Shashank Khaitan directorial 'Dhadak' is an official remake of Nagraj Manjule's 2016 film 'Sairat' that was adored for its rustic rawness and laudable chemistry of Parshya aka Akash Thosar and Rinku Rajguru as Archi, which left audiences berserk and starstruck. Setting such a high standard already with the flair of story-telling that reflects the barbarous beliefs of society through casteism showcasing a lot of realism to conclude the climax with a devastating end.
Surprisingly, 'Dhadak' is not at all an exact replication of 'Sairat' so don't you get bluffed by the caricatured songs that rejuvenate the essence and the memory of the original work. Set in the backdrop of Udaipur Rajasthan, the film embeds the benevolent innocent chemistry of two college-going strangers Madhu played by Ishaan Khattar and Parthavi played by Janhvi as both are gradually developing a bond. Belonging to a low caste restaurant owner family is Madhu a part-timer tourist guide and now a Romeo for his Juliet, as he struggles day and night just to get a glimpse of his ladylove. While the princely rich Parthavi feels the same.
Credit to the makers who completely engaged the audiences with an entertaining first half and some relatable moments that might just refresh your memory lane depicting a gracious chemistry between the two. The twist in the tale is Parthavi's politician father played by Ashutosh Rana kept busy in the battlefield of politics prepped up to take down the opposition by every mean is quite a man blindfolded with a superior upper-cast mindset of discriminating. What adds a lot of drama to 'Dhadak' is that the love story continues fearlessly with meeting in public and spending times lakeside with no hesitations and concern.
The serious second half is dipping and not too great in portraying the complexity of the situations while facing the real-life world. Although Ishaan and Janhvi laid a solid chemistry and their emotions connect the audiences at its core. This adolescent act is felt with the minimum of intensity and lacks the conviction of welcoming a whole new world all alone. Shashank's screenplay slopes downwards and the tone of the film could have been a bit more intense. It is the cliched climax, as the audiences already sense the calm before the storm.
To conclude, 'Dhadak' entirely focuses the central characters Madhu and Parthavi to a greater extent although a bit more of Ashutosh Rana would have been best suited the climax. It's obviously unfair to compare it with 'Sairat' as the film is just an inspiration to indulge the ugly castism reality on the bigger screen. A non-regional film makes it available for a vast reach but the audiences won't take away much from the film as in-depth aspects and the detailed dilemma of the societal mindset could have done justice to the declining second half in terms of the interest meter.
The songs of Dhadak are truly enduring, re-creating the melancholic magic of Sairat's music album. It is Ajay-Atul pulling the right chords feeling a deeper deja-vu by re-creating two songs, the chartbuster 'Zingaat' and 'Pehli Baar' has solid engagement level. The first song of the film is 'Pehli Baar' and we are thoroughly mesmerized by Ishaan Khattar and Janhvi Kapoor's silent chemistry which speaks a lot with the least of words. The song begins with an over joyous Ishaan crazy about getting a glimpse of the girl, he has fallen in love with and he walks out of his home and running in front of the Giant Shiva statue. Re-creating 'Zingaat' was purposeless as the irreplaceable Marathi version still remains in people's heart and these lyrics has low recall value. 'Dhadak' title track is heavenly heartwarming and the duo embraces this number with their elegance and rhythmic dance moves.
The background score of the film by John Stewart Eduri has enhanced the narrative of the film as it blends perfectly with the storyline and situations. The film also has some visually appealing cinematography by Vishnu Rao, who captures the picturesque locations of the city of lake Udaipur. Some enticing slow-motion sequences are eye pleasing as well. Shashank Khaitan's second half screenplay can be blamed for losing interest in the film. Janhvi's performance will stay with the audiences for quite long. Ishaan proves his acting prowess once again after Majid Majidi's 'Beyond the Clouds' and people would want to see more of him. A long way to go for Janhvi Kapoor, although she leaves her mark with an astonishing debut.
Overall, Dhadak can be given a silver screen watch just for the sake of laudable performance by the duo Ishaan and Janhvi.