Director: Shashank Khaitan
Cast: Ishaan Khatter, Janhvi Kapoor, Ashutosh Rana
Shashank Khaitan directed Dhadak is the remake of Marathi film, Sairat. Even though the basic premise is the same, Khaitan has made his film go through some cosmetic changes, in a bid to perhaps suit the palate of the Hindi film audience.
Khaitan’s lead protagonists are the young, assertive Parthavi (Jahnavi Kapoor) and naive and lovestruck Madhu (Ishaan Khattar), Madhu is smitten by his college mate Parthavi and even though she likes him, she plays hard to get. In this age-old rich-girl-poor-boy drama set in Udaipur, Parthavi belongs to a powerful family with a father, Ratan Singh (Ashutosh Rana) who’s ruthless and politically ambitious. Madhu, on the other hand, is from a lower caste, humble family. Earnest Madhu finally manages to capture Parthavi’s heart, and the ecstasy of the young love soon turns into agony as they get caught by Parthavi’s family. What follows is a heart in the mouth, roller coaster ride for the young couple in the run.
Khaitan tries to stay true to the spirit and energy of the original film and to some extent manages to capture the passion of the young couple. However, he fails to recreate what must have been Sairat’s biggest strengths, the endearing naiveté and innocence of the lead pair and the organic setting. Udaipur looks spectacular in Khaitan’s film but it fails to charm after a point when you are served the same cliched kothis, colourful sarees and unnecessary presence of assorted foreigners just hanging around.
Ishaan Khattar is brilliant. As someone who’s character graph goes drastically from being a young lad hopelessly in love, to someone who’s running scared for his life, Ishaan doesn’t falter even for a second. Even though it is just his second film, Ishaan impresses with an effortless performance. Jahnavi has a strong character sketch and she manages to deliver it with some gusto. She falters once in a while with her Rajasthani dialect, but manages to compensate with her sensitive performance, especially in the second half. Two actors, Ankit Bisht and Shridhar Watsar, who play Madhu’s friends give good support. Ashutosh Rana is convincingly menacing, but is stuck in a stereotypical role.
The climax of the film is a disappointment. Sairat’s climax shook you so hard that it was impossible to shake it off your psyche for a long time after watching it. However, Khaitan for some reason gives you a watered down version of the same, thus diluting the effect.
In what could be called a clever move, Khaitan has retained most of the music of the original film and thus giving you a chance to listen to the fabulous music once again. The now iconic number ‘Jhingat’ song misses the energy of the original, but still is a delight.
Watch this film for the lead couple and also because not often you get to watch a good love story.