Ahan Shetty’s launch film Tadap, directed by Milan Luthria, is problematic and unbearably dull. The film is an official adaptation of the Telugu film RX 100. It is a bit disheartening to see filmmakers going after such sexist ideas even in 2021. I am not saying women should always be portrayed as good human beings in films. They are human beings with all kinds of desires. But creating a plastic and shallow version of a female from a male perspective and glorifying a senseless guy’s obsession as true love is an irritating thing to sit through.
Ishana is our hero, and he was raised by Daddy, a close aid of MLA Damodar. When Damodar’s daughter Ramisa returns to her home from London, she sees Ishana. They both started to see each other, and gradually the relationship became serious. But the tale takes a drastic shift when it is revealed that Damodar was planning to get his daughter married to someone else. How this decision changes Ishana, and the consequences of that are what we see in Tadap.
As I said, it’s a problematic and murky space. SPOILER ALERT! Yes, what the girl did is a heartless thing. But the hero is so obsessed with this girl and feels like an extremely controlling guy that a part of your mind would think, thank God she didn’t end up with him. And the other issue is with the way the writing romanticizes the old school thinking that sex equals love and promise. Rather than focusing on the nymphomania and using it as a twist, the film simply lingers on to its sexist perspective. Rajat Arora even makes an elderly lady say misogynistic lines.
With his physique, Ahan Shetty is convincing as this toxic force. But when it comes to emotions, one can clearly see him trying too much with the face rather than flexing only the required muscles. Being this launch vehicle, Tadap is desperate to make him this macho guy. We even have him dancing (can’t really call it dancing) to Mauja Hi Mauja with a bare chest. Tara Sutaria yet again gets a character that just can’t go beyond the eye candy aspect. Ramisa is the character that navigates the story’s tone. Yet, she is portrayed as this old-school Hindi movie character. Talent powerhouses like Saurabh Shukla and Kumud Mishra play these typical mentor and father figures.
Even if you ignore the problematic stuff in the whole concept, Tadap just doesn’t have any kind of depth to its credit. Milan Luthria follows that outdated way of pitching stories with too much glossy stuff. Tara Sutaria in Tadap looks as if she decided to use the same dresses she wore in her debut film. And one song and two kisses are enough for Luthria and scriptwriter Rajat Arora to establish “truly madly” type love. The only reason for you to hate Ramisa is the fact that she used Ishana. Calling Ishana’s obsession for Ramisa as true love is clearly a terrible judgment. At one point, Saurabh Shukla’s Daddy reminds Ishana of how messed up he is as a lover. But Ishana’s aspiration to be the next Arjun Reddy makes this “passionate” love story a stressful experience for those on-screen and those watching it on the screen. The only saving grace for the film is Pritam’s music which made even the silliest of scenes a little bit likable.
When Ishana learns that Ramisa’s wedding is happening, he is in a quarry to pick a load full of stones. Milan Luthria uses this sequence to place Ahan Shetty as this hero figure. You get to see Ishana riding a motorcycle while blasts are happening all around him. Well, I think people should stop making fun of Telugu movies for exaggeration. Tadap is extremely superficial, and I think Milan Luthria and Rajat Arora still think rhyming dialogues are enough to make appealing movies.
Creating a plastic and shallow version of a female from a male perspective and glorifying a senseless guy's obsession as true love is an irritating thing to sit through.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended