|Film name: Dirty Hari
Director: M. S. Raju
Cast: Shravan Reddy, Ruhani Sharma and Simrat Kaur
Though the title of the film brings back memories of Dirty Harry, the famous Clint Eastwood cop action film series of the 1970s and early 1980s, Dirty Hari is an erotic thriller in which characters are either ambivalent or intense or both. This is also what makes the movie watchable, even though the film doesn’t always succeed in keeping the audiences emotionally involved. But more on that later!
In the film, Hari (Shravan Reddy) is a brilliant chess player who befriends Vasudha (Ruhani Sharma), who’s the daughter of a rich businessman. They get along well, and in no time fall in love. Just as they’re about to get married, Hari develops a liking for Jasmine (Simrat Kaur), a debutante actress who’s up for bold roles and is also his friend’s girlfriend. Jasmine also believes in the power of hard work, which is in contrast with Hari’s attitude, the man she’s attracted to in a moment of weakness. Hari, as he repeats too often in the film, believes luck plays a crucial role in life. None of it stops Hari and Jasmine from having a secret affair though, but their sexcapades lead to unforeseen consequences.
Simrat Kaur is convincing as an ambitious woman who can’t tolerate patronizing behaviour. She’s surprisingly confident and delivers a confident act. As a free-spirited character who gets possessive and emotionally too intense, she brings out a new aspect of the actor in her. Shravan Reddy is good enough, although the film would’ve worked better with an actor who looked more boy-next-door. Ruhani Sharma emotes well even without dialogues. However, while Surekha Vani proves to be miscast, Mahesh Achanta and others are forgettable.
Writer–director MS Raju dishes out a fairly engaging narrative, which is complemented by Mark K Robin’s moody background music. The build-up to Hari seducing Jasmine into their illicit affair is well-written. Had he not been a weed-smoking hedonist, the whole plot may have even looked contrived. It’s also convincing that an aspiring actress, who finds it hard to get a break in movies despite her efforts, starts seeking someone special, and takes to Hari.
Even so, there are too many old-fashioned lines in several scenes across the film, though to the director’s credit, he’s kept heavy-duty conversations brief. Then, there are hiccups with respect to Hari’s characterisation, especially given that in the film, he’s an orphan from a lower-middle-class background, who eases into sudden fortune. Perhaps a narrative around the emotional churn associated with the progress in life may have been convincing. Also, it appears silly that Vasudha’s parents, despite contemplating her marriage with Hari, don’t know that he’s an orphan!
However, and despite budgetary constraints, the production design and Baalreddy’s cinematography are decent. And though the plot’s climax could have been threateningly ordinary, the sucker punch at the final moments of the film keeps audiences on their toes.
We’d say Dirty Hari is definitely a one-time watch....