The commercial cinema space is buzzing with movies that are rooted in local village politics. Instead of giving a lot of importance to the machismo of the hero, stories these days focus on bringing out the flaws of the hero as well. It’s refreshing to come across such a cinema. Dasara, directed by Srikanth Odela, is all about two coal thieves, who are best friends as well, and the kind of life they live around coal mines. How do they maneuver through the politics of their village, which is not easy to comprehend?
The Story Of Silk Bar
Set in the village of Veerlapally, Dasara begins with Dharani explaining the importance of the only liquor shop in the village, where the people enjoy and get drunk. The men are addicted to liquor, and the bar owner makes sure to keep them that way because it helps his business grow. The women of the village are tired of the men in their families getting addicted to liquor. They can’t seem to find a way to shut down the alcohol problem. Soon, when the state government announces liquor prohibition in the state, the entire village of Veerlapally goes into a slumber of sadness. The women are elated to see their men staying at home, but the liquor shop owner has also been forgotten, and he has come close to bankruptcy. The Sarpanch comes along and declares to the people and the owner of the bar that anyone who becomes the next Sarpanch will be the owner of the bar. The Sarpanch is aware of the power of the Silk Bar, named after the yesteryear actress and dancer Silk Smitha. The bar owner agrees, which changes the legacy of the village. The existing Sarpanch becomes the owner of the bar after winning the elections. The people of the village, especially the men, are happy to see the bar open for their service. The Sarpanch took advantage of men being dependent on alcohol to become the most powerful man in the village. The Sarpanch dies soon, and his stepsons get into a conflict over their desire to own the bar, which leads to two factions. One is run by Shivanna and his son Chinna Nambi, and the other is run by Rajanna. Rajanna loses the bar as Shivanna becomes the Sarpanch as per village rule. Ever since the defeat, Rajanna has always stayed at home and never come out to the public, and ever since that win, Shivanna has remained undefeated during all sarpanch elections. The power of alcohol is such that it makes sure to keep Shivanna and his son, the two powerful men of the village, the owners of the Silk Bar.
Politics To Become The Next Sarpanch
Witnessing all the politics happening around alcohol are school-going Dharani and Suri, who have been best friends since they were kids, and they remain inseparable for most of the time. Dharani is in love with Vennala, their other best friend from childhood. But Suri reveals that he likes Vennala, and that’s why Dharani sacrifices his love for Vennala at a young age. Vennala and Suri have been in a relationship since their teenage days, and since they are now adults, they decide to get married to each other soon. The issue with Dharani is that he is an alcoholic, and most of the time, he does not remember what he’s done under the influence of alcohol. He also claims to have a lot of courage after he chugs on alcohol. His alcoholism is slowly becoming a nuisance because it leads him, Suri, and his friends into a lot of trouble. A local cricket match was announced by Chinna Nambi to get more votes for him in the upcoming sarpanch elections. Chinna Nambi plans to carry forward the legacy of his father, and he is sure he will win the election. He also announces that the man of the match will be made cashier at the Silk Bar, which is considered a prestigious position.
Vennala’s mother is keen on getting her married to someone else, but Dharani, being a good friend of Suri, announces that he will win the cricket match and will be named the cashier. Suri would finally have a job that would convince Vennala’s mother that she was getting married to a man who had a decent job. The cricket match did not initially go in favor of Dharani and Suri’s team. Dharani finally comes out to bat, aiming to make sure their team finally wins because he wants Suri’s dream to be fulfilled. The match win leads to Suri getting what he wants, which is becoming the cashier, and securing his engagement to Vennala. Dharani loves Vennala, but his love for his best friend seems more important to him. He never expressed his love to her, and right now, it is too late to do so because he would not want his best friend to feel guilty over something so trivial as his feelings. Vennala, too, loves Suri, so it would be inappropriate to pursue her.
