comparison to other dons. Daddy, in effect, is a biopic that tracks the journey of Arun Gawli, whose circumstances forced him to join the underworld. Gawli was the son of a jobless mill worker and he took up the gun as a means to earn a livelihood. The movie shows the complexities of the Mumbai underworld and how bullets fly easily on busy streets. Director Ashim Ahluwalia has chosen to provide a realistic version of the events that happened, which has ensured that there is no drama or emotional outbursts. The movie works on your subconscious rather than bombarding you with visual theatrics, brutality and gore.
In the first half, the movie captures Gawli’s rise as a prominent Mumbai don. The second half is focused on his family life and political career. Arjun Rampal has done a superb job at presenting all the mannerism of Gawli and this is probably one of his best performances ever.
If you like crime movies, Daddy is certainly a must watch. The movie will fuel your appetite for crime stories and it is the closest you can get to know the real Gawli and his life.