When ‘Sairat’ released back in 2016, not a single trade pundit expected it to be as huge as it went on to be. Punjabi, Kannada, Bengali, Odia and now Hindi – people of every language wanted to see ‘Sairat’. Dharma backed ‘Dhadak’, Khaitan came onboard and the rest is history!
‘Dhadak’ starts off on a similar note as ‘Sairat’; there is a cricket competition in the original but Shashank Khaitan opts for food competition in the remake. Madhukar (Ishaan Khatter) gets introduced to Parthavi (Janhvi Kapoor) as he receives his winning prize on stage. Madhukar is the son of an ordinary man who owns a hotel in Udaipur and Parthavi is the daughter of a hot-shot politician Ratan Singh (Ashutosh Rana) who is on the verge of winning an election.
Parthavi expresses her love to Madhukar and both of them somewhere deep down their hearts know this isn’t a right decision to make. But, love is never a decision that’s in our control and they both run away from Udaipur to get lost. They embark to Mumbai and Nagpur to finally settle down in Kolkata. This is where they start knowing themselves better. The rest of the story revolves around how both of them accept their new life and what changes it.
‘Dhadak’ has its soul at the right place and that’s why it emerges to be an entertainer. From the day it was announced, we knew comparisons are bound to happen and this is where the real disadvantage of the movie is. For example, there is a kissing scene after the song “Zingaat” where they get exposed to their parents. ‘Dhadak’ follows the exact shocking moment and anyone who has seen ‘Sairat’ was prepared for it. One will know beforehand when the blow is about to come and that’s what ‘Dhadak’ lacks.
Nagraj Manjule’s commentary had a deep impact, Shashank Khaitan falls a bit short in exploring the unilluminated portion of the story. Shanty turns into a room, the bottling factory turns into a gleaming Just Dial office, the dosa stall turns into a big restaurant; Nagraj Manjule’s earthy ‘Sairat’ turns into Karan Johar’s glittery ‘Dhadak’. We are not saying these factors affect the screenplay, it’s just that one misses the soil-like presence of the original.
Ishaan Khatter’s debut in wonder-director Majid Majidi’s ‘Beyond The Clouds’ presented him as someone who is not just a star-kid but has immense talent to go places. ‘Beyond The Clouds’ was for a niche market but with ‘Dhadak’ he proves to the mainstream audience that how he isn’t just another product of nepotism. He is natural and never in any scene, you will feel he crosses the line to ham.
Despite Ishaan Khatter’s memorable performance, the biggest takeaway is Janhvi Kapoor. To portray Archie you needed someone who’s low-profile, someone who just comes around from nowhere and wins your heart but Janhvi didn’t fit in any of those sections. She was omnipresent in the media before the movie was announced and was unnecessarily trolled after the trailer was out. But, the trollers had their day and now the tables have turned favouring Janhvi. She’s just about perfect in emotional scenes and for a debutante, it’s a hard feat to achieve.
Ashutosh Rana is fine as the corrupt politician but his character is sketched very lazily. We’ve seen such characters in past, from ‘Raajneeti’ (where it was done exceptionally well) to ‘Gabbar is Back’ (where it was pretty routine). Had it not been for Ashutosh Rana, the character of Ratan Singh would’ve been of no value to the film. Special mention to Shridhar Watsar, the dwarf guy who plays the best friend to Madhukar. Shridhar is the reason for all the humour in the film. Amidst the tension and the drama, it’s his character who brings the house down.
“A movie is remembered when its music is remembered.” The musical duo of Ajay-Atul orchestrate magic once again, after ‘Sairat’. There is a total of four songs in the album, out of which the music of two is a direct pick-up from the original. “Zingat” and “Pehli Baar” make you feel the nostalgia of ‘Sairat’ but at the same time, sound very different from the original. The title track of ‘Dhadak’ is the best of the all and Ajay Gogavale’s rusty voice does the trick. “Vaara Re” is the unreleased song and its placement in the film makes it even more special. Shashank Khaitan has penned or should we say, modified the story for ‘Dhadak’. Vishnu Rao’s cinematography is debatable as he captures Udaipur at its beautiful best but fails to justify the charm of Kolkata.
On the whole, ‘Dhadak’ is not the case of old wine in a new bottle; it’s when someone takes the old wine, mulls it with some more delicious ingredients and present it in a new bottle. If you haven’t watched ‘Sairat’ yet, don’t miss this. If you have watched ‘Sairat’, don’t miss this.