Zee Studios and Dharma Productions’ Dhadak (UA) is a love story. It is adapted from all-time Marathi blockbuster Sairaat.
Parthavi (Janhvi) is a rich girl who lives like a princess in Udaipur with her father, Ratan Singh (Ashutosh Rana), mother (Shalini Kapoor) and brother, Roop Kumar (Godaan Kumar). Her father, who runs a huge hotel, is preparing for the elections and is leaving no stone unturned to defeat the ruling party leader, Sulekha Goenka (Balaji Gauri). Parthavi’s college-mate, Madhukar (Ishaan), is not half as rich as her. He lives with his father (Govind Pandey) and mother (Aishwarya Avinash) and helps his father in the modest hotel business. Parthavi and Madhukar like each other very much. However, Madhukar’s father warns him against romancing Parthavi because of the class and caste differences. He even makes Madhukar promise to keep a distance from Parthavi. But Parthavi’s advances make Madhukar for get the promise he had made to his father.
Even as their romance is budding, Parthavi’s family one day catches the two love birds red-handed. While forcing Parthavi to stay at home and not meet or talk to Madhukar, the tyrant Ratan Singh and the hot-headed Roop Kumar have Madhukar and his two friends, Purshottam (Shridhar Watsar) and Gokul (Ankit Bisht), arrested by the police. The three boys are beaten up mercilessly by the police.
Parthavi turns up at the police station while the boys are being taken elsewhere and manages to free the three friends. She elopes with Madhukar even as her dad, brother and others give them a chase.
The middle-class Madhukar and the very rich Parthavi escape to Nagpur to meet Madhukar’s maternal uncle, Arvind (Manish Verma). He packs them off to Calcutta to a friend, Sachin Bhowmick (Kharaj Mukherjee). The young lovers face an extremely tough life and soon, take up jobs. While Madhukar becomes a waiter, Parthavi starts working in a call centre. Both miss their families but there’s no way they can now return to Udaipur.
What happens thereafter? Do Madhukar and Parthavi get married? Do Parthavi’s parents accept Madhukar?
The story is adapted from Sairaat and is about the obstacles that come in the way of the two young lovers. Nagraj Manjule’s story does not offer much novelty as it is about a girl and a boy from different classes and castes. Shashank Khaitan’s screenplay is engaging and interesting. The first half moves at a leisurely pace and, on occasions, becomes very slow. The fun element is limited, because of which boredom creeps in at times. However, the sequence in which Parthavi helps Madhukar and his friends escape from police custody is so wonderful that it brings the audiences to the edge of their seats. This sequence is not just wonderfully written but it is also beautifully executed and, therefore, gets the complete involvement of the viewers.
The screenplay after interval is more engaging because there’s a lot of drama. The portion in which Madhukar and Parthavi have to stay in a run-down room is quite heart-wrenching. This part of the drama completely wins over the ladies and family audience because they totally embrace Parthavi as one of their own after this – because from being a princess, she metamorphoses into a lower middle-class girl, all for the sake of love! The scenes in which Madhukar and Parthavi try to speak over the phone with their parents are very good. The scenes of misunderstandings and fights between Madhukar and Parthavi may be clichéd but they are nice, especially the one on the street. Yet, a couple of more high-voltage emotional sequences could’ve made the audience weep and that would’ve heightened the impact.
The climax has a numbing effect on the viewers as it comes like a bolt from the blue. It is so shocking that the audiences are unable to even react, and take a few seconds to digest what’s happened. While a small section of the audience might have a problem with one part of the climax, that won’t really have an impact on the overall box-office performance of the film because that problem arises in the last couple of minutes, by which time the audience has decided that it has liked the rest of the drama. The way the climax has been shot makes the impact even more solid.
Ishaan is outstanding in his debut Bollywood film. He has an endearing boyish charm and such an easy-going and realistic style of acting that he will soon become a darling of the public. His acting is first-rate, whether in light, dramatic, melodramatic, romantic or emotional scenes. His dance is extraordinary and full of energy. Janhvi looks very pretty and acts with such aplomb that it’s difficult to believe, this is her debut film. She has a distinct style and voice, both of which help her come across as a supremely confident newcomer. If she’s cute in romantic and light scenes, she is simply splendid in dramatic, emotional and melodramatic ones. She, too, is a very graceful dancer. Ashutosh Rana is good as Ratan Singh. Shridhar Watsar and Ankit Bisht lend decent support as Madhukar’s friends. Godaan Kumar makes his presence felt as Janhvi’s brother, Roop Kumar. As her mother, Shalini Kapoor is fair. Govind Pandey leaves a mark in the role of Madhukar’s father. As Madhukar’s mother, Aishwarya Avinash is efficient. Manish Verma provides decent support as Madhukar’s maternal uncle, Arvind. Kharaj Mukherjee is endearing as Sachin Bhowmick. Shubhavi Harshal Choksey is okay as Promila Bhowmick. Ishika Gajneja (as Ambika), Aditya Kumar (as Devilal), Janhavi Dave (as Anuradha), Balaji Gauri (as Sulekha Goenka), Vishwanath Chatterjee (as police inspector Shikhawat), master Mohammad Hasan Salim Khan (as little Aditya), Hempushpak (as the college principal) and the rest lend the desired support.
Shashank Khaitan’s direction is very good, some scenes showing his mastery over the medium. However, he could’ve – and should’ve – added a good dose of entertainment value in the form of more light moments in the film. Ajay-Atul’s music is good. The ‘Jhingaat’ song is a super-hit. The ‘Pehli baar’ and title songs are fairly well-tuned. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are easy on the lips. Picturisation of the ‘Jhingaat’ song (by Farah Khan) is extraordinary. Other song picturisations (by Tushar Kalia) are good. John Stuart Eduri’s background music is lovely. Vishnu Rao’s cinematography is splendid. He captures the essence and beauty of Udaipur and Calcutta very effectively. Shashank Tere’s production designing is of a high standard. Monisha R. Baldawa’s editing is pretty sharp.
On the whole, Dhadak is a good entertainer and will emerge victorious at the ticket windows. The outstanding performances of Ishaan and Janhvi could take the film to the ‘A’ class level too.