When Sairat directed by Nagraj Manjlule ends, the pain it creates in your heart is humongous. And the reason why that movie was able to make us feel that pain was its deep-rooted characters and the way it utilized its elaborate length of nearly three hours to show us the struggle of the couple. What is severely missing in Shashank Khaitan’s version of Sairat, titled Dhadak is the struggle of the couple to rise from the ashes. Everyone might be having a point that they have minimized the depth of the caste issue in the Hindi adaptation, but what I personally felt as a demerit was the minimization of the struggle.

So the story is set in Udaipur where we have our hero Madhukar Bagla who has this huge crush on Parthavi Singh, the daughter of an influential politician Ratan Singh. After falling in love with each other the couple had to go through a storm of events which made them run away from Udaipur to Calcutta. Dhadak shows us how the couple manages to recover from emotional trauma and build a life from the scratch.

If you are someone who has not seen Sairat, don’t go by this review. The climax in Dhadak is also pretty hard hitting and I was able to hear the shock of another viewer who was four rows ahead of me. But that shock, in my opinion, is more like the shock you will have when you sort of stumble upon something. What Manjule managed to do in Sairat was that he invested time in characters and their struggle in an extremely realistic way that people might weep seeing the conclusion. Sairat was a nationwide sensation when it got released and it made a 100 crores plus collection from a budget of Rs 4 crores. I am not someone who gets excited about collection figures. But the reason why I mentioned it is because the people were completely okay with that kind of treatment. In Dhadak they can’t even show poverty properly. The place Madhu and Parthavi get to live in Kolkata is 100 times better than the place where Archie and Parshya had to live.

Ishaan Khatter has already proved his caliber in Beyond the clouds and here also he performs with earnestness to grab our empathy. Jhanvi Kapoor is irregular. In the initial portions where her character is dominating over the male lead, she is quite cool. But when it comes to the crucial emotional portions she is a bit too shaky. Well, it’s too quick to judge and I hope she can play roles with diversity.  Ankit Bisht and Shridhar Watsar as the two friends of Madhu are the kind of friends we have seen in the Dulhaniya series from Shashank. Ashutosh Rana as Ratan Singh was good in his familiar antagonist avatar.

In my view, Sairat isn’t a film that you can place in a luxurious setup. Shashank Khaitan’s Dhadak has so much of visual glamour or eye candy feel which a plot like this doesn’t really demand. The politician father of the heroine in Sairat looked authentic and what we get in Dhadak is the typical Hindi villain. Madhu, the hero is running a heritage restaurant along with his father and that makes him totally different from Parshya. They have cut short a lot of crucial portions and that makes me wonder whether Khaitan who wrote the screenplay understood the relevance of that entire “lag” in Sairat. The couple running away from the police and the way they survived the initial days in Hyderabad etc were all impactful in Sairat and here in Dhadak, everything looks so easy. In case if you guys feel that I am comparing way too much, I have a reason to believe that the makers were also up for that. The key suspense in Sairat was exposed or hinted in the midway point itself in Dhadak. Ajay Atul combo’s music is definitely good. The background score is a bit excessive. The cinematography from Vishnu Rao is more eye candy, something we sort of expected when Dharma got associated with the project.

To feel for the character’s in Dhadak, one shouldn’t watch it’s original. Because Shashank Khaitan has built this good-looking version of a caste and honor killing oriented Romeo and Juliet saga by reducing the depth of its foundation.

Rating: 2/5

Final Thoughts

Shashank Khaitan has built this good-looking version of a caste and honor killing oriented Romeo and Juliet saga by reducing the depth of its foundation.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.

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