REVIEW: DHADAK


In a scene early on in the film, DHADAK, the first prize in a competition in Udaipur, is a Khaitan (an important fan brand in India) pedestal fan. It was then that I got a thought that Shashank Khaitan, director of the Karan Johar production DHADAK, knew beforehand that DHADAK would perhaps get unfavourably compared with SAIRAT, the Marathi sleeper hit of 2016. And therefore so what if he didn’t get bouquets for DHADAK? At least, he got a fan bearing his name featured as the gift for a first prize winner in an eating competition in the movie!
SAIRAT remains Marathi moviedom’s biggest box-office hit even as of now, and has been an inspiration for remakes in Kannada (Manasu Mallige) and Punjabi (Channa Mereya) and in more languages in the near future. DHADAK would like to call itself an adaptation rather than a remake of SAIRAAT. If only, Shashank had remade it as a scene by scene copy without changing the locations, it would have been very good cinema and DHADAK might have also broken box-office records. But before I proceed further (I am already hearing murmurs saying that comparisons are odious and movies like DHADAK should be reviewed on their own), let me say all the good things about DHADAK.
First is the performance of lead actor Ishaan Khattar; he has brilliantly portrayed the emotions of a youthful character hopelessly infatuated by a politician’s daughter (the late Sridevi’s daughter, Jhanvi Kapoor). Ishaan is the half-brother of actor Shahid Kapoor and while I don’t know as to whether he will be a good actor for other roles, in DHADAK, he blends beautifully into the character. DHADAK also has good music by Ajay and Atul (the same brothers team which gave the music for SAIRAT), and great shots of Udaipur. The freshness of the lead cast is also an additional appeal generating factor, although Jhanvi cannot match the quality of Ishaan’s performance. The camera also captures effectively the tough but warmth filled life in Kolkata. And yes, the movie as a whole is watchable.
But what’s wrong with DHADAK? And here, I am forced to bring about comparisons with SAIRAT. SAIRAT brilliantly captured the crudity and hard hitting reality of the caste divide in the rural hinterland of Maharashtra. Even the ending was so gruesome that I actually had felt repulsed by the violence; but it worked because it came close to being a depiction of the true happenings. Perhaps with a view to avoid the crudity and the gory violence, DHADAK tries to offer a refined product in a refined setting like Udaipur. The result: the caste differentials and the rivalry appear superficial. And since the whole story is based on this, it is impossible to make a great movie on weak foundations. Also, the buildup of the romance between the youngsters had more DHADAK in SAIRAT than in DHADAK!
There is more DHAD (ध्वनि जो वस्तु आदि के अचानक गिरने या टकराने से उत्पन्न होती है) than DHADAK (throbbing heartbeat) in DHADAK!
RATING: 3 out of 5
July 21, 2018

About Vijay from Muscat

A cheerful person who loves watching and reviewing movies and indulges in random writings!
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