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DHADAK – When just one change simply ruins an otherwise watchable film. (A Detailed Review by Bobby Sing)

20 Jul, 2018 | Movie Reviews / 2018 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / D

Remaking one of the most successful Marathi film (SAIRAT) as a mainstream Hindi film was never going to be any easy task for any filmmaker for sure. Plus DHADAK even had an added pressure of being the debut film of Sridevi’s daughter Janhvi and (in one way) the debut film of Ishaan (Shahid’s half-brother) too since his first film BEYOND THE CLOUDS (Hindi) was not a mainstream commercial movie seen by many.
So carrying such loads of pressure facing the early mixed or rather negative response towards its Zingaat song picturisation, DHADAK slowly made some ground in the last few weeks and was able to create a decent buzz before the release reaching its target audience. So would love to give you a detailed account of how it performs overall in the following heads.
Why Love Stories work!
Love stories or young romantic films never actually work due to their story-plot as that more or less remains the same with slight additions made according to the changing times and the social development around. Love stories always work due to a fresh energy brought in by the fresh faces, an emotionally touching and likable visual appeal making an instant connect, melodious music and a novel execution keeping you involved with the loving couple facing the opposition.
Besides, to be logically fair, in a male dominated society like ours, love stories always click in a big way when particularly the girl clicks with the audience, winning their hearts right away (adding to the repeat value) in comparison to the young good looking boy making his own important efforts. (This is mentioned in more details in my review of SAIRAT – link share ahead in the write-up for all interested friends)
So from that point of view, DHADAK decently manages to score due to its fresh appeal, new faces and (partially) appreciable music, but still doesn’t turn out to be any spellbinding love story, executed in a highly impressive manner rising above the routine.
Dhadak as a stand-alone film (minus the comparisons)

DHADAK’s main strength remains its fresh look and feel mainly provided by the two new faces. It begins well introducing the two love birds and their close friends and then fairly keeps you engrossed in the next hour or so as the love blossoms between them around some visually appealing events. So the first half fairly manages to impress (along some melodious songs) and you don’t get much to complain. But at the same time you don’t get much to rave about too with many routine characters moving around the lead couple, who are never given any opportunity to make their presence felt. The buildup of the romance is fine and entertaining but sadly that is all, with the supporting cast simply making no impression whatsoever seriously hampering its overall impact. Plus, the most annoying factor remains an entirely forced Rajasthani lingo, that doesn’t help and always looks like FAKE, right from the first scene itself.
Anyway, the fresh innocence of the first half ends with an explosive scene coming right before the intermission and then you never get to see that again in the rest of the film. Post interval the innocence-less DHADAK moves on to the same seen before story progression without any major shocks or twists thrown in by the writers. Everything seems to happen so easily in its final hour with no complications or tensions that occasionally leads to boredom. But you still keep on watching it as the lead pair forces you to do so through their sincere performances. However then suddenly post a few calm but long sequences it gives you a severe, unexpected shock and the film ends right there leaving you in a confused state. 
Now you feel seriously confused, since the sudden culmination never turns out be explainable from any angle mixing two concepts of Honour Killing and Revenge together making a silly mess of it. (Would explain the two in the last section of the review as it has spoilers).
Coming to the performance department, both Ishaan and Janhvi never disappoint and confidently display their skills in the film’s romantic as well as emotionally dramatic moments. But their acts still don’t turn out to be the ones that can force you to go for a second viewing. Ishaan certainly scores much more in comparison, which was expected as his talent was even more prominently visible in Majidi’s BEYOND THE CLOUDS. But Janhvi also makes her own charming impact (especially in the first half), though at times she comes across a bit unpolished and raw in a few specific sequences. 
Becoming its major drawback, DHADAK actually is all about these two youngsters only and every single person in its supporting cast is simply wasted including a name such as Ashutosh Rana. As a result it misses those essential finer edges provided by a talented and well-exploited supporting cast despite being a film backed by a reputed and experienced production house.
Music and Cinematography
DHADAK has a superfine cinematography that takes you onto a tour of various tourist spots of Udaipur, Rajasthan. But that ‘Rajasthan-Darshan’ again ends with its first half. Both the background score and music mostly keep you invested in the film, but I personally felt the BGM should have been something innovative majorly contributing in its fresh feel. In the soundtrack (by Ajay-Atul), at one end the original title song and remade Pehli Baar work perfectly well, but on the other, the Zingaat remake and more fall completely flat making no enhancement of any kind in the story progression. Particularly the lyrics of Zingaat at times sound too weird and forced along the synchronized steps on screen that never look like natural.

