“Jo meri manzilo ko jaati hai, tere naam ki koi sadak hai na” – Dhadak is definitely the sadak that will take Ishaan and Janhvi to their destinations. They could have not had a better debut to do with. With Shashank Khaitan (Director) and Karan Johar (Producer) on their side, a combination that can rarely go wrong, they were lucky enough to have them.

Dhadak is an adaptation of the Marathi Blockbuster Sairat for the Hindi audience. For people who have not seen either – this is a story of two college students who go against the societal norms of caste and fall in love. When a boy, belonging to a lower caste, falls in love with a rich-politician’s girl and as the love blooms between them, it also paves the way for violence and moral decay in the world around them. However, they try find a way to get away and start a life of their own but what awaits for them ahead is something that is not just horrifying but scarring at the same time. With an innocent love story between Madhu (Ishaan Khatter) and Parthavi (Janhvi Kapoor) based in Udaipur, takes a turn and leaves them with no choice but to leave their houses and Udaipur for good, move to Calcutta and start an independent, difficult life. It is only then that they realise

The first half of the movie is so beautifully innocent, it will take you back to your college days and have you remember all those puppy love moments we’ve had, the secret meetings, cant-stop-looking-at-each-other in the lectures, spending those uncountable hours glued to the phone and doing everything to hide it from anyone and everyone. People from small towns will have experienced this. At the same time, once they have eloped and enter the new world of atrocities, it will make you urge for the simpler times, you see how they struggle to make ends meet, where Parthavi comes from a rich family and was living in a palace and now she is forced to live in a hostel – using the common toilets, washing the clothes and utensils, cooking food, etc. Madhu struggling for a job in a new city, where no one knows them, the language is a barrier and even breathing costs money. Despite all the hurdles, misunderstandings, they happen to love each other more and more with each passing day.

Apart from the great plot, thanks to Sairat, Dhadak has some things that stand out to making it an individual movie.

  • Aesthetic: Although I have visited Udaipur a few times in the past, seeing it through Vishnu Rao’s cinematography was extremely gorgeous, almost made me believe that I’ve not seen the place myself. The beautiful costumes for Parthavi made her look effortlessly striking.
  • Screenplay: The transition from Udaipur to Calcutta, innocence to struggling with life is played out so smooth, for once you might not even realize it’s already done and you’re still feeling the pain that the couple is going through. The entire transition sequence is I think one of it’s best sequences.
  • Performances: Ishaan has done a great job playing Madhu, for the entire time he was on screen (the first half), I couldn’t stop smiling. The romeoness is so cute that every 20-something girl will be crushing on him for a while now. Janhvi is Alia Bhatt from SOTY, there is so much more that is to be explored with her, but she still wins with her beauty. Ashutosh Rana is not as thrilling as we have seen him in his previous work, although manages to give you the gut with the smirky-evil eyes. Madhu’s friends could have also been explored a little more (this is one place where Sairat wins).
  • Music: The music of Dhadak is the heart and soul of the movie. I will give it an extra star just for the music itself. Ajay-Atul have done a brilliant job and it just grabs you in the Dhadak world right from the first song itself. I had given into the movie the moment Pehli Baar played on screen. Not just the music, but also the background score, it is all at par.
  • Impact: This climax is one of those that will definitely leave you scarred for quite some time. I have, personally, not experienced such an impactful climax in a long time and the way it is shot is commendable, Vishnu Rao and Shashank Khaitan have managed to pull it off so well, while it being the most traumatic sequence in the movie, it is the best one.

After everything said and done, it is definitely a one-time watch, it will not disappoint you and will leave you thinking for even after you’ve left the movie hall. I’d give it 3 stars.
Also, in my opinion, if Sairat had not preceded Dhadak, it would have been much widely accepted and not been given a hard time.

That’s about it!

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The Sparrow is in love! With Stories. And storytellers. And the craft of storytelling!
At TRS we create content, conversations for the community of aspiring filmmakers and people passionate about the medium of cinema.