A remake of the 2012 Tamil film ‘Sattai’, the movie carries a significant message but is a few decades late, especially in terms of the making.

Drona review Shiva Rajkumar film on educational reform is formulaic
Flix Review Friday, March 06, 2020 - 15:49
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Shiva Rajkumar’s movies have a unique fan following. The lack of promotions don’t really matter, as a bunch of his fans are always eager to catch the first day first show. Still, Drona is one of the most under promoted films so far. Many fans did not even know that the movie was releasing today, and had lashed out at the team about it on social media. Surprisingly, the actor himself has stayed away from promotions for his last few films.

Drona is a remake of the 2012 Tamil film Sattai. By making slight changes here and there, and adding the typical action masala to please Shiva Rajkumar fans, the director has come up with a relevant if predictable film.

Guru (Shiva Rajkumar) is an ordinary government schoolteacher whose sole aim is to bring government schools on par with the private schools. When he is transferred to a government school in Nelamangala, he delves deep to understand the problems that such institutions face. From teachers to politicians to students, and even the wards’ parents, nobody wants any changes in the system. But Guru is irked by the mediocrity. The government schools exist for the heck of it and politicians and teachers want to milk as much money as they can with each passing year. After getting an idea about this, Guru decides to change the system. 

Assistant Headmaster Raghu (Rangayana Raghu), a relative of the local politician (Ravi Kishen), tries to create problems for him as he stands between them and the school. How he overcomes the problems and wins the hearts of students and teachers forms the crux of the story.

Though the team did not officially announce Drona as a remake, movie buffs can easily guess the original as director Pramod Chakravarthi gives us several hints. While the movie carries a significant message, it is a few decades late, especially in terms of the making. Sarkari Hiriya Prathamika Shaale, though with a different theme, had a similar underlying message about saving government schools by using students. It is the formulaic filmmaking style that makes Drona just another ordinary film. 

The students are shown as rude and unruly and this is apparently because of corrupt teachers and politicians. They are tamed within a year to excel in sports and academics. Teachers and politicians understand the importance of education by the time the climax comes... of course after several dishoom-dishooms. If you look at the storyline, the Bollywood movie Hichki also worked on the same theme. So, Drona has nothing new to offer. In fact, reducing a few action sequences inserted only to please Shivanna fans would have made the film better.

There are several underlying messages in the film, including one on sexual assault, but these only skim the surface.

Shivanna is the heart and soul of Drona. He plays the part with perfection and gives his 100%, though at a few places the make-up looks overdone to make him look young. His partner Iniya’s role is underwritten and her only job is to stand by the hero through thick and thin, quite literally, throughout the film. Rangayana Raghu’s one-line puns are funny, and Ravi Kishen impresses with his villainish grins. Swati Sharma, who plays a sexual assault survivor, has given a memorable performance. V Manohar, Sadhu Kokila, Babu Hiranya and Rekha Das are in blink-and-miss roles.

The makers’ attempt to bring out a salient subject by retaining commercial elements is commendable. But, the very predictable formulaic film may not work for all.

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the series/film. TNM Editorial is independent of any business relationship the organisation may have with producers or any other members of its cast or crew.

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