The issue with Dial 100 is that at no point this suspense thriller feels like it has any sort of suspense in it. The trailer itself has revealed all the vital plot points, and whatever is left gets shown at a very early stage in the movie. The only thing that makes this Rensil D’Silva movie bearable is the performance of Manoj Bajpayee, who is trying his best to save the dull thriller by making his performance look genuine. Remove Mr. Bajpayee from the equation, and the film becomes an unbearable and dull experience.
Inspector Nikhil Sood is our main protagonist. He is married to Prerna and has a son named Dhruv, who is 18 years old. One day during his work, he gets this distress call from a woman who showed a suicidal tendency. Nikhil gets disturbed by that call, and later, he finds out that the woman knew him personally. He becomes concerned about his family after learning that the lady came to his home after the call. Who is this lady? What is the connection between her and Sood? Etc. are the questions Dial 100 is trying to answer.
Frankly speaking, in the first 10 or 15 minutes of the movie, the writing sort of gives you a clear idea about Dhruv Sood, which in my opinion, ruins the entire movie. The audience is not switching off their brain while watching thrillers. They are constantly trying to solve the case in their head, and writers Rensil D’silva and Niranjan Iyengar expose the whole plot very early. The entire film seems like a thriller for the characters in the movie as they might not know what will happen. But for us, it is like watching a scene that you predicted 5 minutes ago. Dial 100 tries to do some damage control in its climax moments by being a bit more realistic. But sadly, it felt like a hasty rewrite in order to save the movie.
As I already mentioned, Manoj Bajpayee is the only saving element in the movie. It seems like, after the stereotypical snooty politician, Bollywood is now trying to make him the stereotypical family man who is trying to save his family. Sakshi Tanvar as Prerna Sood is just about okay in a poorly written character. Neena Gupta as the mysterious lady, can’t make the character compelling with her performance and the bumper sticker dialogues given to her only makes it even more disappointing. Svar Kamble as Dhruv Sood was also disappointing.
This customized justice/ vigilante thriller concept has always been there in Rensil D’Silva’s movies. But this time, the filmmaking felt too lazy. Rather than making the thriller logically coherent, the focus was merely on the anger and angst of certain characters. The makers underestimate the observant nature of the viewer. There is a moment in the movie where Nikhil gets this information that someone in his office is helping the lady, and the movie wants to believe that the audience also doesn’t have any idea about that person. But an unnecessary comment of the “suspense” character in the earlier part of the movie had already ruined that for the film.
A lot of concepts have got materialized during the pandemic for the OTT platforms. And most of them have been thrillers set in confined spaces. It feels like OTT platforms are green-lighting too much content on a one-liner level in order to tackle the content deficit. Dial 100 also belongs to that category where the premise is interesting, but the presentation is terribly dull.
Dial 100 also belongs to that category where the premise is interesting, but the presentation is terribly dull.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended