Janhvi Kapoor, Ishaan Khatter, Ashutosh Rana, Kharaj Mukherjee, Aishwarya Narkar
Shashank Khaitan

It is an uphill task when you remake an enormously successful film within two years of its release. Nagraj Manjule’s Sairaat, originally a Marathi film, has a lot of resonance in its character and script through the core of India. What Shashank Khaitan and Karan Johar have done, is to give it yet another language and expand its horizons further. As their contribution to the magnum opus, they have added more finesse and glamour to the script. But Shubarna Mukerji Shu wonders if the magic and innocence of the original would survive this generosity.

The story begins with giving us glimpses of life the way Madhukar Bagla and Parthavi Singh know it. They are young and restless and dreamy, they don’t understand the mechanisms of life, but are enjoying being grown up. They are overwhelmed by what their hearts are telling them… when they come together, it is obvious that Madhu stood no chance; he fell hopelessly in love with Parthavi Singh. Neither of them thought about how others might perceive their love, nor did they stop to think what their love would bring them to…. Between stolen glances and sometimes, stolen kisses, the pounding heart never let them hear the hierarchy of politics and the fact that they come from acutely different walks of life. While Madhu comes from a rather ordinary family, the Singhs are the pride of the town.

Their paths are so diverse that they were never supposed to be together, but sometimes, the heart turns mightier than the mind. The two rebel and elope to build a life together. It is not really the kind of life they had dreamt of but it is everything far away from the hatred they left behind. A haven of sorts where love can breath? But sometimes, dreams are better left by the pillow, and reality is too harsh… Nagraj Manjule brought us back to reality with a jarring shock in SAIRAAT, and even DHADAK leaves you hyperventilating…. So is it a good film? Or should you want Sairaat again, instead….

Well, read on!

The first half of Dhadak is Shashank Khaitan’s maidan – a pure unadulterated love story! And he makes the most of it, pre-interval, Dhadak is a masterpiece. The biggest strength of Dhadak is Shashank Khaitan’s command over the politics of relationships in Northern India. He knows the mannerisms, the language and the eccentricities down to perfections. If the first half of Dhadak is enjoyable, it is because Khaitan fills it up with many nuances that drench your heart. He gets the obvious diversity between Madhu and Parthavi, and even the subtle similarities beautifully. This strength and knowledge of the landscape and its moods make Madhu and Parthavi very relatable. However, it is when the couple move out of rajasthan into Mumbai and later, Kolkata that both Khaitan and the film start faltering.

Earlier through the film when Khaitan was packing nuances, it made the love story more potent, towards the second half, he starts putting too many angles to the script, making it dark and cumbersome. Had he left the simplicity of the original untouched, without trying to dazzle the audience with his profound knowledge of interpersonal relationships, the film would have impacted the audience a lot more. Inadvertently, Khaitan forgot to put the most important ingredient of the original sleeper hit – its innocence. The onus of that lay even on the shoulders of the young actors who play the lead.

Ishaan and Jhanvi are as diverse in their performances as Madhu and Parthavi are socially. While in the first half, perhaps due to Shashank’s stronghold, the two lumber-onto the same pace, post interval, the young actors completely lose the frequency and start performing on two different levels. While Ishaan is trying to hit the realistic note, Jhanvi is trying to look glamourous and in despair simultaneously. The discord, leaves the second half in shambles. For his part, Ishaan does complete justice to his role. It is however, the subtle glimpses of Sridevi’s naughty smile or mannerisms that you find in her daughter that melts your hearts.

As the makers of Dhadak kept harping a film like Sairaat needed a more universal appeal, the 137mins of runtime, did manage decently but when it comes to impacting the nation like Sairaat did, they may be a bit further away from that goal.


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