One of the most awaited releases of the year, ‘Dhadak’ has been released. Directed by Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania fame Shashank Khaitan, Dhadak revolves around honour killing and is set in Rajasthan. Shooting of the movie took place in Udaipur and Kolkata among other cities.
Sairat — Nagraj Popatrao Manjule’s critically acclaimed Marathi blockbuster of which Dhadak is an official remake — was a film about love across caste divides, chilling and entertaining in equal measure.
Parthavi (Janhvi Kapoor), daughter of hotelier and political strongman Ratan Singh (Ashutosh Rana), refuses to abide by these rules. She is strong-willed, evocatively boisterous and definitely not subtle. In true ‘90s style, she taunts and challenges Madhukar’s (Ishaan Khatter) masculinity and the lower caste boy decides to tread a difficult path.
Despite warnings that their mismatched social status would be trouble, college classmates Madhu and Parthavi continue their naive love story. Ishaan Khatter and Janhvi Kapoor exude ingenuousness as they build up to a dramatic mid-point. If in the first half Parthavi plays the dominant role in the relationship, in the second half Madhu takes charge. The script tackles this well and the actors play their parts compliantly.
The acting also doesn’t live up to the standards of the original. Janhvi’s stilted dialogue delivery makes her unsuitable for the role. Occasionally, she throws a few Rajasthani words, but that only brings forth the uncertainty of her other conversations. Without a doubt, she has a screen presence, but unfortunately, her character demands a lot more than that. Ishaan as Madhukar is impulsive, vulnerable, and confused at times. Although he has comparatively done a decent job, his potential is largely underutilised.
Actually, what hampers Dhadak the most is the pressure to look striking. This becomes really funny when Ishaan and Janhvi are expected to lead a tough, middle class life in Kolkata. There are good tunes thrown in between but they don’t serve the purpose as Dhadak, overall, barely skims beyond the obvious. At 137-minute duration, it’s not as powerful as the original, but could be a good watch for audiences looking for decent fresh faces.