Dayaa Review: Disney+ Hotstar’s latest Telugu thriller, directed by Pavan Sadineni, despite having a good story, leaves a lot of uncovered terrain. And it can easily be said that J. D. Chakravarthy is the only reason why people would watch it, only to end up questioning how the events wind up. Alongside J.D. Chakravarthy, the series features Josh Ravi, Eesha Rebba, Babloo Prithiveeraj, Remya Nambeesan, Vishnupriyaa Bhimeneni and Kamal Kamaraju. It has been adapted from the Bengali web series Taqdeer.
There is an Easter egg in the series that many will be able to spot, which might as well serve as the only motivation to watch how the events unfold. More on this later. But other than this, the thriller offers nothing new. Twists and revelations are the same as any other thriller nowadays.
When Dayaa and his friend/brother Prabha wound up with a corpse inside their freezer van, they have no idea how to deal with it. He then receives a call from an anonymous person asking about the corpse. Meanwhile, a journalist goes missing after she confronts a perverted politician and threatens to reveal his actions, including rape and bribery, to the world. How the two events are interlinked and whether and how the duo manage to get themselves out of the situation is what the series is all about.
Dayaa Review: Discussion
J.D. Chakravarthy’s Dayaa is the only convincing character in the series which manages to keep us taking note of his actions. But we have to mention Josh Ravi as his childhood friend Prabha, who does a commendable job of accentuating the titular character. The twist towards the end, as Dayaa reveals that he isn’t just a freezer van driver but someone with a dark past, is indeed effective. And that is because he played the innocent protagonist with a lot of conviction that negated the possibility that he could even pose as someone dangerous.
Esha Rebba as Dayaa’s wife Alivelu doesn’t have much to do in the series, and her mysterious characterization is left unexplored, if not unassessed. Babloo Prithiveeraj, as politician Parashurama Raju appears more like a caricature who has nothing else to do other than sleep with women. Remya Nambeesan pulls off the character of journalist Kavitha Naidu with ample conviction but somehow doesn’t feel as appealing.
Disregarding that Dayaa is an adaptation, there is nothing wrong with the way the plot proceeds, jumping to and fro between past and present. It is only towards the end of the series that we figure out what happened to Kavitha Naidu, and the series manages to keep the truth at bay till then effectively. Dayaa and Prabha’s friendship has also been nicely established, but the same cannot be said for Dayaa and Alivelu, whose relationship, which would have added more weight to the storyline, isn’t explored at all.
There are two crucial elements that the series doesn’t care to reveal – the pen drive that had the rape victim’s confession and Alivelu’s real identity. There is a shot where we see her covered in blood, but we never find out its significance.
Moreover, Parashurama Raju’s death has got nothing to do with the case in question, as he is killed under the order of his brother-in-law, who wanted to usurp his political throne. So the truth about Parashurama Raju never gets out. Nor does the true reason why Kavitha Naidu was killed. These were aspects that needed to be at least addressed to give the show a proper ending. The failure to do this is what takes a toll on the whole show.
The Easter egg mentioned earlier is the revelation that Dayaa’s real name is Satya. Well, many of us will celebrate the character’s return to the screen while others will try to convince themselves that the Satya we know about is no more and this is someone else. But we are ready to believe that he is alive, don’t we?
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Dayaa Review: Final Thoughts
Dayaa is a one-time watch, and that too for J. D. Chakravarthy, whose dead stare will give you the creeps long after the series ends. Surprisingly, it is also the most appealing thing about his acting. And those of you who remember him from Satya will definitely like it because he does remind us of the popular character. Whether this was intentional on behalf of the makers, we do not know.
The thriller is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
Did you like Dayaa? Do let us know in the comments below.
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