Soon after Suri becomes the cashier at the Silk Bar, a clash happens between Suri, Dharani, and Chinna Nambi’s men, which leads to Dharani thrashing the place to bits. The duo was arrested for public nuisance. The only person who comes to their rescue is Rajanna. He bails all the men out, and Suri and Dharani feel a lot more grateful for the man who came to help them out. They suggest Rajanna stand for the sarpanch elections again, and Suri will make sure to bring as much support as he can from the village. After a lot of hesitation, Rajanna agrees, and Suri and Dharani become his biggest supporters in the village, and they manage to bring in a lot of votes, especially from women. Suri is a big man in the village, and Dharani just happens to be his best friend, but he never has the kind of courage that Suri has. The men want to bring some change to the village. The changing of the Sarpanch would be the beginning. Rajanna finally wins the election, and the men, especially Suri and Dharani, couldn’t be more excited to see the change that will come to the village.
‘Dasara’ Ending explained: How Did Dharani Find Suri’s Killer?
With Rajanna becoming the Sarpanch, Suri and Vennala get married. Though Dharani is upset, he ends up under the influence of alcohol, revealing that he loves Vennala, but he is happy to see her happy with Suri. Suri, unfortunately, hears this and wants to have a conversation with Dharani about it. As Dharani reaches the Silk Bar, Suri follows him to have a man-to-man conversation. Upon reaching there, Suri, Dharani, and their men are brutally attacked by a bunch of men who’d never been seen in the village. In this clash, Suri ends up getting killed as someone beheads the man. Dharani, Vennala, and the entire village are in shock at this death because Suri was the leader of the pack and someone Rajanna also trusted. With him dead, there is a void. Dharani is also in a depressive state of mind, as he feels powerless and helpless without Suri next to him. Vennala cannot comprehend the fact that she lost her husband on their first night of marriage.
The panchayat and the police are unable to locate the weapons that were used to kill Suri and the bunch of men that were killed along with him. Chinna Nambi indicates that maybe Dharani was the one who killed Suri under the influence of alcohol. Dharani remembers one of the attackers throwing his weapon into the well. The man retrieves the weapon only to see Chinna Nambi’s name on it. He concludes it was Chinna Nambi who killed Suri and heads to his home to confront him and possibly kill him. Chinna Nambi’s wife lets him know that he killed Suri because of Vennala. The man always lusted for her, and because she was about to begin her married life, he killed her on the first night. She requests that Dharani save Vennala before the widow ceremony concludes. Chinna Nambi is known to prey on widows, and with Vennala being one, he would leave no chance to take advantage of her situation. Dharani, just before the ceremony begins, marries Vennala just to protect her from Chinna Nambi’s gaze. Even though she is mad at him for not asking her before getting married, he lets her know that she is his friend from childhood, and he has always seen her adorned with jewelry. He couldn’t fathom the sight of her away from jewelry. This is the reason given by Dharani, though he never reveals his love for her, because she would take it as a betrayal to Suri. He would want Vennala to remain her friend, and he would want the love to evolve slowly and steadily.
Though Chinna Nambi knows that Dharani was made aware of his plan to take advantage of Vennala, thanks to his wife, he is now angry to know Dharani managed to surpass him and marry the woman he wanted for his pleasure. On the day of the Dasara celebration, Chinna Nambi comes by to let Vennala know that he killed Suri because he lusted for her. In addition to that, he also reveals that Dharani married her not because of any obligation but because of his love for her. This shocks Vennala more because she was never made aware of the fondness Dharani ever had for her. Chinna Nambi also reveals that he plans to kill Dharani that night. On the night of the Dasara celebrations, Chinna Nambi and his men attack to kill Dharani. A major fight erupts between the two, which leads to Dharani attempting to kill Chinna Nambi. The police initially take him away because they don’t want Dharani to go to jail. But Dharani comes back to finally end the wrath of Chinna Nambi and beheads the man, just like Suri was beheaded. Dharani killed him because he knew if this man stayed alive, he would make many attempts to kill Dharani, which would also endanger Vennala.
After spending several years in jail for killing Chinna Nambi, he comes back to his village to see the Silk bar still prospering, and the men are still indulging and destroying their lives for good. The women are still complaining about the liquor ruining everything. Dasara concludes with Dharani setting the Silk bar on fire and embracing Vennala for the first time in so many years out of love. The entire problem of the village began with this bar, and Dharani hopes with the bar engulfed in flames, all the politics around it and the problems would go away with the fire.
Dasara, a Telugu-language film, is now streaming on Netflix with subtitles.