‘DHAAKAD’ REVIEW | 20 May, 2022

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Soham Rockstar Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., Zee Studios, Kamal Mukut, Sohel Maklai Productions and Asylum Films’ Dhaakad (A) is an out-and-out action film. Agni (Kangana Ranaut) is a secret service agent who is in search of Rudraveer (Arjun Rampal) who works in partnership with Rohini (Divya Dutta). Rudraveer and Rohini are into the business of human trafficking. They have young girls kidnapped. They push these girls into the flesh trade. Rudraveer also owns coal mines.

Agni has had a traumatic childhood. What her search leads to forms the crux of the drama. Is she able to resolve her traumatic past? Does she track down Rudraveer?

Razneesh Razy Ghai, Finish Ravindra and Chintan Gandhi have penned a story replete with clichés. There is not even a hint of freshness or newness in the story which abounds in action. The screenplay, written by Razneesh Razy Ghai and Rajiv G. Menon, with additional screenplay by Ritesh Shah, is not any better than the extremely weak story. The drama unfolds in the most predictable fashion, leaving the viewers as mere spectators who couldn’t care less about what’s in store for them. Rather than feeling involved in the drama, the audiences watch it unfold with scant interest. There is so much action and gruesome violence in the film that the viewers get the feeling that the lengthy action scenes are because there is nothing else to show. The kidnapped girls singing the lullaby makes no sense. The revelation about why Agni’s parents had been murdered and by whom is so weak that the ‘why’ is actually laughable! Dialogues by Ritesh Shah are terribly ordinary and of a very mediocre level. An example of how much thought has gone into the scripting: in one scene, Agni’s boss (Shaswata Chatterjee) tells her that he had withheld a piece of information from her as he did not want her emotions to interfere with her professional life. Immediately thereafter, Agni asks her boss, why he had withheld the information from her. Pray, the boss has, even without her asking, revealed the reason for withholding the information; then why on earth is she asking him the question which has already been answered even before she has put the question to him?

Kangana Ranaut tries to put life and soul into the character of Agni but is unable to rise above the insipid script. Except for action and stunts, she does not have much else to do. She has worked hard on the action scenes but to no avail. Her overall peformance is average but that’s because of her unexciting character which she is not able to do much justice to. Arjun Rampal fails to impress. At times, his dialogues are not even clear. Shaswata Chatterjee lends able support as Agni’s boss. Divya Dutta is quite good as Rohini but there’s nothing about her character or performance which stands out. Sharib Hashmi is okay as secret service agent Fazal. Baby Dishita Jain is okay as Taira. Mesterhazi Gyula (as Fyodor), Punit Bhatia (as Agni’s father), Sejal Jaiswal (as Agni’s mother), Mihir Rathore (as Birju), Gavriil Gergiou (as Samsher), Daniel Viktor Nagy (as Sheikh), Tumul Balyan (as Pratap), Sandor Lack (as Seagull) and the others lend ordinary support.

Razneesh Razy Ghai’s direction is dull. His narration is so weak that it fails to involve the audiences or even give them a sense of feeling for the characters. Musically, only the ‘She’s on fire’ song, written and composed by Badshah, is well-tuned. The other songs (composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Dhruv Ghanekar) are dull. Lyrics (Amitabh Bhattacharya and Ishita Arun) are so-so. Song picturisations are ordinary. Dhruv Ghanekar’s background music is not impactful. Tetsuo Nagata’s cinematography is alright but so many action scenes have been shot in minimal lighting that they cause a strain on the viewers’ eyes. Action and stunt scenes (by Sea Oh Young, Hitz international action specialists and Parvez Shaikh) are too gruesome and too lengthy. They will put the female audiences off. Jyoti Tulsyan and Shravan Ravikant Patil’s production designing is ordinary. Rameshwar S. Bhagat’s editing needed to be sharper.

On the whole, Dhaakad will meet with a disastrous fate as it offers hardly any entertainment value. Its very desi title hardly goes with the ultra-modern outfits and hairstyles of the lead protagonist whom the title describes. As a result, the title won’t appeal to the urban audience while the heroine’s get-up will not go down well with the audience in smaller centres.

Released on 20-5-’22 at Inox (daily 6 shows) and other cinemas of Bombay by Zee Studios. Publicity: good, quantitatively-speaking; weak, qualitatively-speaking. Opening: terribly poor. …….Also released all over. opening was poor everywhere.