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Dhadak  : Heart-stopping Adaptation
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Friday, July 20, 2018
Shashank Khaitaan
Ishaan Khatter • Janhvi Kapoor • Ashutosh Rana

For those who’ve seen Sairaat, the blockbuster Marathi original, the good news is, you can watch Dhadak and still find it heart-tugging. For those who haven’t seen the regional film, this is the beautifully narrated story of star-crossed lovers. Star crossed only because of the caste divide that’s still so stark in some parts of India.   


Writer-director Shashank Khaitaan takes the general plotline of Sairaat but fills in the original colours of Rajasthan including the dialect. Young Madhukar’s heart skips a beat every time he sees Parthavi. She’s the saucy daughter of the upper caste and aristocratic Ratan Singh who’s standing for elections to the Vidhan Sabha.     


Madhukar’s father makes him promise he’ll stay away from Parthavi because he knows that caste differences will spell trouble for all of them. But Madhu and Parthavi are so irresistibly drawn to each other that a clash is inevitable. The only way to save Madhu from the wrath of Ratan Singh is for Parthavi to run away with him.


After his two earlier outings Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya and Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya, Shashank’s comfort with small town humour and romance once again surfaces. While retaining the friendships and the fun like the swimming sequence in the pond, he writes a different track for the couple on the run. The outline of the many adjustments before they settle down as a happy couple is retained with changes in the details. Though the pace drops at this juncture, it works on a pan-India level and the climax wakes you up with a thud.


There is some very fine camerawork by Vishnu Rao. Ajay-Atul’s music especially Zingaat and the title track have chartbusting appeal.


Most of all, a big welcome to Janhvi Kapoor for a sure-footed debut. She is spunky, spirited and has terrific screen presence. Ishaan Khattar brings his own charm to the role of Madhukar. Kharaj Mukherjee as the benign benefactor in Kolkata, and Ankit Bisht and Shridhar Watsar as Madhu’s friends add to the many pleasant bonds. 


For the spin he has given to the climax, Shashank deserves an extra half star. Even for those who’ve seen the Marathi original, it comes like an unexpected blow, throwing the audience into a stunned silence.


For a beautifully adapted love story, Dhadak gets a 3.5* rating.


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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