These are not good times for content. Even tried and tested formulas like ‘social issues being tackled in small towns’ are not working out. Jitendra Kumar and Shriya Pilgaonkar deserve so much better. They can do so much more, yet here we all are. But there is no contest about the fact that Annu Kapoor stole the show in Dry Day. Perhaps it is his experience that makes him command the screen in the few minutes he is given. Frankly, his presence and words are still ringing in our ears after the end of a rather forgettable film. The following is a summary and ending of Dry Day.
Why does Gannu decide to quit alcohol?
Nirmala regrets the day she decided to marry Gannu just because he was cute. Four years into their marriage, Nirmala is pregnant, but she doesn’t want to have her child since Gannu is a drunkard who doesn’t have a stable job in his hands. Gannu has been working for a politician whom he calls Dauji in the hopes that he will become a corporator one day. Dauji has been putting that off, but when he comes to know Gannu’s situation, he agrees to make him the Corporator. That should have been the end of Gannu’s troubles, but his drinking habits and thoughtless arrogance once again came in the way of his happy ending. Satto, who is Gannu’s rival, provokes him on the day of the celebrations, and that leads to Gannu hitting him on the head, which is caught on television. This puts Dauji in a delicate position since he has people to answer to regarding his support of Gannu, who is looking like a hooligan. Therefore, he decides to make Satto the Corporator and asks Gannu to clean up his act and wait for five years. A dejected Gannu decides to go to Delhi to fight for himself, but he only creates a scene in his drunken state and has to spend the night in jail with his friends. This leads to him being disowned by Dauji, so Gannu is on his own now.
Gannu doesn’t tell Nirmala about this new turn of events and continues to lie to her, saying that his job is safe. But Satto reveals everything to Nirmala, and she decides to abort her child as she doesn’t want to bring a child into the world whose father behaved in such a manner.
Now, Gannu has to get the job of a corporator at any cost for the sake of his family, so he decides to do things his own way. Looking at the efforts he is putting in, Nirmala starts to soften a bit and considers giving him a chance. But once again, Gannu’s drinking habits get in the way of his resolve. During the meeting, he is not able to come up with an agenda, so the crowd is asked to wait until the next day. A dance performance is arranged for their sake, and when Nirmala sees Gannu’s drunken behavior, she walks out of there. This prompts Gannu to seek out more alcohol, and he bickers with his sponsor, Balwant, who is also the local alcohol supplier. When Balwant refuses to supply alcohol to Gannu, he breaks into his shop for the bottles. The next morning, Gannu is still hungover as he addresses the people whose wives have come to take them away. In a moment of clarity, Gannu remembers the disappointed look on his wife’s face and announces that he wants the complete abolishment of alcohol, and he is on a hunger strike until that happens. Since alcoholism has impacted the households of many people, the women come out in support of Gannu as the men stand against him. When Gannu sees their support, he realizes the responsibility of what he has undertaken, and even Nirmala asks him to consider that. Therefore, for once, Gannu is serious about the cause he has taken up.
What are the obstacles in Gannu’s way?
Balwant cannot have Gannu’s hunger strike succeed, and neither can Dauji, so they send Satto as their Trojan Horse to take him down. But Gannu is two steps ahead of them in this matter. He frames Satto for forcing alcohol on him and gets him evicted from the circle. This also leads to a lot of the men having to give up alcohol who were still drinking despite Gannu’s cause. There are also many cases being brought up against Gannu, mostly made-up but effective nonetheless. When Gannu’s about to be arrested, Janki, one of his most ardent supporters, sets herself on fire in protest. Gannu manages to save her in time, but he wants to end the hunger strike since he doesn’t want to see more people harmed. But Nirmala reminds him that Janki’s home situation was disappointing because of her husband’s alcoholism, which is why she felt so strongly about his cause and that he shouldn’t give it up now. But the road ahead is not easy for Gannu.
Does Gannu get the alcohol ban?
Dauji returns to Gannu’s life as the villain. He promises to make him the Corporator and tells him that if he doesn’t end the hunger strike right now, he will kill Janki and put the blame on Gannu. Having no choice, Gannu agrees, but he has a trick up his sleeve. Outside, the entire town hates Gannu because they think that he has turned into a traitor for the cause. But Gannu secretly tells a friend something and makes an arrangement. Meanwhile, Dauji asks Gannu to apologize on stage, where Gannu takes the chance to announce that Dauji is going on a hunger strike himself to make alcohol compulsory in the village. Dauji once again threatens him with the consequences of his actions, and this time, Gannu has recorded his words. He plays them on speaker, thus proving his innocence and effectively stripping Dauji of any power.
During Dry Day‘s ending, Gannu is promised that a bill will be passed that will abolish alcohol. The bill has not been passed and is being debated to this day, but in Gannu’s town, the alcohol shops are closed down on charges of selling impure alcohol to customers. Satto is once again in the hospital, and Dauji has to resign from his position. Janki is well and good, and her husband has quit alcohol and started taking responsibility for the household. Gannu’s parents have twins, and Nirmala also gives birth to a baby girl, who is named ‘Junior Corporator’ as she had wished, since her father is also in that position. It is a decent mix of a realistic and a happy ending for the film.
The best part about the setting of such films is their humor, but it is a disappointment that it was sorely lacking in Dry Day. The jokes did not really land, and we were robbed of the very thing we had tuned into the film for. We hope the creators’ next venture is more successful than this.