‘Dhadak’ Movie Review: Ishaan-Janhvi’s love saga is full of innocence and old-school romance

Directed By: Shashank Khaitan
Produced By: Dharma Productions
Cast: Janhvi Kapoor, Ishaan Khatter
Duration: 2h 30m
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 3.5 stars

How will be this ‘Sairat‘ remake was the initial thought in my mind while I stepped inside the theater to watch Karan Johar‘s production ‘Dhadak’. Considering that Karan was launching two new faces in Shahid Kapoor‘s brother Ishaan Khatter and Sridevi‘s daughter Janhvi Kapoor, just like Nagraj Manjule did with Rinku Rajguru and Akash Thosar in 2016.

No, I am not going to compare the 2016 hit Marathi venture with Janhvi-Ishaan’s labor of love. As ‘Sairat’ had its own raw touch and feel with characters with Marathi dialect and storyline set in rural Maharashtra, ‘Dhadak’ takes us on a trip to the land of sand dunes, Rajasthan, with the perfect Mewadi dialect. I will not talk about who aced it well but it surely connects us with the plot of this love story.

Not wasting much of your time, let us glance through the minute aspects of this saga, one point at a time.

Plot

Set in the land of palaces i.e Udaipur, the film begins with tickling our funny bones as Madhukar (Ishaan), son of a small restaurant owner, daydreams about his love or say love at first sight Parthavi (Janhvi Kapoor), daughter of a powerful politician, Ratan Singh (Ashutosh Rana). The love saga of the two begins with the first scene of the film.

While the cute nok-jhok of Madhukar and Parthavi runs through the first half, side by side; we witness the calm before the storm- which is the beginning of the casteism, societal and parental pressure and political inclination.

As much as the half piece of this cake focuses on the two head over heel in love couple, it throws light on the impeccable of bonding of Madhukar with his friends Purshottam and Gokul.

On the other hand, the next hour of Janhvi-Ishaan’s love story gains momentum as we witness the battle between love and castism. How the two move from Mumbai to Nagpur and then to Kolkata, in order to find shelter for themselves, with a constant fear in mind of them being caught, builds the crux of the second half of this love story.

But as much as the second half seems promising initially, Janhvi-Ishaan’s love saga takes a back burner with an abrupt end, which ultimately left me thinking whether it will have a sequel to it or maybe the director, Shashank Khaitan was short of words to complete this love-story?

Performances

Ishaan Khatter steals the thunder in this one with his comic timing, natural acting, and the Mewari dialect. The actor doesn’t look like a one film old wonder as he holds the fort with his charming personality. In almost every scene you would connect with his eyes while his action does the rest.

Coming to his friends Purshottam(Shridhar Watsar) and Gokul (Ankit Bisht), these two are playing their part in the best way possible. Purshottam will make you go ‘aww he is so cute’ every time he appears on the big screen. This trio’s friendship is one of the major highlights of this saga.

Moving on to the Heroine of the film Janhvi Kapoor; she does her bit with class and is pleasant to one’s eyes. However, she fails to draw out attention due to her poor dialogue delivery in few scenes.

Ashutosh Rana, who plays Janhvi’s father, lacks the cruelty which is needed for his character, though he stands out in some scenes, whereas, Aditya Kumar, who plays Janhvi’s brother (Roop), has a short lifespan in the movie, yet has a fair play.

Direction and Cinematography

Shashank Khaitan who has directed films like ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’ and ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya’ in the past, has done a great job with his vision of capturing the cutesy love story.

Vishnu Rao, who is the cinematographer of this saga, captures the picturesque locations of Udaipur and Kolkata, but somehow fails while capturing the close up shots. However, he manages to capture the innocence of the two leads.

Music

The first half of the film showcases three major songs- ‘Dhadak title track’, ‘Zingaat’ and ‘Pehli Baar’ were too much for me to handle. Still, the three melodies blend with the plot of the film.

‘Vaara Re’ which is played in the second half, is equally good.

You might not have liked ‘Zingaat’ but once the song is played on the screen you will surely groove to its beats.

Overall the music by Ajay-Atul is praiseworthy.

What’s Good

Ishaan Khatter’s natural on-screen act.

Janhvi Kapoor’s innocence.

Crisp Storyline.

Bang-on Music.

What’s Bad

Janhvi’s poor dialogue delivery in few scenes.

Placing of too many songs in the first half.

The slow pace in few scenes of the film.

Final Verdict

Go and watch Janhvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter’s labour of love with a fresh thought of not comparing the same with ‘Sairat’. They will surely leave you wanting for more.

Watch the trailer here: