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Fox Star Studios and Vishesh Films’ Sadak 2 is a sequel to Sadak (1991). It is the story of Aryaa (Alia Bhatt) who is on a journey to Kailash to seek Lord Shiva’s blessings on her 21st birthday. The cabbie driving her is Ravi Kishore (Sanjay Dutt) who is suicidal after the accidental death of his wife, Pooja (Pooja Bhatt). Accompanying Aryaa is her boyfriend, Vishal (Aditya Roy Kapur). Aryaa has launched a movement against fake Godmen because her step-mother, Nandini (Priyanka Bose), has given away all the wealth of her biological mother to a Godman, Gyan Prakash (Makarand Deshpande). Aryaa holds Nandini responsible for her mother’s death. Nandini, who is also Aryaa’s maternal aunt, had married her father, Yogesh Desai (Jisshu Sengupta), soon after her mother’s death and had also lured him into becoming a disciple of Gyan Prakash. While Aryaa loves her father, she is out to seek revenge on her step-mother. The step-mother, Nandini, has made the world believe that Aryaa is mentally unstable. In the course of her journey to Kailash, Aryaa develops a great bond with Ravi Kishore.
The story and screenplay, penned by Mahesh Bhatt and Suhrita Sengupta, are not at all convincing. As the drama unfolds, the audience realises that the two writers have taken recourse to clichéd situations which also belong to an era gone by. Resultantly, the story and screenplay fail to create any impact whatsoever. Even otherwise, there are several drawbacks in the story and screenplay. For one, nobody seems to be normal in this drama. Everybody is either quirky or behaves rather weirdly or abnormally. Secondly, every important character in the drama has a back story, and these back stories are lengthy and so boring that they test the viewers’ patience. Although the crux of the story is that it is an exposé on fake Godmen, the justification for exposing them is simply not enough. Aryaa’s reason for exposing them is sought to be dismissed off in some dialogues, thereby diluting the impact. The drama conveniently forgets Aryaa’s mission against Godmen in general and concentrates on just one Godman, Gyan Prakash, making it appear as if Aryaa was against just Gyan Prakash (due to personal reasons) rather than against Godmen in general. Even Ravi Kishore’s rants about ending his life get on the viewers’ nerves. The mythological touch in the climax scene between Ravi and Yogesh Desai sticks out like a sore thumb in the drama, because of which it sort of loses its value. The dialogues, written by Mahesh Bhatt and Suhrita Sengupta, with additional dialogues by Pushpdeep Bhardwaj, are not upto the mark. Some of them are unnecessarily intense and camouflaged in flowery language to give the impression that they are weighty. But they are actually poor.
Sanjay Dutt acts with conviction as cabbie Ravi Kishore. He leaves a fine impact. Alia Bhatt is splendid as Aryaa. She lives the character and acts with such effortless ease that it’s a delight to watch her perform. Her breakdown in the end, during the press conference, brings a lump in people’s throats simply because of her outstanding acting rather than the scripting. Aditya Roy Kapur is fairly good in the role of Vishal alias Munna Chauhan. Jisshu Sengupta is quite wooden as Aryaa’s father, Yogesh Desai. He has just one expression plastered on his face, whatever the situation. Makarand Deshpande resorts to theatrics as Godman Gyan Prakash. He is alright. Priyanka Bose is so-so as Nandini Desai. Mohan Kapur is average as police inspector Rajesh. Gulshan Grover has his moments as Dilip Hathkatta. But he gets very limited scope. Akshay Anand is fairly nice as Ravi’s friend, John. Pooja Bhatt has a couple of scenes which are alright. Anil George (as Om), Akash Khurana (as the psychiatrist), Digvijay Purohit (as Sunil), Himanshu Bhatt (in the role of Gaurav), Chrisann Pereira (as Naina Das), Jehangir Karkaria (as Dr. Dastur), and John Gardner lend routine support. Others fit the bill but hardly create an impact.
Mahesh Bhatt’s direction, like the script, belongs to an era gone by. His narration is tedious and bores more than it entertains. Music is good. ‘Tum se hi’ (by Ankit Tiwari) and ‘Ishq kamaal’ (by Sunil Jeet) are very melodious. The other two songs (‘Shukriya’ by Jeet Ganguli, and ‘Dil ki purani’ by Samid Mukherjee-Urvi) are also fairly nice numbers. Lyrics (Rashmi Virag for ‘Shukriya’, Vijay Vijawatt for ‘Dil ki purani’, Shabbir Ahmed for ‘Tum se hi’, Sunil Jeet and Shalu Vaish for ‘Ishq kamaal’) are all meaningful. Bosco-Caesar’s choreography hardly deserves separate mention. Sandeep Chowta’s background music is dull. Jay L. Patel’s camerawork is good. The outdoor locations are eye-filling. Abbas Ali Moghul’s action and stunts are functional, at best. Production designing (by Amit Ray and Subrata Chakraborty) and art direction (by Pallab Chanda) are quite alright. Sandeep Kurup’s editing could’ve been tighter. The title has no relevance to the story.
On the whole, Sadak 2 is not at all a worthy sequel to the hit Sadak. Had the film been released in the cinemas, it would have met with a disastrous fate. Even now, it will not be liked by the audience.
Released today (28-8-’20) on Disney+ Hotstar.