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DHANAK - The kids lift up the film beautifully despite all forced and unusual characters reminding you of a seen before theme. (Review by Bobby Sing)
22 Jun, 2016 | Movie Reviews / 2016 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / D

The most difficult part of a film revolving around one or two kids is to find the right ones who have a likeable screen presence, can express the emotions well and render the dialogues too as visualized by the film’s writer and director. Thankfully Nagesh Kukunoor manages to find two perfect kids to play his key characters in DHANAK and the film majorly gets lifted by them alone despite having many weak character insertions in a script based on an unoriginal theme reminding you of two earlier similar projects widely appreciated and awarded too in the festival circuit. But keeping those references for the last, let me first convey why I wasn’t that impressed from the film in spite of two remarkable child artists and a few matured acts.
DHANAK begins introducing a sweet brother and sister duo arguing over Salman and Shah Rukh Khan as their true fans. The 8 years old kid brother is not able to see and the elder sister of around 10-11 cares about him as a mother along with fighting over the issue of SRK being the best, whom she adores a lot. The film is about their journey towards Jaisalmer, where Shah Rukh is shooting for his new film and the girl wants to meet him looking for some financial help in getting her brother operated (as per the doctor’s instructions). So it’s a road movie with the kids meeting several people on the path and then reaching the destination to have a pleasant surprise.
Commencing with a couple of highly impressive scenes, the major triumph of DHANAK remains the two talented kids besides some entertaining dialogues that keep bringing the smiles and laughter in at regular intervals. Particularly it’s the charming performance of Krrish Chhabria as Chhotu that beautifully elevates up the film into a fine light hearted entertainer along with an adorable natural act by Hetal Gada as his elder sister Pari. Together the kids deliver a delightful time that doesn’t disappoint as far as the performances, good music and dialogues are concerned. But as per its basic theme and added characters into the script this doesn’t seem to be a Nagesh Kukunoor film from any angle.
(Spoilers Ahead)
In clear words, if a director of films like HYDERABAD BLUES, ROCKFORD, 3 DEEWAREN, IQBAL, DOR, AASHAYEIN and LAKSHMI offers such weak, unconvincing, stereotyped and badly conceived supporting characters in his film as seen in DHANAK, then if forces you to assume that something has drastically gone wrong either in this particular project or somewhere in these recent years quite honestly.
For instance it was shocking to see a Nagesh Kukunoor film having a female Rajasthani bandit (holding an antique kind of pistol-cum-gun) putting loads of make-up like a ramp-model blocking the road with big stones, a child-trafficker running away on a deserted road in a desert (God knows where?) leaving his SUV behind with two unconscious kids tied at the back, a wicked scary looking ‘Banjaaran’ aunt who can gaze into the future, a young Tom Alter kind of foreigner traveller forcibly trying to pose as some enlightened being wandering on earth, an eccentric/ mad man constantly walking on the lonely roads with a Car Staring in hand, and above all a fake spiritual God-woman who was earlier a struggler in Bollywood along with Shah Rukh Khan only.
Exploiting the backdrop of Rajasthan just to impress the festival audience all over the world, I personally wasn’t expecting such childish presentation of the region from the man who has a classic DOR in his repertoire that can be easily be taken as a reference material without any doubt. Yes, DHANAK has a fine cinematography offered with an enjoyable soundtrack with some good songs. But I frankly couldn’t believe hearing guitars being played in a track when the musicians on screen were all playing the traditional Indian instruments. After all that is exactly where the director comes in approving the questionable execution.
So what exactly works in DHANAK that doesn’t allow me to call it a non-performer?
It’s majorly the two outstanding kids, their pleasant and charming performances, the enjoyable dialogues (mostly by Chhotu) and one mature supporting act from Vipin Sharma. Mentioning the only few scenes I could feel connected are the ones where the kids have a friendly interaction with Vipin as their caring uncle, the sequence where Chhotu stops an ongoing truck completing a song being sung on the people on board, the marriage talks between the three kids at a night stoppage and watching the truck driver who drops them midway towards Jaisalmer emoting realistically.
Otherwise, the basic choice of theme by Nagesh disappointed me the most as I was really expecting something fresh and novel from the director who always used to come up with a new and unique subject. Giving you the exact references, a kid travelling all the way to the city to meet an icon was earlier seen in two films and in both these films, the icon was never shown on the screen with any actual footage exactly like DHANAK. So what we get to see in the climax of all these three films is the use of some clever shots that give you an impression of the icon being there having some kind of interaction or the child connecting to him in an indicative manner.
Naming them all, Raj Kapoor conceived AB DILLI DOOR NAHIN in1957 without Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru (directed by Amar Kumar), Nila Madhab Panda made I AM KALAM in 2010 without A. P. J. Abdul Kalam & now Nagesh Kukunoor makes DHANAK in 2016 without Shah Rukh Khan working on a similar pattern
So if you haven’t seen any of the two films mentioned above, then DHANAK is obviously going to be novel and enjoyable too due to the two terrific kids. But don’t expect something highly mature from the director who is ironically widely known for the same.
Rating : 2 + 1 / 5 (with the additional 1 especially for the fabulous (film saving) performances by Krrish and Hetal)

Tags : Dhanak Review by Bobby Sing, Dhanak Film Review by Bobby Sing, Inspired Films, Ab Dilli Door Nahin, I Am Kalam and Dhanak, Simialr theme films, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
22 Jun 2016 / Comment ( 0 )
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