Dhadak, the debut movie of star kids Ishaan Khatter and Janhvi Kapoor has come amidst a lot of criticism and even after release has received mainly mixed reviews.
The fact that the Dharma Production movie was a remake/adaptation/copy, take your pick, of the much loved and critically acclaimed Marathi movie Sairat, had already set expectations for it at a sky-high limit.
Sairat was extremely loved by the audience and critics alike due to the way it sensitively and beautifully showed the caste problem that still exists in India and how prevalent is.
Nagraj Manjule the director of the Marathi film was applauded for working in the usual Romeo-Juliet trope into the Indian context and show a nice romantic film that the everyman could easily relate to.
When news came out that Dharma Production was remaking it for the Hindi audience, jokes were made abound how they are probably going to ruin the gritty and local feel of it and make it a spectacle that most of their films are.
And…. They were mostly right, after watching both the movies, I can safely say that Dhadak is nothing more than a spectacle riding on the coattails of an amazing film but not having even an ounce of the plot that the original had.
Let me tell you all of how exactly the makers of Dhadak completely ruined the film and entirely wasted their young and promising leads:
#1. Inexperienced Director
Shashank Khaitan is the director of Dhadak, and the only 2 films he’s made till now are both Dharma production films such as the 2014 release Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania and the 2017 Badrinath Ki Dulhania.
Yeah… I don’t think I need to explain anything more and the 2 movie names pretty much give away his directing style.
To give such a young and inexperienced director who has only made very light-hearted, typical Bollywood masala romantic films, such a sensitive and serious plot was a big mistake in my opinion.
He obviously could not handle the heaviness of it all and whitewashed the entire film off everything that truly made it good in the first place.
#2. Almost Complete Removal Of Caste Issue
It is said to be a remake, but is it really a remake? Because they very conveniently took over the basic plot, but chose to pass over all the serious and important issues that Sairat originally dealt with.
Tragically, the caste issue was barely addressed and it was made more of economic class issue where the girl Parathvi comes from the rich upper class and the boy Madhukar comes from a lower income class.
Even there, it was hilarious to see how they preferred to show that difference by simply just putting Madhu’s mother in a simple cotton saree and him speaking broken English.
The restaurant that his father runs is literally on the banks of the river which is a prime real estate, so wondering how exactly is he coming from a poor household?
Really Khaittan and Dharma, you could not actually show a poor household?
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#3. Wasting Of Leads
To be honest, Ishaan Khatter really looks promising as an actor who can easily carry over the whole film without much problem.
He is energetic, emotive and has a good grip over dialogues that was interesting to watch.
Janhvi Kapoor might take some time, but I will make that judgement over watching a few more films of her, but for right now, I believe I can look past the blank eyes and the strenuous way she would show emotions.
I genuinely felt that they really wasted the leads and had the director taken a bit more time actually on the actors instead of shooting a tourism ad for Udaipur.
And sorry to say, but I absolutely do not see any type of chemistry between the leads and felt as if they just jumped into the romance part waayyyy too quickly.
#4. Not Allowing The Audience To Connect With The Characters
This was perhaps the thing that really failed the movie for me, since everything else I could have overlooked, but the complete apathy I had for the characters just ruined the film for me.
The makers spent absolutely no time setting up the characters or allowing the audience to connect with them. First, they rushed through the entire falling in love thing where suddenly the boy is madly in love with the girl and then the next scene the girl is also reciprocating.
Then, they cheated us out of feeling any kind of pain or sympathy for the runaway teenagers by giving them a safe and idyllic safe place where the hostel owners are warm and friendly and the couple have a nice, clean place to stay at.
Perhaps the biggest injustice was done to Parthavi’s character since nowhere are we shown any hint of a character or personality. Sure she is a rich brat and looks beautiful, but what else?
Archi from Sairat was bold and domineering, vain with the power she knew she held because of her status and had no qualms of making others do her bidding.
Parthavi though stumbles here and there trying to show a powerful attitude that she is clearly uncomfortable and unused to and is shown as more the timid and shy daughter of the tyrannical father.
Archi’s character journey from a vain and powerful brat to someone to realises what the reality of life is was beautiful to watch.
The most that Parthavi had a crisis moment was when she did not know how to wash clothes, besides that we never see any moment where she is struggling with the complete 180 in lifestyle her life had taken.
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