Dhadak is a body of Sairat but has its own soul. Film treatment is very different compared to Sairat, film lacks that rawness of sairat.
Dhadak movie cast: Ishaan Khatter, Janhvi Kapoor, Ashutosh Rana, Kharaj Mukherjee, Aditya Kumar
Dhadak movie director: Shashank Khaitan
Two years ago, Nagraj Manjule’s Marathi film Sairat took the classic Romeo and Juliet trope of forbidden love and gave it a rural twist. Even with a running length of almost three hours, the audience went along on the journey with teenagers Archi and Parshya, played with surprising skill by newbies Rinku Rajguru and Akash Thosar.
While Parshya and Archi’s love story in Sairat was made with great honesty, realism and depth, giving us a perspective of the deep rooted prejudices in our society, Dhadak touches upon them too, but it merely skims the surface.
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.
Soon, the young lovers on the run, moving through Mumbai and Nagpur and settling in Kolkata. There they start to build a new life, renting a tiny room, Madhukar working as a waiter, Parthavi as a helpline employee. Khaitan, who captured with some accuracy the rhythms of Uttar Pradesh life and speech in Badrinath Ki Dulhania, fumbles here. Udaipur, a city with delightful wall art, is reduced to a set of tourist clichés: statutes, havelis, TV soap framing and a surfeit of meaningless aerial shots. Most of the dialogue is in Rajasthani-inflected Hindi, though it’s a nice touch when the action moves out of the state and Khaitan allows characters to speak in Marathi and Bengali without providing subtitles, allowing us to share in the isolation of the couple.
Shashank tweaks the climax to prevent the film from being a replica of the original. But, this was one of the biggest letdowns. While the climax does manage to jolt you; it fails to have a lingering effect, unlike Sairat, where those 10 seconds of gut-wrenching silence after the tiny, bloody footprint cuts of the child leaves you numb for a very long time along with the haunting theme music during the closing credits.
However, it will be an entertaining watch for those who haven’t seen Sairat. They will enjoy the polished-up and playfulness of the love saga woven around honour killing. The ending could have been better if Janhvi would have worked on her expressions. Dhadak would have really been impactful and a big change in the commercial cinema if it would have shown what it means to belong to a lower caste. A big banner and starry promotions have failed to show what Nagraj Manjule single-handedly succeeded.
1. Huge disappointment in comparison to Sairat
2. Tried to change the narrative a bit but failed
3. Jhanvi looks good but lacks acting skills
4. Ishaan Khattar acts good but lacks persona.
5. Music average
6. Direction Average.
Audience expressions after watching Dhadak: