‘Dhadak’ is a film that many people are rooting for to fail at the box office, as they have already assumed that the film will not hold a candle to ‘Sairat’ – the 2016 Marathi film on which it is based. Also post the numerous anti-nepotism interviews given by Kangana Ranaut, the public are a bit skeptical to embrace star kids, especially when they are launched by a banner known for being myopic in their vision. So does ‘Dhadak’ manage to break away from its pre-doomed destiny?
To begin with, Sashank Khaitan’s film is easy on the eyes – well clothed newbies waltzing into each other’s hearts while gyrating to soulful romantic numbers and the cinematography is so tactfully done that Udaipur almost resembles a mini Venice. Even when the going gets tough the costume department never really takes a loo break.
Let’s talk about the much hyped star kids. Ishaan Khatter had already impressed critics with his first outing (Beyond the Clouds) earlier this year. In here he is well above and beyond the USP of the film. It won’t be an exaggeration to label him as better than Akash Thosar who played the Marathi Romeo in ‘Sairat’. There is passion, restlessness and innocence in his eyes and the best part is that he doesn’t mind revealing his sensitive side to the audiences; a true sign of a next-gen actor who is definitely more than his cisgender identity.
Janhvi Kapoor is a contradiction. While she is very much Sridevi’s daughter – her current identity – she has her own persona which fluctuates between being childlike and semi-fiery. She is a star no doubt but as an actress she is still a fresher with low grades. However in a country obsessed with ‘young’ beauty, there’s no doubt that she has sent quite a few hearts aflutter.
The first half is all easy, breezy and mushy but the second half is literally all over the place. One can almost smell the boredom and disinterest in the actor’s expressions, especially in Janhvi’s no-nonsense below mediocre act. Anyone who has seen ‘Sairat’ already knows what to expect from the film. The makers had to just stick to the original screenplay but they dared to create a niche of their own by tempering with the bone-chilling climax which has now become a part of cinema history. Even if the film was trying to address a burning issue which is ‘burning’ India, it never quite comes across as a piece of art strong enough to look beyond its own frivolity. Clearly, something went wrong along the way.