After every handful of years, a film comes by that introduces two leading actors who go onto have successful careers in Bollywood – the trend began with Bobby and was later followed by Love Story, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Main Ne Pyar Kia, Kaho Na … Pyaar Hai, Jaane Tu … Ya Janay Na and Ishqazaade to name a few. Sadly, despite its star cast (half-brother of a superstar combined with the daughter of a legend) Dhadak couldn’t find a place into this category and that’s mainly the fault of the writer/director who couldn’t decide whether to remake Marathi classic Sairat or a coming-of-age Bollywood flick.
This love story between Madhukar Bagla (Ishaan Khatter) and Parthavi Singh (Janhvi Kapoor) is not about caste or creed but lust, as they try to steal a kiss during a party in the girl’s palace without realizing the consequences. The first half-hour revolves around their budding love while the next hour is about their elopement from their village to Kolkata. They struggle in the start but have a happy life after a few years – do they go back to their village to meet their loved ones or do they live happily ever after, you will have to watch the film to know that.
There is hardly anything good about the film except the dance sequence in Zingat and the scenes between the friends – Madhu, Gokul (Ankit Bisht) and Parshuram (Shridhar Watsar). It is Shridhar Watsar who steals the show whenever he is in it by not using his small height but comic timings, dialogue delivery, and expressions which couldn’t be matched by others. Ishaan looks good in the scenes where he is running but that’s exactly what he did in his first film Beyond The Clouds which also didn’t do well at the box office. Jhanvi looks drop-dead gorgeous throughout the film and her mother Sridevi would have been proud of her had she been alive. There is a sort of tribute to Bollywood legend Sachin Bhowmick but only those who are film fanatics would realize that.
Shashank Khaitan is the person responsible for destroying an otherwise satisfactory film; in an attempt to shock the audience with a surprising climax, he ended up with a climax that shocked the surprised audience. As it happens in films where the hero and heroine elope, everyone in the hall knew that tragedy was right there in the corner but that could have been handled intelligently than politically. The director felt that the audience deserved to be taught a lesson or two in the end and included an angle that wasn’t even touched during the preceding 2 hours. Instead of a caste difference, the film was about a boy and girl in love who don’t live happily ever after and everyone who left the cinema was scratching their head as to what hit them. Unlike Sairat the South Indian film that inspired Dhadak, here the second half was different and maybe that intended change wasn’t that good for the audience.
The Verdict 1.5/5
Sridevi’s daughter Jhanvi Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor’s half-brother Ishaan Khatter are undoubtedly good discoveries but they come from Bollywood families and didn’t have to struggle at all. That showed on the screen as they sleep-walk through a plot that has been done to death in India and by better actors. Interestingly, the last half hour is so quick-paced that it will bring Hollywood to shame and that’s not a good thing. Films like these are only good on paper and not even the might of a producer like Karan Johar can save them from taking the lead pair and the makers down.