Lakhna, the dacoit, has a perennial question running in his head. “What is our dharma?” His quest for purpose is rewarded in the form of a task that will help a little girl and (maybe) rid him off guilt from a previous sin. This thread is filled with such cathartic overtones, but Sushant Singh Rajput and his character remain one-note around extremely loaded performances.

So the film is surely interesting, but falls short of being affecting because of a few out-dated storytelling tricks. The most obvious one is the hallucination of the little girl, one that is explained in an elaborate flashback that clearly overstays it welcome. The hallucination is enough to convey that the characters have blood on their hands, but the film simply won’t hold back on “telling” us this. The arrival of a third party in a two-gang war in the climax is yet another done-and-dusted trick in the book that you can see coming from miles away.

Amidst such inconsistency, we get bloody brilliant cinematography, replete with stunning landscapes and arresting crowded shots. The top-grade aesthetic of the film deserves more attention.

Poetic notes, about dharma and one about how our caste system is parallel to heirarchy in nature (mice<snake<vulture), are truly memorable but I really wish they had gotten a sharper film.


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