Dandupalya, directed by Srinivasa Raju and starring Pooja Gandhi lives up to its expectations of a crime story. The film not only wreaks terror but is also gory for the crude manner in which the crime is picturised.
There are no heroes or heroines in the film. All the 11 members of the Dandupalya gang are antagonists of the society as they go about their job of raping, killing, house breaking and looting even if it means for small gains. The film tries to showcase their crimes as they had happened in the late 1990s.
Their modus operandi is simple. They keep tabs on the members of a household before striking them. They choose their victims and it is only those who live alone in their houses. The film shows a young married woman (played by Nisha Kothari) who is also pregnant, falling victim to the gang's nefarious ways, along with her mother-in-law. The wife is unable to convey the good news of her pregnancy to her husband while the latter comes to know of it only through autopsy report. There is another family where two children get killed but the mother escapes.
Police sub-inspector Chalapathi (Ravishankar) and his department spend sleepless nights trying to crack the crime acts. They go after the serial killers as they stumble upon vital clues to show there is a pattern in the crime. Members of the Dandupalya go to a jeweler regularly to pledge the gold in exchange for
money. During one such duel between the jeweler and the gang member, Chalapathi smells a rat and then that leads to series of arrests including that of Lakshmi (Pooja Gandhi), one of the female members in the gang.
Lakshmi, who is also one of the 'kingpins' of the gang, is stripped semi-nude during her interrogation after she pleads with Chalapathi to let go of her mates. Chalapathi, who is unsure of the allegiance of the gang gets wind of their activities and finally cracks the case.
Members of the gang face a trial in court with Bhat (Doddanna) fighting for their cause. What does the court decide?
Pooja Gandhi walks away with acting honours. She is a stunner with her vain looks sans makeup throughout the movie and she has lived her role exceptionally well.
Jayadev as Kothirama, another member of the gang is effective with his cockeyed look and gawky behaviour. Makrand Deshpande as one of the kingpins of the gang is superb. Ravi Kale is okay. The remaining members of the gang get lost in the melee. Ravishankar as the cop is effective.
Picturisation of crime is crude but one cannot help if the movie makes you sit up and take notice. Venkat Prasad's exceptional camera work has set the tone for the film. Arjun Janya's music is apt and his background score is in sync with the narrative.
Dandupalya is a spine chilling film that allows you to rewind your memories of the gang that terrorized society some time back. It is horrifying and gory. Go for it to know how the gang operated.