"Hit him back," says Mota Tony, and instantly endears himself to the child-hero who grows up to be Harman Baweja. Quite a stroke of luck for the burdened script. Harman brings to the narrative a residue of angst that serves the plot well. He plays a gangster who suffers constantly. So, for that matter, do we…though, for different reasons. Debutant director Sanamjit Talwar unnecessarily complicates the gangster flick with layer after layer of characterization. Sinister characters desperately in need to bathe, keep popping up and popping off for no other reason except to remind us that the world of Mumbai's gangsterism has not changed much from the time when Ram Gopal Varma made Satya.
But, while in Satya we genuinely cared for the sanguinary characters, here, in Dishkiyaoon, we are too tired of the trigger-happy marauders to give a flying f..k about whether they live or die. The dark menacing characters all look like carryovers from Varma's Satya and Company trying hard to shield their jadedness in a revved up revivified swagger which only helps to accentuate their frozen renewability.
The characters' hands remain soaked in the same blood as Satya, no matter how hard the script tries to cover their bloodied track with streaks of cosmetic conceit. Try as it might the narration's worn-out edges stick out of the sleekly-designed format. The film is very stylishly packaged with some ear-catching background music (Amar Mohile) and cinematography (Axel Fischer) that fuses colour and black-and-white in a hide 'n' seek with time.
Sunny Deol's Haryanvi accent is as distracting as Harman's moustache. But the young actor has returned to the screen with the language of sanguinity lending an aura of urgent doom to the goings-on. Newcomer Ayesha Khanna has a brief but effective part as the guitar-playing musician who wonders if she and the world around her would ever be compatible.
Watching Dishkiyaaoon, we are faced by the same dilemma. While we warm up to the film's performances and its intelligent take on gangsterism, the constant barrage of slaying and screaming leave us cold.