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Dhanak  : Road To Nowhere
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Friday, June 17, 2016
Drama
Nagesh Kukunoor
Vipin Sharma, Fllora Saini, Suresh Menon, Vijay Maurya, Vibha Chhibber

What are the delights of Rajasthan that its tourism department regular peddles? A delicious sweet called ghewar. A landscape with miles and miles of desert sand. Colourful clothes and rustic music. One would think Kesariya balama would have been more appropriate than a sufi number here to showcase Rajasthan but Dhanak prefers the beats of Dama dam mast kalandar for an Indo-West fusion number.

 

But that’s not my grouse against Dhanak. Looking at a tourism brochure would probably be a more satisfying experience than Nagesh Kukunoor’s contrived story of two orphaned siblings who trek across Rajasthan to meet Shah Rukh Khan. Pari, the sister, is the superstar’s fan and believes that he will help restore Chhotu, her blind brother’s eyesight. Kukunoor throws in a cruel aunt in the old classic mould of an evil stepmother and an effete uncle who can’t protect his dead brother’s kids.

 

As if those basic clichés don’t suffice, Nagesh Kukunoor piles on many more on this 116-minute journey that’s dusty and doesn’t engage the viewer at any pit stop. After the usual touristy visuals and meetings with good-hearted locals who prop up conveniently at every intersection to help the kids, does Shah Rukh Khan ultimately put in a guest appearance?

 

Well, a formless angel does appear and all’s well with Pari and Chhotu and their uncle who also turns up at the end. So is it worth going on this road trip that has nothing new to share?

 

What makes it somewhat endurable is that Krrish Chhabria and Hetal Gada as Chhotu and Pari, and established character actor Vipin Sharma as the uncle, perform their parts with ease. But that’s really not worth the ticket money.

 

For a theme that’s noble but not novel and a narrative that’s as dry as the deserts of Rajasthan, Dhanak gets a 2* rating.

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author

 

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