Hence overall, 
where DHADAK fairly comes out to be a one-time watchable love story till its likable first half, it simply fails to maintain the same tempo in the second and then the climax brutally ruins it all ending on a highly messy and incomplete note (explained further).
DHADAK as a remake of SAIRAT 

As a remake, it actually doesn’t matter whether it’s DHADAK or any other regional language remake of SAIRAT in the past two years. The outcome can never be anything ever closer to the original Marathi blockbuster, since it was never the storyline that worked in SAIRAT winning over the people in Maharashtra and other states.
SAIRAT actually worked due to its raw, down to earth local charm, too young fresh artists, unusual choice of the lead girl (defying all the filmy norms), excellent relatable execution/direction, fabulous performances by both the lead and supporting cast and an outstanding (best of the decade) soundtrack that simply took the film to another level altogether surpassing all expectations.
To get more details about the film, would suggest reading my detailed review of SAIRAT at the following link...... revealing a lot.
However when you look at DHADAK, it just seems to be an attempt to encash the hype around the Marathi Hit, typically made in Karan Johar style taking you into Rajasthan (instead of Punjab, Delhi or Jhansi), introducing a fresh lead pair, making its own changes in the screenplay…………… completely ruining the original. 
To give you a fair idea (especially if you haven’t seen SAIRAT),
DHADAK neither has any strong emotional pull nor the authenticity in its portrayal of various characters and their respective diverse families. 
It keeps shying away from mentioning any caste issue loudly and thus is never able to bring in the desired intensity on screen giving the valid reason for all the hate and violence involved.
It completely fails when you compare the importance and depth given to the supporting characters of friends in the original as DHADAK simply uses them as mere entertaining props or clowns quite poorly.
The same can also be said for the other key characters in the film, namely the parents of both Ishaan and Jahnvi, her two brothers and the couple owning the lodge where they stay before moving on the new house.
DHADAK never scores in terms of screenplay or storytelling and keeps relying on its lead pair throughout without caring about the basic essence of its hard hitting social subject. For instance it never works as any strong film in its college sequences, the scene where a teacher gets slapped, the motorcycle drive by the girl or the way she says I Love You without any hiding of any kind making the first move.
The film more or less always seems to be a colourful, glossy, casual as well as a clever business project remaining too plastic in its portrayal of love, quite far away from what we get to see in SAIRAT. 
It makes too many changes in the script in terms of events like changing the Cricket match into an Eating competition, converting the pathetic Mumbai slums into a fine Kolkotta lodge, adding unnecessary political sub-plot into the narration and more, which in turn never allows it to get even closer to the original’s infectious spirit. And then the final nail in the coffin becomes the foolishly reworked climax which actually happened to be the soul of SAIRAT.
The unexpected silly mess confusing two entirely different concepts of HONOUR KILLINGS and REVENGE  (*Clear Spoilers Ahead)
Revealing the most crucial part of SAIRAT, it strongly points towards the ugly truth of Honour Killing in our country caused by the age-old, sick divisions of caste, colour and gotr engraved in our social psyche. Here a society fearing father/brother/mother can even kill their daughter/sister just because she is in love with a boy from a backward/lower caste or a different religion. And that’s because here our social reputation or status is considered even more important than the life of our own daughters and sisters revealing a lot about our educated mental state and the social growth.
SAIRAT ends with a sequence of similar honour killing using silence as an effective tool generating a heart wrenching impact on the viewer where you are not able to move for a while looking at the crying toddler moving out of the house unable to express himself.
Director Shashank Khaitan strangely changes the powerful climax in his DHADAK, and completely misses the actual point raised in the original film, which hurts and leaves you confused even when you are watching it as a stand-alone film unrelated to the actual source.
He so unwisely alters the climax converting the Honour Killing into plain Revenge taken by the girl’s brothers simply destroying the significant message given by the cult SAIRAT. 
He innovatively plans a long one shot sequence in the end (that actually gives it away making it completely predictable) and then goes for selective killing instead, which is not Honour Killing at all but plain Revenge ……… entirely different from the socially relevant and much more effective finale of SAIRAT.
Now whether the team did it just to increase the shock value (by including the kid) or just for making a change for the sake of it………… they intentionally ruined it all.
And this truly left me stunned, realizing the fact that the so experienced and successful re-makers couldn’t even differentiate between the two entirely distinctive concepts of Honour Killing and Revenge.
In fact, that eventually took out whatever Zing was there in this Zingaat converting it into a routine, below average film ……… that otherwise could easily be rated as ‘watchable’.

Ending on a different note, addressing all cinema loving friends, who still have not started exploring our outstanding Indian Cinema being made in the regional languages:
Do watch both DHADAK and SAIRAT.
Make a study of your own.
And then realize as well as accept what you have been missing in all these years by not experiencing our own exceptional regional gems.
Rating : 2 / 5

Tags : Dhadak Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Dhadak Movie Review by Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com
20 Jul 2018 / Comment ( 0 )
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